Soaking In The Sunshine And Serenity

We just got back from a week back east visiting family. A wonderful time surrounded by so much love. We had the joy of seeing friends and family in Boston, Connecticut and Vermont. Mr. P was a great little traveler and was up for anything. I’ll tell you more about it but for now, I will tell you this. A week away is refreshing, rejuvenating and restoring. Especially when a big part of that week was in the cozy growing-up-home of Bob nestled among the trees and the woods in Southern Vermont.

One of my favorite moments was finding this open field of grass to lie in. It called my name and even though I was with a whole crew of family and friends and very-excited-kids on a garden farm adventure around Putney, I took a minute to lay down, shut my eyes and soak in the sunshine and serenity. A big thanks to Oma, my mother-in-love, for taking this picture.

More moments to come, darling readers, but for now, the timer is ticking.

How do you soak in the serenity? What do you do? What is serenity for you?

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This is post 28. I’ve decided to label the posts, not the days. I did 25 posts in 25 days and then skipped 2. And then I skipped a bunch more while I was away. But now I am back and RE-committed to this blogging thing, loving the peace that comes from writing and the momentum that comes from commitment.

This started as a 7 day commitment to write and post an entry from start to finish within thirty minutes, two sessions of 15 minutes each right in a row using my beloved Flylady timer.

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Learn more about Good Things Darling.

Follow the journey on Facebook. 

Visit the Etsy shop.

View more of my paintings on my Flickr.

 

Thrilling The Little Kid In Me

The little kid in me got such a thrill of delight out of this repurposed vintage gumball toy bubble machine. Bob even put two shiny quarters in for me to buy me a ‘petite poem’ and maybe even one of those trinket treasures, too. My heart sank as nothing came out. But the true prize is that my wheels are turning… How can I score one of these little machines and repurpose it into my very own creation? I love stuff like this, seeing how creative minds tick tick tick.

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Motherhood, Shakespeare And The Pitter Patter Of It All

Well, the first day of flaking came and went. Labor Day 2013. The first day I did not honor my commitment to this writing/posting daily in 30 minutes. By the time the busy day came to a close of sorts, it was 10:42pm. Was I going to find the energy to blog? No. (Then came the second day. I wrote this post yesterday and will finally post today.)

Right now, as I type this with my right thumb, Mr. P is napping on me on the boppy. His darling head is resting in the crook of my right elbow, where my bicep meets my forearm. His whole being is curled up into mine as his even warm breath brings me a kind of peace and abundance and ebullience I’ve never known to this extent. As if each breath is a puff of love-life-air into the deflated tire of my tired-mommy-psyche. With each burst of Mr. P air, I find the reserve to type this to you, one fumbling thumb-letter at a time.

Meanwhile, I’m giving the same kind of love-life-air to Mr. P. My heart beats slowly and rhythmically in my chest, causing his cuddle-nap-place to rise and fall in perfect symbiotic symmetry to his beats. I am thinking, now, of my first day of Shakespeare 101 way back in the other-life me at Bucknell. It was co-taught by one of the more conservative Shakespearean scholars on campus, and I believe in the field, too and by this radiant and brilliant in both brains and bright beauty Indian professor. As conservative as he was, she was as refreshingly liberal. Her voice was music to my sponge-learning-creative-peak ears. They started the first day of class with this lecture:
(This is etched in my mind for over 15 years, so please, don’t quote me)
Context: they were talking about the Shakespearean rhythm of iambic pentameter…
He:
And it beats rhythmically like the heart… Ba-buh-ba-buh-bu-buh. And it makes my heart beat to the rhythm of his words. Pitter patter, pitter patter…
She:
And the words and the rhythm to me are so powerful they make my heart stop.

This, to me, is the perfect description to motherhood. My baby and I with hearts beating pumping love and blood and air into each others spirits so much so it makes my heart go pitter patter most of the time AND at the exact same time when I’m so struck by the power of our lifeblood that then my heart stops in its tracks frozen in time and space so I can notice, really notice, the beauty of it all.

Except when I’m so frazzled that I can’t even notice any of this, which in these 11 months, is quite often.

I am grateful for this moment, away from places to be and people to see. Away from laundry and dishes and to do lists. I am grateful for this sleeping angel and this moment to share our love and life with you.

Good things, darlings.

Melissa

Day 26. (I debated, how do I number this when I skipped a day? And then I thought of fly lady: “you’re not behind, just jump in wherever you are” and Gemma saying “adelante, darling!”

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Adelante! September Here We Come

Gemma used to always say 'Adelante!' Onward, upward. I named this painting Adelante probably, at the time, inspired by my dear darling friend and mentor's words. I finished this piece at Gemma's table after letting it sit in limbo for years shoved in between my fridge and my cabinet on my small studio apartment. I met Bob days after finishing this piece. I was ready for everything that onward and upward would bring in my life. And here we are now, welcoming a new month and I was inspired to call this post 'Adelante.' Let's just see, shall we? Let's just see what unfolds for all of us when we move onward and upward.

Sometimes after a long busy weekend full of adventures and aha moments and chick peas and bit-in-half blueberries and hummus all over my leggings and 11-month-old-earlybird-getting-the-worm-every-single-day and spilling water on my iPhone and going to see great friends and finally folding the laundry and crusty finally getting done dishes and drank too fast morning coffee and Mr. P pop-pop-popping his way around the park walking at the speed of light pushing his big boy walking toy and Facetiming families making exciting plans… Sometimes it’s enough to give a crazy long sentence recap and leave it at just that.

It’s the beginning of a new month. Happy September, darling readers. When I think ahead to October 1st it feels like one million years away. So for now I will savor September each day as it comes. Onward, upward, one wonderful day at a time.

Good things, darlings.

Melissa

* Day 25 of my commitment to write/post a blog in 30 minutes.

Raising Well-Adjusted Parents

I cannot take credit for the brilliant and wise title of this blog post, the credit goes to my amazing friend Amy who bought this onesie for Mr. P.

No matter how many parenting books read or how many classes we took before the baby was born, the best lessons we can learn are from Mr. P himself. Day in and day out he teaches us to be the best possible parents we can be. We are in a constant state of amazement. And exhaustion. These two go hand-in-hand in the coolest way. Like today, meeting my sister, his aunt, for a park picnic. The picnic itself was short-lived and fun as Mr. P mashed chickpeas and green peas into his mouth and into our picnic blanket.

Then we ventured onto the sidewalk to push his big boy walking toy that my bro, his uncle, got him. It was so wild setting him free in the open expanse of the park as opposed to inside our tile floored condo. He was a wild man set loose in the fresh air. Then we went to play in a friends pool and picnic again with some of the mommies and daddies that we love. It was then that Mr. P decided to stand independently for the very first time right while all of our friends watched.

Bob and I stared in amazement because this is the very first time it had happened. We couldn’t even take a picture or video because our phone memories were full of pictures. Lucky us, our friends took some pictures and just sent them to us.

We are learning as we go and feeling like this little guy is teaching us the lessons we need to learn just as we need to know them. So thank you Mr. P for raising us to be well-adjusted parents. And thank you, Aim, for giving us the words for our new parenting philosophy.

Good things, darlings.

Melissa.

Day 24 of my commitment to write and post a blog in 30 minutes.

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Cuddling It Out

A short and sweet post, brought to you live from the pitch black bedroom where the AC is pumping in this LA heatwave. Mr. P is cuddled up on my left side, just not wanting mommy to go away tonight. Each time I tried to creep away from putting him down in the crib, he’d wake up and cry. So tonight, I’m in bed early cuddling with Mr. P and bringing you what I have to offer in this moment, a glimpse into my mommy life where sometimes evenings don’t unfold exactly as we expected but you know what? It’s all good.

This pic is from earlier this week, Mr. P rocking his Bucknell t-shirt and helping with the laundry. He was also, incidentally, in the midst of trying to poop.

Good things, darling.

Melissa

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Day 23.

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22 Things That Keep Me Sane

In the spirit of yesterday’s 21 things that make me smile, I bring you 22 things that keep me sane. These things work together to keep me healthy, happy and at peace most of the time. And when I am out-of-whack and off-balance I can come back and read this blog post to remember, oh yeah! That’s what I’m missing. Believe me, these are not all things that I ever have going all at once (especially now that I have entered the wild wild world of parenthood), but when at least MOST of these things are a part of my life MOST of the time well that makes for one joyful, peaceful, calm Miss Meliss.

One of my mixed media pieces titled Good Things To Come. I was definitely in a state of 'flow' while working on this: lost in time and space and calmer than ever because I was immersed so deeply in my work that I was submerged into practically another universe.

1 – My flylady Timer

2 – Weight Watchers

3- Reading

4 – Drawing/doodling

5- Freedom (Click link if you have IADD – Internet ADD – and cannot focus like yours truly)

6 – Walking

7 – My moms group

8 – Martha Beck

9 – My gratitude Journal

10 – Taking a shower first thing in the morning

11 – Getting into ‘flow’ with my artwork

12 – Stretching

13 – Having water readily accessible and drinking lots of it

14 – Having readily accessible snacks, I love snacks

15 – Chai made with almond milk and the time to drink it in peace

16 – Mr. P’s morning naptime

17 – Mr. P’s afternoon naptime

18 – Structure with some flexibility in there

19 – Something to look forward to

20 – Sirius Radio Channel 107 – Oprah Radio

21 – Mr. P’s bedtime routine

22 – The commitment to writing this blog

What keeps you sane? Tell me tell me tell me!

Good things, darlings. Very good things.

Melissa

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This post is day 22 of my 7 day commitment to fully write and post an entry from start to finish within thirty minutes, two sessions of 15 minutes each right in a row using my beloved Flylady timer.

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Learn more about Good Things Darling.

Follow the journey on Facebook. 

Visit the Etsy shop.

View more of my paintings on my Flickr.

 

 

21 Things That Make Me Smile

Here we are 21 days into the commitment to write and post daily. Someone somewhere said do something for three weeks and it becomes a habit. Well my friends, I am proud to say, a blogging habit has been made! Doesn’t it feel good to start a new habit? YES!

In honor of celebrating this 21 days of honoring my commitment to blogging, I want to share 21 things that make me smile. Why? Because I feel like it and that’s the name of the game. What’s even better than writing what you know? Writing what you FEEL in that moment. And right now, I am smiling.

1 – Seeing my baby angel Mr. P’s little body pop awake each morning! No matter how early he rises and shines he wakes up so happy. Contagious smiling all around!

2 – Hugs. I love hugs. Before Mr. P, Bob and I would always have hug breaks. Now we have family hug breaks. While we say “Family hug! Family hug!”

3 – My Flylady timer – she reminds me that I am not behind and to just jump in whereever I am and to do something is better than nothing at all. And in this moment, I relaize that in order to finish this list in a timely fashion, I gotta be short and sweet. So here goes the rest in short and sweet form!

4 – My first cup of coffee in the morning, with almond milk, most often brought to me by Bob and sometimes with the help of Mr. P who pours the almond milk.

5 – The day my O magazine comes in the mail. (I have a stack waiting to be read, but still I get giddy when a new one arrives.)

6 – Ergonomics – like right now I setup my ergonomic computer setup for the first time in forever and the way my body and back and feet and elbows and wrists feels is so right that I don’t even feel them at all, instead I just write in peace.

7 – My Aladdin straw cups that came in a 3 pack with 6 colorful straws. I drink sooooooo much water especially as a nursing mom. And having water readily available makes me smile. And the straws are so happy.

8 – Getting surprise emails or texts or calls or facebook messages from old friends I haven’t communicated with in a while.

9 – Babies in general. My baby, our baby friends, babies on the street, babies on TV. Babies everywhere make my heart smile from the inside.

10 – My Uncle Bob – he has the biggest smile that erupts into his whole face pushing his cheeks out which in turn lifts up his eyes and then his eyebrows. We facetimed with him the other day and him seeing the baby made him smile and in turn it made me smile.

11 – Reading on my iPad. I just finished my second book since baby. And it’s the first I’ve ever read on the iPad. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It’s a memoir.

12 – Memoir in general. It’s the most amazing peek into someone else’s world and I aspire to publish one one day and it will be called Good Things Darling.

13 – Silence. I love the peace and quiet. It lets my heart rate drop to a slow calm beat and lets the whole world slow down so I can think or not think and just be. Silence is where I reflect on the world and where ideas come to me from seemingly out of nowhere. These days my silence is rare, I mean extremely rare, but right now, as I write this, it’s almost silent and I am in heaven.

14 – Being on a deadline, no matter how big or small. I love deadlines. I love the adrenaline that speeds up the creative process while helping keep it in check because you just can’t get too crazy and off task when you only have so much time, like right now, 10 minutes left out of my 30 total and my heart is starting to pump a little.

15 – S’mores. Oh it’s been a while dear chocolatey marshmallowey graham crackery slice of dessert heaven. Oh wait, no it hasn’t! I bought two mini s’mores cups at a bake sale on Sunday!! Deeeeee—lish.

16 – Friends that are like family. Sunday we went to a concert in the park with one of my oldest Cali friends (where I bought the s’more! can you see my train of thought?). Old as in one of my first close friends when I moved to California. Meeting this friend made me feel like part of something and less like the alien that I sometimes felt like in my new to California days (years). It’s been 12 years now in Cali and probably about ten of friendship with this dear friend I am writing. She now has a husband and a four year old and a beautiful house with a backyard. When we met we were both single living in studio apartments. Another world!

17 – Sparkling water – hello bubbles, I love you! Especially with fresh lemon.

18 – Watching Bob and Mr. P together when they don’t know I am watching. Being in awe of this family we have formed and in awe of the darling daddy that Bob has become. Amazed that we met at the Staples Center way back when by chance, by serendipitous chance, by destiny, by fate, by divine order, by following the invisible threads of life to exactly where we were supposed to be at that very second so the rest of our lives could unfold as they have and as they will continue to unfold revealing an abundance and a joy that we cannot even imagine.

19 – Writing. I love to write. It brings me such peace and perspective and reveals to me what I think and what I feel.

20 – Treasure hunting – Salvation army, goodwill, thrift shops, finding treasures on the side of the road, you name it, I love it!

21 – And last but not least with one minute left on my Flylady timer, you know what makes me smile, like really smile? YOU!

Thank you so much for joining me on this crazy wonderful commitment to blogging. A ride so wild I have no idea what I will write when I start each post but still you stick with me and I share with you thoughts on life as I know it. Or should I say, life as I feel it. Flylady is beeping. Gotta go!!

But first, tell me, what makes you smile? I really, really wanna know!

Good things, darlings.

Melissa

 

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This post is day 21 of my 7 day commitment to fully write and post an entry from start to finish within thirty minutes, two sessions of 15 minutes each right in a row using my beloved Flylady timer.

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Learn more about Good Things Darling.

Follow the journey on Facebook. 

Visit the Etsy shop.

View more of my paintings on my Flickr.

Two Photos, Two Sentences

Earlier today, Mr. P climbing right into his empty bookcase that was bolted to the wall by a handyman we found on Yelp and mommy remembering the adventure where we (pregnant) found the bookcase on Craigslist and drove to pick it up from a lady whose home was now all Craftsman-inspired and the bookcase just had to go.

Earlier this evening, a family adventure to the farmers market where we stocked up on fruits and veggies and visited with our new neighbor who walked with us and heard children’s reggae and sampled peaches, nectarines and yummy greek spreads at the hummus booth.

(Ok, they were crazy long run-on sentences but I couldn’t resist. I almost didn’t post due to POOPED-NESS noted below but when you make it to 20 days the momentum really gets you and you just want to continue even more than you want to fall into your bed and hope that the baby doesn’t wake up that very second.)

Night darlings, this mama is POOPED!

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This post is day 20 of my 7 day commitment to fully write and post an entry from start to finish within thirty minutes, two sessions of 15 minutes each right in a row using my beloved Flylady timer.

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Learn more about Good Things Darling.

Follow the journey on Facebook. 

Visit the Etsy shop.

View more of my paintings on my Flickr.

Never Say Never: Wisdom From A Stroller Walk With My iPhone

Well hello my darling readers! Here I am reporting live from a stroller walk with Mr. P.

Selfie from our stroller walk this afternoon. Normally Mr. P loves a good selfie, but here he's distracted by Mommy, which, of course, I love.

I’ve told you in many of my posts that writing really help me process. You know what else really helps me process possibly even more? Walking. As I walk, I am holding up my iPhone into the air and dictating this to you. So far on this walk I have accomplished a lot: I made plans with a dear friend, I sent a couple texts that I have been meaning to send and I started this blog post.

When I was pregnant, I used to see moms walking their baby strollers while looking at their phone. I remember saying to Bob I will never do that. Now that I’m a mom I would like to tell my pregnant self a thing or two. Like, um, hey Meliss, never say never. You never know from looking at somebody what their intentions are or what their needs are or what their situation is at that moment. As I dictate this to my iPhone, Mr. P is happy as an 11-month-old-clam kicking his little feet and watching the world go by from the cozy shaded comfort of his stroller. If I do say so myself, I am pretty sure he’s enjoying the sound of my voice talking to you.

I used to look at those moms and think that they were totally “checking out” while in the care of their sweet little darling. Now, I realize, as a mom 11 months into motherhood, I’m not “checking out” by being on my phone right now. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I am “checking in.” I check in with myself and the things I need to and want to do for “me” so I can be a good mama to Mr. P: like honoring my commitment to blog but being creative about it at this very moment. This “check in” is me gathering my thoughts, me making plans with a dear friend, me reaching out to family. And right now, as I dictate-write this, this is me having an aha moment courtesy of my ability to dictate into my iPhone while pushing my stroller WHILE I am getting my baby and I some much-needed fresh air and sunshine. And much appreciated exercise.

Here’s to me and my aha moment, my friends. Here’s to all the things I said I’d NEVER EVER do way back when when I was pregnant but now that I’m a mom on the front lines of motherhood all I can say to new mamas is these three little words: never say never.

Good things, darlings.

Melissa

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This post is day 19 of my 7 day commitment to fully write and post an entry from start to finish within thirty minutes, two sessions of 15 minutes each right in a row using my beloved Flylady timer.

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Learn more about Good Things Darling.

Follow the journey on Facebook. 

Visit the Etsy shop.

View more of my paintings on my Flickr.