Thursday, July 31, 2008

It could have been worse...

song: Bad Bad Day... PINK
Sorry no photo, too shitty of a day to take photos!

Yesterday was..... Horrid!! On top of being lonely and slightly depressed about Russell being gone... it got worse, much worse.
I attended a playdate with the lovely O'mamas, we had a gluten free potluck, the food was tasty except for mine. Mom and I made a quinoa and corn pasta with pesto goat cheese, veggies and chicken on Tuesday night. It was delicious, fresh. I brought it over to our hostess' house and reheated it, blech. The noodles feel apart, the veggies were soggy and it was dry and you couldn't taste the goat cheese. :( So sad. Oh well, now I know to eat it all the first night or reheat it and add more goat cheese. Why oh why am I writing about food?? Anyhoo.. The playdate was good, but Leilani was grumpy and fairly unfriendly, and Orion did his own thing, kinda ho hum.

We ran an errand after the playdate where O fell asleep in the Ergo, and Leilani did the sleepy head bobbing in the cart, Leilani did not fall asleep in the car, what is up with that? So I fought her for an hour to get her to sleep... no luck. "I'm huuuuungryyyyyyyyy" she said in her very best whine. Sigh, fine, have a snack, THEN NAP! No luck after food either. She screamed and pounded and then slapped me in the face to avoid taking a nap (this was 4:30pm). Yikes mama was angry, roar!!! I was steaming mad and trying to keep her from waking her sweet brother who took 45 minutes to rock/bounce to sleep. Finally she dozed off at 5pm and slept for an hour and a half, whew.
At 6:10 or so Orion was playing next to couch and all of a sudden he started to cry and a few seconds later started to gag, a lot. Like when you can't swallow a pill or get a piece of hard candy stuck in your throat. I swiped his mouth between screams and large tears, nothing. I started to panic, flipped him over and started to pound on his back, nothing, gag gag gag. I felt SOOO horrible! After 5 minutes of gagging I called my Dad in tears... "WHAT DO I DO???" He threw up, but was still gagging, then he spit up with a tinge of blood, :( . He told me to take him to the ER right away! I met both of my parents at the Round Rock ER, not my fav hospital but when your baby is gagging and screaming, you can't think straight. They triaged us right away and in all it only took 2 hours, not bad for a packed ER. They x-rayed him, (we shall now call him "Radioactive Boy" instead of Porkchop) and found..................... nada. Who KNOWS what happened? I think maybe he swallowed something that dissolved like a piece of Leilani's Oaty Bites cereal, or scratched the back of his throat (uvula) which made him gag. Either way he is FINE like sunshine, and slept like a, well, baby! He is happy as can be today. Better safe than sorry when breathing and swallowing objects is concerned.
So... no, the day is done done yet....almost...
My mom followed me home at around 8:40pm to help get the kids in bed, I put the baby in his jammies and thought, SHIT it is hot in here................ Oh......NO... please do not tell me the AC is BROKEN AGAIN!?! Yup, sure enough, 82 degrees downstairs and 86 up. UGH!!!!! So, we packed up everything we owned (feels like) and all went back to my parents house, so I could sleep on the couch. Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breeeeaaaaath! Leilani couldn't sleep on the air mattress so Grandma slept with her from 3am on. My parents are THE BEST!!!! Thank GOD my parents live here, otherwise I don't know what I would have done.
The best thing about yesterday, I got an email from the beautiful and muy talented Bonnie Berry, she posted a few of the Ballard family photos on her blog. More will be coming soon, woohoo!
So, it could have been worse, I am glad it wasn't. My child did not die or even need major medical attention, and my house did not burn to the ground, its just hot in there, and my food was still eaten by the mamas (even though it was gross). Thank you Universe for not giving me any real challenges to deal with, for that I am eternally grateful!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Is it Friday yet????

Song : Lucky... Jason Mraz & Colbie Callat

above, Proposal next to Santa Monica Pier
below, Honeymoon San Juan Island, WA state

Sappy alert... some of the following post may be too blah and sappy for some readers... :)

Russell left yesterday for Columbus, again. :( He will be back late Friday evening, then flies out Monday morning, again for another week. It is actually cheaper to fly home than to stay in a hotel there for 2 days, how crazy is that, besides he misses us too much to be gone for two weeks straight. I am sure he did it for me, to give me a two day breather, at least I'll have a partner in this craziness. Although, my mom has been a HUGE help, she always is when he leaves. She comes over or I go over to her house so I can eat and bathe the kiddos in the evening. Phew. I have no problem asking for my mother's help, she keeps me company, and I would go crazy if I didn't have somebody fun to talk to in the evenings, after I've been with the whining, crying and sibling spats all day.

I watched P.S. I Love You last night, thanks Russ for the renwal of our Netflix account!! It reminded me of just how important Russell is to me and our family. I have adored him from the moment we first met over the phone. He is my very best friend and my biggest support. He adores me as a wife and as a mother, and that makes me feel so special! I miss him somethin' awful when he goes on business trips! I never fall asleep before midnight because I can't stand to sleep in our bed alone. I wait until I can't stay up any longer... then I make my way into the bedroom. I miss him when he leaves for work every day. I have NO idea what my world would look like if he was not in it. Love you so much Sweetie!

Leilani misses him so much too, although she doesn't quite know why she feels so "off", she constantly asks "where's Daddy?" Little O just can't seem to get his routine straight when Daddy is gone. :( I have to admit, I have a hard time wanting to do my daily routine when he is gone... I just want to stay home and veg, I don't want to run errands, or clean (oh wait I don't do that when he's home either :) ) just sit and eat gluten free pretzels, mmmmmm pretzels. :) I can't wait for him to come home even if its only for 2 days!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rattletree Marimba

song: Skokiana... Masanga Marimba Ensemble

Stock photo, I did not take this pic :)
Last night, Steph and I went to Central Market to hear Rattletree Marimba play. The guys got to go out Saturday, so Sunday it was our turn!
(From their website) here
Rattletree Marimba is a Zimbabwean style marimba band based in Austin, Texas. They play high-energy dance and trance music that is guaranteed to get the dance floor moving from the first song!
The music you hear is NOT Rattletree, but they played a version of this song. (they are not on the website).
We had a great time! We shared a bottle of South African wine, ate some yummy Central Market Cafe food, and I ate WAYYYY to much creme brulee. :)
I bought Rattletree's CD, so I could share their music with the kiddos. We were even home before 10pm, and I still had a GREAT time!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

For Mom and Grandma....

songs: Classical Gas.. Mason Williams & Stealing Cinderella... Chuck Wicks

My mother's mother Marg Shallow, the only grandmother I knew loved daisies, as does my mother. The first photo is of me at 2 years and 4 months, the same age as Leilani is right now. It is one of my mom's favorite photos of my childhood. My guess is.. it's probably because of the daisies. Love you Mom, love you Grandma!
I couldn't decide between 2 photos of Leilani from our trip to Colorado... so you get both!
The song is for you Dad! Love you!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Water baby

song: You're Gonna Miss This.. Trace Atkins

Sweet Orion makes me smile every day, without fail. I couldn't decide which blog to post this on, but mine won over, because I am just talkin' about sweet baby O! This kid LOVES the water, any kind he can get his paws on. We can't bathe him in a tub full of water because he tries to eat the drain, and well... that's dangerous. I may be a slacker mom, but I do try to prevent unnecessary drownings and the like. So he slips around in the wet tub bumping his noggin on the side, squealing with delight every time you pour water over him. Today my mom filled the bathroom sink, then plugged it up and held onto his legs so he could go to town splashing away! That he did! He loves getting his face wet, but then got bored and turned to his newest fascination... knobs. He will try to eat any knob... dresser pulls, door knobs, sink/faucet handles, whatever is closest and the shinier the better. Silly boy. He brightens my day with his smile, and zest for companionship and life!

Rocky Mountain Hiiiigghhhh Coloradoooo

song: Rocky Mountain High... John Denver
Horseback riding in the rain, gorgeous and fun! Isabella, Me, Stan, and Charles

We just got back from Snowmass, CO last night. We have been up there since last Sunday with the majority of Russell's family. Every year his parents rent the same house/ski chalet for about a month/month and a half in the summer. His mom hates the heat here in central TX, don't we all?? So it was me, the babes, Russell, Russell's parents, his brother Stan, brother Charles and his oldest daughter Isabella. All in one small house. Now, I have to say before I begin, that I adore his family. They are truly wonderful people, salt of the earth in fact, but... they are not the family I grew up with and they do things a bit differently than I, quite a bit differently. I am blessed to have married into such a wonderful family, who loves each other very much and everybody gets along.
That being said... I struggled a bit last week. Since I have a highly restricted diet (poor Orion's excema depends on my eating habits), it is pretty hard to cook for me if you are not used to changing the way you cook. My MIL had a very hard time preparing menus that could fit into my "list", so I ate other things, which frustrated her even more. It caused some tension between us, it didn't help that I was the only other woman up there, and in HER kitchen none the less. Anyhoo... enough of that... we had a great time, but I am thrilled to be home. Snowmass and Aspen are BEAUTIFUL this time of year, flowers everywhere and the PERFECT climate. I have so many photos to share... more photos to come on the kids blog.
On with the pictures...

Stan, Charles, and my sweetie Russell

Our view for dinner at the Pine Creek Cookhouse, Russ took the pic.

Leilani was actually a ham for the camera that day.. so cute

Orion fell asleep in the Ergo on the way back down Mt. Aspen in the Gondola, high altitude = good for napping. :)

The Maroon Bells..... Breathtaking!

Orion and I going up, up up Mt. Aspen
And that's all you get... or I'll be here forever uploading. :)
Glad to be back... missed my O'mama pals and Leilani wants to get back to her pals too!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Gotta love the TABC

We went to Chuys (again) the other night with the whole gang, my parents, brother and fam, and all of us. Orion really wanted my margarita, and just couldn't wait till it arrived via milk form. And since its legal in Texas to serve your own children alcohol, yes you read that correctly...
Also as of September 1, 2005, persons 21 or older (other than the parent or guardian) can be held liable for damages caused by intoxication of a minor under 18 if the adult knowingly provided alcoholic beverages to a minor or knowingly allowed the minor to be served or provided alcoholic beverages on the premises owned or leased by the adult.
No, I did not actually let him drink, what kind of parent do y'all think I am?? But he was fascinated with the salt and my straw. Gotta start them early you know. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I want more..............

I can't get enough SILKS!! I know its just for the kids, but I love 'em! We did a craft at one of our fabulous O'mama playdates where we dyed white 35" X 35" inch silks in dye and kool aid. They turned out so lovely, thanks Gabriel! I loved them so much I wanted to make more for every baby being born and every child with a birthday coming up! So I ordered more than $260 worth of silks (not all for me.. several other O'mamas got the more bug too) from Dharma Trading Co. I can't say how many I ordered, lets just say it was A LOT!!! My mom ordered tons too. Yesterday the lovely Tanya came over with her beautiful Mia and we dyed for HOURS! The kitchen was a delightful disaster, a mess with vinegar and kool aid and rit dye!! My mom was THE BEST, and kept all the kiddos happy and busy while we dyed like crazy! Some of my favorites are the ones we did at the end, now I want EVEN MORE.... but I will wait, for now. :)

Grandma is MY Super Hero for watching the kiddos!

My mama and the beautiful Mia, blowing bubbles!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I have been puting a lot of attention on breath recently, since I have been focused on my diaphragm. Its said that learning how to breathe well (diaphragmatically) can increase overall health and well being, including lower the acidic pH in the body. A great many things can be improved by better breathing. A classmate of mine just emailed this to me... so true...

An ancient teaching from India points to the truth. There was a conference of all the human faculties, all the senses, which in the Indian tradition are six: the five senses plus the mind.
As at many meetings, they first had to decide who would be in charge. Sight popped up and put in its bid, creating beautiful images that had everyone enraptured. Smell arose and created powerful and haunting aromas that left everyone tingling with anticipation. But Taste could top that, with astounding and delectable flavors that brought such incredible joy. Hearing created exquisite harmonies that brought everyone to tears, and the Body brought on physical sensations that had everyone in ecstasy, while the Mind spun out intellectual theories that took on beauty by the depths of the truths they expressed.Along came the Breath - not even one of the senses !! - and said it wanted to be in charge. All it could offer was the simple in - and - out breath, not terribly impressive in comparison to all the other senses. The other senses got into a tremendous argument about which one of them would be chosen. The Breath, in its disappointment began walking away. The Mental images began to fade, the Tastes lost their savor, the Sounds diminished.........."Wait," the senses called out. "Come back ! You can lead. We need you. " And the breath came back and took its proper place.

I have been breathing well in the croc pose but my kids think its great fun to climb on top of me while I do it, not exactly relaxing, but I love it.
The image above is painted by Melanie Weidner, I found this online and I love it!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Mindful Brain

I am listening to an audio CD that my SIL gave me a couple weeks back...
The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being by Daniel J Siegel.
I have been listening the best I can in the minivan with both kids hollerin' in the back seat, needless to say I am not being very "mindful" of my driving while multi tasking in this fashion. SO, I get about 10 minutes into the CD and he talks about this acronym that he uses all the time to describe staying in the present moment using the "mindful brain". C.O.A.L which stands for: Curiosity, Openness, Acceptance, and Love. My A-HA! lightbulb went off in my head, I do this already! This is what my Biodynamic Craniosacral work is all about. I am creating a space for the clients' body and brain to become mindful. That is all there is to it. When I engage with the client, I am posing an inquiry into what is going on (Curiosity), then I am open to what I find with no judgement in any direction (Openness). When I have a sense about the clients body I accept that its what the body needs to work on, I cannot bring my own adgenda to the session (Acceptance). Finally I appreciate what I feel, the body is doing this to keep itself afloat, that's way cool (Love).
I can't wait to listen to more, it's right up my alley.
I also realized that the author is the same man who wrote Parenting From the Inside Out. I had no idea until I looked up the full title of this book on Amazon just a few minutes ago, go figure.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Your mamas a crocodile!

Yup! I am a crocodile. Or at least I am in love with the crocodile yoga pose. My Craniosacral TA is a yoga guru of sorts and taught me how to do this pose today after our BCST session. I need to work on my diaphramatic breathing so she taught me this... aaaaaahhhhhhh. I *heart* Leyla for teaching me this, and for the wonderful session today!

This is from

Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)
Makarasana is an Indian translation for Crocodile pose. This is the best pose of this series which provides mental peace to the persons of all ages. Here the effect is felt at two points - the neck and the lower back. You can learn this asana as below:
Breathing Pattern

Monday, July 7, 2008

In case your vibrator craps out

Those look awfully similar don't ya think?
You can use the Oral-B "Pulsar" toothbrush as a valid substitute. I bought this fabulous product last week thinking it might help get my teeth extra clean, but instead all I can think about when using it is just how dildo like it is. It doesn't "do" anything but vibrate at a high speed. If you bite on it, to use both of your hands, it will shake your brain silly. It doesn't really do anything for the brushing but makes me blush a bit every time I turn it on. So if you are in a pinch and the nearest xxx store is too far, your local HEB (or Target in my case) carries a fabulous $4 & change pocket rocket disquised as a toothbrush, enjoy.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Busy busy weekend

Leilani and her cousins torturing our dog Ben with a flashlight,
they thought it wa fu-nny! Poor dog.

We had such a BUSY weekend, but I don't have time to blog about everything, isn't that just the way it goes? A little from each day...on the 4th we went to Russell's brother's house for a family BBQ and pool fun with Russell's family, then we drove over 6 blocks to my parents house where we hung out and played with the other cousins, my bro and my folks. Orion wouldn't fall asleep at my BIL house so we put him to bed at Grandma's house, while we watched Shawn light fireworks. Two 4th of July parties, two exhausted kids, two extra tired parents!

My brother Shawn got a huge tattoo on Thursday, total shock, never thought he'd get one. Its actually kinda cool, its the symbol for the Alaskan Native tribe my family has heritage in. Its a raven (looks like a totem, not the scary claws out Poe bird). We belong to the Tlingit (pronounced Klinkit) tribe of Alaska. He has to go back to get it colored in, my sister in law is pissed he spent so much money on body art, priorities, the man has priorities.

Saturday we went to the farmer's market downtown, and I bought a Living Arts Bakery brownie, of course, and today I ate half... our dog ate the other half... he owes me a buck fifty!! Then we went to my neighbor's 7th birthday party, woohoo! Actually, our neighbor's are a blast, I love my block... the people who live around the little park I live on are all so cool.
Funny story.... Leilani is kind of scared of the 3+ year old boy who lives next door, he moves fast and is loud, we'll call him C. C was so sweet to her at the party, Leilani climbed up onto a chair while imitating the big kids, he went over, picked her up and plopped her down in the grass, then he led her by hand over to me to tell me what he'd done. After a few minutes he came back over, gently grabbed her hand and paraded her around the yard. He took her onto the patio, opened the cooler and gave her a bottle of water then walked her down and around. When he came to a shoe in the yard that was in her path, he kicked it out of the way, what a chivalrous little man. I told his dad, "She can't date till she's 16, so don't encourage it. :) " If she still likes C when they are older, I will be in for some trouble. C is who she talks to on her play cell phone all the time. Guess she's not so scared of him after all.

Last but certainly not least... today we had the beautiful and talented Bonnie Berry come take our family photos! Hooray! I have been waiting what seems like forever! Russell's family all lives here in Austin, but we have not had a picture taken of the entire family with all the grand kids. Bonnie was so patient with my inlaws, what a saint. Not to mention how cool she was with Leilani. She is camera shy and was having a difficult time adjusting to the commotion, she did warm up though, whew! I am sure Bonnie got LOTS of great shots, can't wait to see them!

Russell leaves for Ohio again tomorrow morning. :( Didn't he just get back?? Well, at least we'll see him for a week when we all go to Snowmass on the 20th! I miss him already and he hasn't even left yet! My mom leaves Thursday, I will be all alone, sigh. Lots of quality time with the kids! :)

Looking forward to the week... maybe it will be more restful than the weekend.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Too early to think about Christmas?

I caught myself thinking about a gift I'd like to give Leilani for Christmas today, wtf? Christmas? Its July!!! I realized I have no idea how I have managed to go through half of a year and feel like I blinked. This has been the fastest 6 months of my life, no joke. Time sped up the minute Orion was born and I feel like I want to step on the breaks. I looked at some of my favorite photos on our fridge and realized they are almost a year old. We just took those vacations, right? How did the sweet newborn that I gave birth to turn into a crawling/standing/pseudo walking babe overnight? I missed the special moments that I got to have with Leilani. The cuddling for hours, the quiet book reading sessions, one on one play with baskets of colors and textures, all of those have never been an option with two in the house. I feel like they'll be moving out before I know it, and I won't know what happened to my life. I'd like to slow down.... right now. Maybe I need to stay home more often during the week, make family time a priority over errands or even *gasp* play dates (obviously not every day, can't live without the o'mamas). They will only be this small once, and I want to witness every moment (well almost). I'll have to think of more ways of slowing down... I think it will be better for the kids too. They will have a mother who is more present, more mindfully aware of the present.