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“Boga”

Hey there,

I hope that Thursday has been treating you well! If not, the Facebook Gods say that the lunar thingy is happening tomorrow and Mercury is going into retrograde so we’re all screwed… or something.

I was super excited when I got home from work this afternoon to see that my yoga mat finally came in and after Bug went to bed I immediately jumped on YouTube to try it out. We had another stressful day, and a class tonight wasn’t in the cards. Amazon came through for me though, when it showed up at my door.

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At least he’s cleaning his mess this time.

I stumbled across the Boho Beautiful Channel and after watching a few of their beginner videos, I subscribed to the channel in anticipation of the arrival of my new precious.

I picked out this video, hopped on my fancy new mat, and let the good times roll… until the dreaded panic attack.

***Let’s get a little raw here…just be warned if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or suicide that we’re going to touch on those things. They make me who I am, and I’m not ashamed to admit these parts of myself… but I know and respect that it can be a very sensitive topic for others.***

One of the things that I have learned about myself is that I stay pretty tightly wound during the day… I’m learning to try to relax and accept feelings AS I’m feeling them, but it’s hard. My relationship with Liam’s dad was not a healthy one, and as a result the tendencies that I had intensified significantly.

This has led me to live in what my therapist refers to often as “survival mode.” Which, for me, means that I’m completely shut down. I put on my happy face and to anybody who met me you wouldn’t believe the things that the past two years of my life has dumped in my lap. This doesn’t mean that I’m strong; it just means that I was doing my best to survive day-by-day. Not only wasn’t it healthy, but it led me to develop some less then desirable behaviors because I was just trying to manage. Everything came to a head when I checked myself into the emergency room and spent the following 16 hours on suicide watch. It was a terrifying, horrible, and exactly what I needed.

This is what leads me to how my mental state is now. I can deal with the crisis. I calmly waited my son out this morning while he took a stand (sit?) at Maplefields. I delt with the stress that is having a toddler at work. I grocery shopped, came home, did my chores, and put my little guy to bed.

As soon as I allowed myself to relax and sink into that meditative state that yoga provides, however, the dam is breached and I feel ALL THE THINGS ALL AT ONCE.

Enter… Bogan. My savior.

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His usual MO is to follow me around the house, either keeping watch from “his” couch, or the dog bed in my room. It’s not something that he’s been taught, it’s just what he does.

He was a little confused tonight as to why I was lying on this weird smelling purple mat on the floor, but after a thorough inspection of the new mat, he settled onto his dog bed to observe.

As I felt myself starting to struggle, and then eventually give in to the yucky feeling he did what and good ESA would do and helped me out. I was able to pause the video and ride the attack out (with his help, of course) and then pick up where we left off. I can’t do that in a class, and making the deliberate decision to ride it out was terrifying… but also incredibly freeing.

By the end of the video I was back to myself and even got a great benefit from a guided meditation. I feel a lot more centered and truly in control again. I’m ready to work through feeling my feelings as they happen again and excited to try another flow tomorrow.

I think I’m going to start calling them my “Boga” sessions… and do them daily. I used to be terrified to have a panic attack but now that I have my guy, everything seems a lot more manageable.

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I’m excited to keep following this path and working towards being the best Mama that I can be. I’m also excited to keep sharing these moments with you guys. I know I’m not the only one out there, and while others might be nervous to be vocal… I want to speak up so that you know that you aren’t alone. This isn’t any more shameful than a back problem, or bad knees. It’s just different. Different isn’t bad and it’s not something to hide!

Besides… I don’t want my mental hurdles to keep me from enjoying all of the moments with my LB, and I’m so eternally grateful that I have Bo to help get me where I need to go! I’m hoping that any of you that are struggling with this can find the same path, and light, that I have… regardless of how you get there. This is something that I’m going to continue to struggle with my entire life and I’m finally accepting of the fact that that is just who I am. It makes me amazing, and it will make you amazing too!

I encourage anybody who is struggling to reach out. To me, a friend, or the hotline of your choosing. You aren’t alone and you can get through this.

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Peace,

Mama

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Oh, Wednesday…

Hey there,

I hope that you all are having an awesome hump daaaay.

I read somewhere that there is going to be some sort of lunar weirdness happening on Friday that’s going to set everybody straight, and let me tell y’all; I’m ready. Today somehow seemed to be the day of all days, and it ended sort of abruptly with me sitting on my bedroom floor after Liam went to sleep and letting my dog obsessively lick my face (aka, I had a panic attack).

The humidity today started at about 1,000%, but my phone kept telling me to expect rain… which led me to stroll into the gas station for a coffee dressed like a hobo.

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Fashionista…

LB then managed to dump his entire container of juice on himself before we even made it to the car. This is not an unusual event…however the resulting tempertantrum that ended with the docile little creature flinging himself face first into a puddle, was.

We made it through the care of the Hinesburg horses okay, and then moved on to Colchester… which decidedly not go as well.

I. Cannot. Get. My. Kid. To Wear. Clothes.

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It’s like he was raised in a barn or something. I think that he’s cutting his last two canines, and they’ve proven to be a real beast. He spent the majority of our day yesterday attempting to crawl directly into my skin, and followed the same vein for the day at work as well.

Then, his dad was late picking him up, which resulted in the the push back of an appointment and the missing of the yoga class that I soooo desperately needed (I’m looking at you savasana). I figured I could salvage the day with a stroller-less run and a long hot shower before I had to jet back out and pick LB back up.

I walked in the door to Bubbles heaving up a stomach full of dog food onto the ONE carpeted area in the entire house. (Side note: cats have scary good aim.) I’m still not sure WHY she feels the need to eat the dog food. I’m mostly going to assume it’s a control thing. No worries though, right? Just a shorter run!

Bogus and I set out and within the first five minutes of our warm up, he started going nuts.

Now we run mostly on country roads because I live… in the country. This has proven to be a great practice for the dude in learning to focus on the task at hand, since there are so very many distractions. Cows. Horses. Cars. People. Chickens. That one goose that really motivates us well. He’s learned to place himself at my left knee and we just go.

For him to stop dead and try to get between my legs is super out of character. I will admit I probably had my headphones a bit louder than they needed to be, so I didn’t hear the two giant dogs that were running up behind us from an unknown location.

This is the one part of my day that I’m super pleased about. Bogan and I have been working very hard on the “place” command. He is expected to come to my left knee and lie down and he did exactly that when I shouted it at him. Even though the other two dogs were clearly trying to poke at him, he didn’t engage. This allowed me the time to unsnap his leash, tell him to stay, and wrangle to other two ding dogs back to their owner, who, by this time had showed up in the road.

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The goodest of boys.

By the time we got everything sorted out, our run was pretty much pooched (see what I did there) so we turned around and jogged home in time for me to take a 30 second shower and go pick up LB… who was a complete nightmare until I wrestled him into bed an hour and a half past his bedtime.

I then had a complete meltdown (I’m going on day 3 of these teeth and I reallllly needed that yoga class) in which Bogan did his duty as an ESA well and helped to pull me back topside after about 20 minutes.

Now, here we are.

I hope you don’t think that I’m posting about this day to whine, or complain. I’m grateful for my life, however I don’t feel like its fair not to share in the struggles. Life is so much more than the books we read (check out below for my current fave…. or follow me on Goodreads) or the fitness classes we take (or miss) or what we eat for dinner (popcorn, I’m not sorry); I want to bring you ALL of it. Even the messy, not so great bits.

So now, I’m going to curl up in bed with my book, my bestest dog (probably Bubbles) and try to relax enough that sleep won’t come horribly hard tonight. Thankfully, it’s raining and that always helps!

Peace,

Mama

P.S.

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What I’m Reading Wednesday… I went awkwardly live on IG to talk all about it!
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Toddlers and Chores

Hey there!

I hope that your Tuesday has been great so far! Bug and I are going to hit Mount Philo for a hike after nap time, and then to the grocery store!

Growing up with horses, has left me with a deep seated appreciation for the hard work that comes with the privilege that comes with having ANY animal in my life. It’s one of the qualities that I most pride myself in having, and I think really helped set me up for the transition that is having kids. What’s a few more delicate creatures that depend entirely on me for survival?

Now that LB comes to work with me almost every day, I wanted to take advantage of his willingness and give him a few little tasks that were “his” to do. I really feel strongly that he needs to grow up knowing that when help is needed, you jump in and help. I don’t want to raise a kid that just stands around watching; so I get him involved, just like my mentors did for me.

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He has a few specific chores around the farm, and the house, that are “his” and believe it or not, he takes them pretty seriously. Since he’s two (almost..hold me) I don’t task him specifically with anything time sensitive or that involves any creatures that aren’t mine.

Every afternoon that we’re at work, he’s in charge of bringing Jake to his stall and feeding him. Jake knows the routine and takes HIS job of being dragged around by the tiny human very seriously. He’s also gotten savvy to the fact that he can’t be super pushy when he sees that LB is the one wielding the bucket of goodness that is his dinner. I took the time to work with Jake before setting the toddler loose on him, and they are ALWAYS heavily supervised.

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His other job is collecting empty buckets after I feed lunch and dinner grain. I dump the grain and then set the bucket on the floor. LB comes behind me and brings them back to the grain bin. He LOVES to play with buckets, so this was a pretty easy one to capitalize on. He can work on this one pretty independently, and I like that he has something to do that doesn’t require me to be right there. While he’s occupied with collecting the buckets, I can usually get hay tossed and water buckets topped off. Win – win!

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His last “chore” at the barn is helping me brush Jake, which we do every day. He has his own little green brush and Jake has the cleanest knees in the whole barn. Again, this is heavily supervised chore and Jake is steady on the ground. I use this one as an opportunity to work with him on proper ground manners around the horses, which is super important to me.

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His chores at home follow the same vein. He’s in charge of feeding Bogan and Bubbles in the afternoons (we don’t have time in the morning) which he absolutely loves. Lord help you if you touch the dog food container without his immediate consent! Again, I worked with the animals first before allowing him to take this stuff on. Bogan is endlessly patient and not food motivated in the least. Bubbles is… Bubbles.

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All in all, I can see how giving him these tasks is helping to gently mold him into a helpful kid, who understands that being part of the family means pitching in to help with EVERYTHING. Being a single Mom means that the responsibility of raising a helpful, involved kid weighs pretty heavily on my mind. I am endlessly thankful that our lifestyle helps me to do exactly that. I’m also grateful that my animals tolerate it, and are helping me to obtain my parenting goals!

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Do your kiddos have chores around the house? What do you task them with if they do?

Peace,

Mama

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What I’m Reading Wednesday – #2!

Hey there!

Welcome to What I’m Reading Wednesday on… Thursday…whoops!

If you saw my wonderfully awkward Instagram live video, you’ll know that this week was kind of a rough one for me.

If you didn’t subject yourself to that… this week was kind of a rough one for me. Keep reading for the painful(ish) deets.

We’ll start with LB since he chose a really adorable book this week called Duck, Duck, Moose by Dave Horowitz.

The story line is short and sweet, and personally I love how it takes place in New England. Being a born and bred New Englander means that it will always hold a special place in my heart, and this book really brings a lot of the things I love about this place to light. The illustrations are fun, and LB loved pointing out all the different things in the pictures. I ordered him this one off of Amazon to add to our permanent collection!

Moving on to the failure of my reading life this week…

I have, in the last week, gone down the wormhole that is “booktube” (Basically, book centered YouTube videos). This has kicked started my deep seated love for the YA genre… while nothing will EVER replace the literary equivalent of sweatpants that is Harry Potter (Hufflepuff in the house, yo!) I have found comfort in several other series. Thus, my stack this week was mostly YA novels. The first book I picked up was Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I was super excited about this book, because it had all of the ingredients to make it something that was right up my ally. I was so excited when I settled into my chair with it, waiting to get sucked into the fantasy that I was convinced it would paint for me… turns out not so much. I. Just. Couldn’t. Do it. I got about 40 pages in and had to tap out. Maybe it was just my headspace this week, after having to come home from a wedding early because of a rather unsettling panic attack. I just couldn’t seem to connect with it. So, I put it on my TBR list to try again another day! From there, I moved on to a book that I would never in a million years pick up were or not for the glorious channels that make up this wonderful land of booktube. It’s called The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani.Never in a million years would I have grabbed this book off the shelf, however it is SO much fun! It’s has a really neat spin on fairy tales and how they come to be, and while it’s certainly geared towards a bit younger of a group of readers, I’m having an absolute blast with it. It’s pretty quick and easy, my mom used to call them popcorn novels, but I think that’s what I needed this week! All in all, a little bit of a different #wirw; but I will not admit defeat. I’ll pick up Three Dark Crowns again in a few months and hopefully find that it’s the story I hoped it would be! Do you have any favorite booktube channels? Let me know so I can enable my newest addiction! Peace, Mama

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Weekly Spread!

Hey there!

I hope you all are having an awesome Sunday!

I started my day with my horsey crew in Hinesburg, which I always love. Something about the old barn and the quiet old horses that match is just my happy place.

Then I came home and got BoGo all suited up for his first trail run! I decided to do Eagle Mountain in Georgia, because it’s relatively easy and has a lot of different loops and it’s 99% shaded. I wasn’t sure how he was going to do on leash and jogging over the terrain, but he was a super star. We did a total of 4 miles together and I felt awesome at the end.

After our run, we came home and I picked up the house so I could settle down to finish my book for this week. Bogan used that opportunity to take a solid nap. He didn’t even want to share my blueberries, he was so tired!

It didn’t last long, though, because one of my good friends came over to hike the back woods with me, and Bo came along for that as well. I think he prefers the back yard hikes, since he can be off leash the entire time. We ended up getting mildly lost on the way back, and had to do some literal tromping through the brambles before we flew off in different directions; is there really such a thing as a quick hike?

Liam is home from his weekend with his Dad, and we had our usual Sunday night movie before he went off to bed! I don’t allow much TV watching, so this is always a special treat for him. Plus I get to soak up the snuggles after being away from him for a few days!

After an episode of Dino Trux, his bedtime read, and snuggling him into his crib, I was able to get to my Sunday night routine of spicing up my planner for the week!

To say I love paper planning is an understatement, and probably something that deserves its own post. I’d love to add my Sunday night spreads to my blogging rotation, as it’s something that not only gives me a quiet creative outlet, but also really motivates me to stay organized. I find I have so much less anxiety if I can keep control of my schedule. I have my planner open on my desk, and I love knowing what my week is going to be like, updating as things change, and having something fun to look at in the process.

I do my planning in a Recollections vertical style planner that I picked up at Michael’s with a 50% off coupon. I love shopping at Michael’s because I usually have a 40-50% off coupon waiting in the app, and things go on sale very often. It’s a really budget friendly way to have fun with it! There is also a huge network of Etsy shops to help out with things you might want customized!

Believe it or not, there is also a huge community that goes along with planning; while it has its fair share of drama it reminds me a lot of the horsey community in the way everybody bands together to help one another. It is also the most open minded group of people I have ever met. The community will meet you where you’re at, regardless of your mental or physical struggles. It’s not just incredibly empowering but also infinitely comforting.

I hope you guys have a relaxing Sunday night, and are ready to tackle your Monday like the badasses I know you are!

Peace,

Mama

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Swingin’

Hey there!

Happiest of Saturday’s!

LB is with his Dad, and I recently started trying to use these weekends to focus on myself. In my constant up and down battle with depression and anxiety, I’ve learned exactly how important self care has become to my routine (and I’ll probably talk about it a lot). I tend to throw myself into life at 120%, which can get very overwhelming, very quickly… therefore leading to a depressive episode or an anxiety attack. LB needs his Mama to be the best she can!

Therefore, I am doing my best to learn to give myself permission to do what I need during these few days, while LB is happy and safe.

One of the things that I’ve wanted to add to my schedule is yoga but I am decidedly not stretchy and was hesitant to just do a flow I picked at random from a YouTube video. I have seen the consequences that improper stretching has bestowed upon my equine clients! I don’t have a big budget for a fancy gym membership or lots of classes, so I sort of pushed it aside.

When a pop-up aerial yoga class showed up on my Facebook events suggestions for this weekend, however, I immediately sent a text to one of my good friends and asked if she wanted to join. She agreed, and I saved us spots!

Aerial yoga is an awesome variation of floor yoga, using a drape to help support the body through the different poses.

Thanks, Em, for the picture!

This pop up class was done at Sangha Studio here in Burlington, and was for donation. Non- members had a suggested donation of $15, which made it really affordable, and I was happy to set some of my self care budget aside this week to make it happen.

The studio was super easy to find, welcoming, and clean. When I walked in, I immediately seemed to relax and was excited to get started!

Our teacher (aka yoga goddess) Nicole was beyond friendly, quickly showed me into the classroom and I took my place.

After introducing ourselves, we started the class with an easy flow, before beginning to use the drape to move our bodies through a few different different poses to warm us up and get us comfortable to do our first real inversion. Nicole demonstrated the flows for us, and then turned us loose to give it a shot. She walked around the room and gently helped guide us into the appropriate positions, always making sure we felt safe while also pushing us to let go and trust the fabric. As a teacher of sorts myself, she was absolutely fantastic.

We finished the class with the most amazing feeling savasana (which I’m convinced is yogi for “nap”) in our drapes. Nicole really emphasized letting our mind go blank and focusing on nothing. For somebody who struggles daily to quiet her mind, this was a great opportunity for me to work on settling myself and truly relaxing.

Bogo demonstrating a proper savasana.

I honestly didn’t want it to end! Not only did I feel physically challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone (helllllo flipping myself upside down), but I also learned that when I relaxed and let it happen, it was probably the best I’ve felt in a long time. Em and I walked out of the studio completely blissed out, motivated, and plotting ways to hang a drape in the barn so we could do all the aerial yoga!

I’m super excited to go back as soon as I can afford it, and will be renegotiating my self care budget to make it as often as possible… as well as try out some of the other classes that they offer!

I’ll check in tomorrow with a super fun planner spread for next week, but for now I’m heading out to enjoy a wedding! I hope that you all have a blissed out rest of your weekend!

Peace,

Mama

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Crack-a-lackin’

Hey there!

I hope you’re having a happy Thursday! I know both LB and I had a pretty hard time waking up this morning… and I’m pretty sure I could take a nap this afternoon.

I think one of the reasons that we’re both so mellow was that we had our first adjustment with our new chiropractor on Tuesday and we feel soooo good.

I won a free exam in a farmer’s market raffle the other week, and finally had some time to make the appointment. LB came with me because after doing some research on all benefits for children, I asked if we could squeeze him in too. Our chiro, Dr. Jason, was super accommodating and was happy to add LB to the appointment.

Since I had never been to his office (Jake was the only one in the family to be seen fairly regularly by an equine chiro) we started out with a brief exam, he explained his way of cracking, the benefits, and then we took some x-rays. We also talked about my health history and he really honed in on the depression and anxiety piece of things.

The general theory of chiropractic is that everything is controlled by the brain and the nervous system. If you have something that is out of alignment, it can very easily disrupt the signals given to and from your brain. Not only does your skeletal system feel out of whack, but your digestive, mental, and muscular health is weakened too.

After listening closely to my history, we took X-rays and then Dr. Jason adjusted me based on what he saw, felt, and heard.

What was really interesting was that I was incredibly weak on my left side… to the point where my left leg was shorter than my right. Yikes.

After Dr. Jason snapped me, I immediately felt better. He used the term “bobble headed” and I feel that that’s incredibly accurate. Not only have I been sleeping like a baby, but my rides have improved and I’ve also seen a HUGE improvement in my level of daily anxiety.

Totally chill.

Now, because LB is LB, Dr. Jason didn’t do quite as hands on of an exam as he did with me. It’s just not as possible with a toddler… but I was seriously impressed by how willing to go along with the treatment LB was. This is the kid who does alligator style death rolls when you so much as put a sock on him, so the fact that he was just chilling out letting Dr. Jason crack his neck was insanely telling.

I noticed right away that LB was a little more pliable during the rest of our errands, but then he got home and took a 3(!) hour nap. He also managed to push out the last two canine teeth he’s been fighting with these past few weeks.

Maybe these things are coincidental, but I’m going to put my money on them being eased along by the chiro treatment we received, and we will both be going back to continue our wellness visits and continue forward on the path to total alignment!

I highly recommend Dr. Jason and his practice! He is charming, knowledgeable, AND affordable if your insurance doesn’t cover the visits (mine does). If anybody in the area is looking for a good chiro, please email me for his info… I’m happy to pass it along.

Seriously. Who doesn’t want a kid that’s so relaxed he falls asleep with his shoes still on?

Peace,

Mama