Monday, September 24, 2012

Three Weeks into the School Year

Three weeks into the new school year and this Monday morning marked the first day Kaio left the house without saying, "I don't want to go to Kindergarten."  He dressed himself before eating breakfast, which surprised me.  He didn't complain as I packed his lunch or suggested he get some socks.  We calmly walked out the front door and played catch with a football at the bus stop.  Then the bus pulled up and I halted him for a kiss before he marched on.

Well I guess that's that.  For now Kindergarten seems to be working for us.  I can say that I'm much more collected and sane having a quieter house, and I already see expressive language improvements with Kaio's English.  He talks up a storm at home, explaining things they do in school.  His pretend play scenarios contain more elaborate story lines.  Seeing how his English is catching up with the other kids, I'm thinking about switching back to Portuguese at home.

Throwing a spider web on the First Day of School!

  Can you tell the current obsession is monster trucks?

Luckily we have a big dug out hole in the front of our yard, where we were going to put a fish pond.  It makes a perfect rally track.

We didn't officially finish.  But, when it rains we get a little lake.  Almost as good as a fish pond.

Speaking of water, we checked out the Yards Park in DC a couple weekends ago.  There's a fun little splash zone.

Since starting K, Kaio's been extra lovey and extra angry.  I'm trying to keep calm and give him loads of hugs, encouragement, and patience.  The anger outbreaks have subdued quite a bit in the last week.  I know he's undergoing lots of new emotions with the kids and teachers.

He's so innovative.  He saw me wrapping some food in aluminum paper and spontaneously came up with the idea to use the foil as a mold for cars.  Now his monster trucks can get some Real Crushing Action!

Kaio surprised me by busting into a sun salutation set during a kid friendly yoga class.  Mom friends and I have been meeting weekly to practice yoga.  I lead an adult yoga class while the kids play in the park around us, and sometimes they decide to participate.  We don't push them to do anything really, the only rule is they need to stay in our view.  I only brought Kaio once because I knew he'd try to distract me from queuing the class, which he did.  But, for a minute he joined in and followed along perfectly.  I had no idea he could follow directions so well!

Then he had to show off and attempted a headstand.

Ohm!  He likes to ohm.

Meanwhile, Nala started a new preschool too.  She only attends two mornings a week.

A rainy first day, she seemed ok.  I love the school, which is a Coop, so I work in the classroom one week a month.  On the first day she walked right in without looking back.  Happy to play with clay.

We've been trying to keep busy with Kaio gone.  A major source of energy and commotion has vacated the house.  We've been mostly doing boring stuff like cleaning, cooking, planting, and drawing.  But we're a pair and very good together.  She even brought me breakfast in bed on Sunday.  She made it herself from things she could manage: a cold hotdog with a tea cup of mustard to dip, and a couple pieces of cereal on a plate next to a drop of cottage cheese.  It made little sense, but was so sweet!

It's totally amazing to me how peaceful Nala can be.

Then there was this one day when she was really motivated to make a lemonade stand.  She did everything herself: squeezed the lemons, mixed the ice and sugar.  She grabbed paper and made two signs.  One colored red (telling cars to stop), and the other colored yellow (telling cars to drink lemonade).  Then she found long sticks to tape them to and hold them.  As much as I wanted to sit inside and read a book, I knew I needed to get wrapped up in the tornado and try to support her dream.

So I let her stand on the side of the road in a dirty towel dress selling lemonade.  I'm glad some of our neighbors came by and that seemed to make up for all the confused cars that passed without stopping.  They liked the lemonade.  Nala must be an entrepreneur like my mom. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Yoga Jammin

I know how to golf.  Like for real.
My dad's a golfer and I grew up hanging out on the green with him during vacations.  I'd play in the sand traps, putt on the green, and eventually when I got older even drive the golf cart around and play the full 18 holes.

I stopped playing golf pretty much as soon as I turned old enough to not tag along with my dad places.
I don't miss it at all, I never found it exciting.  Golf's not really exciting.  I mean, driving the golf cart around was pretty awesome.  But hitting and chasing a ball from one spot to another, just doesn't really tickle me.

But, what was cool was how my dad shared his passions.  He brought me along to watch and participate, showing that kids and adult fun can exist in the same realm, and that I could be apart of his present identity.  He showed me what fun looked like to him, and this also forced me to see adults as individuals and not just as people out there to serve, feed and fertilize children.

As boring as golf seemed, I don't remember hating it.  I remember feeling engaged and a part of something vastly green and adult.  And peaceful on many levels.

And I'd like to share things like that with my kids.

Which is why I've been looking for kid friendly yoga events.  It's not simple, cause typically yoga practice is held in studios, where people need to be silent, so they can focus internally and hear their breath.  Just try to focus with a kid in the room, "mom, I need to go potty.  mom, i'm hungry.  mom, what's that pose called?"
So immediately after finding out about this kid-friendly yoga and music festival in Southern VA called Floyd Yoga Jam, I bat the eyelashes at Mari to go.  Surprisingly, he didn't take much convincing.  He seemed pretty stoked with the idea.

And when Friday morning departure time came, I heard him playing some weird new age Tibenan classical meditation karma music as he packed up the car.

Kaio and Nala came along because I sold it as a 'Yoga Festival' and they always have fun at festivals. But Kaio kept insisting their would be monster trucks there.  Not sure why, but his imagination does wish almost any truck on the road into a monster truck.  When I told him the name of the festival was Yoga Jam, well that got him really upset.  He thought we were taunting him about Monster Jam.

Although it seemed like a tough first day for them (they left Saturday morning to drive around town) after that they seemed to relax into the pace and freedom.  The kids loved staying up late dancing at the concerts.  They didn't really do any yoga.  Nala went to one class but sat on the mat the whole time playing with grass.  I loved seeing that they could exist for a couple days without TV or computers.

Kaio loved slacklining.  I'm thinking of setting something up in the back yard.

I liked slacking too.  The areal yoga was pretty impressive as well.

During Lotus Flow class a butterfly fluttered in and landed on this lady.  The butterfly stayed on her for a long set of poses.

The teacher took a moment to tell a story about butterflies and how the struggle from the cocoon gives them the strength to fly.  I loved this class.  Actually it was the funnest class I've ever taken, taught by Dana Trixie Flynn of Laughing Lotus, NYC.

Kaio playing with the other future yogis and areal yogis.  He only fell on his head once.  Nala wanted to climb to the top of this thing and one of the older girls said to her, "Aren't you scared?"  At that point she realized she should probably be scared and decided to climb down.

Playing in the crazy dome hammock contraption.  I'd also like to build one of these in my backyard.  Maybe then the kids wouldn't want to spend so much time watching tv.

Yay.  I love camping, music, yoga.  So much fun!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tree Climbing Butterfly Princess

She came fluttering out of her room, first thing in the morning.  No words, a flash of beauty gracing the new day.  

She went and grabbed the purple pillow to rest her feet on, "I'm a princess." She said.

Mari hopes the pole dancing stops here.

The tree climbing, however, is fine.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rocking the Dream

Yoga on the paddle board is like sex on a waterbed.  Holy #@%$ that felt good.

We spontaneously bought the new toy after seeing a surfing paddleboarder at the Outer Banks.

We had stopped on the side of cape Hatteras National Park, climbed a path over some dunes, and found a beautiful spot to hang out by the beach.

A troop of kids and adults had also settled down to chill.  There must have been a dozen boys ages 3-14, each with a body board or surf board.  At first I thought they were a surf camp.  But there was no lesson going on, the boys were just running around, skidding on the tide pools, trying to figure out how to stay on the boards.

A Wednesday morning and the families were all local to OBX.  Don't they have jobs? I wondered, but didn't ask.

I realized how much I love the idea of surfing.

The reward comes from the feeling.  It's a personal one, based on what you like and what you enjoy.  No one can tell you that you're doing it right or you're doing it wrong.  You know if you are riding the wave, because it feels good to you.  As a mom, it's so freeing for me, to not have to direct Kaio in what is the proper way to experience something.  When he catches a wave, he knows it.  The reward comes entirly separate from something I say, from any kind of 'good job.'

The action is in touch with nature, 100% dependent on nature.  A conversation with the tide; it speaks and you engage.  The pulse and breath of the earth merge with your actions.  You are completely engulfed and embraced by the world through the wet water around you, the sun beating above, the wind blowing your hair, and the moon's magnetic mass pulling the breaking waves.  There is never ending sensation of the elements of nature and the cosmos, how they merge in the dance with the ocean.

Joy coming from nothing but a board of wood or fiberglass gliding on water.  The kids were completely entertained.  The adults surfing themselves or fishing.  No one was eating, whining, crying.  They had perfect bodies sculpted and toned in the most perfect manner imaginable.  They looked like how God intended a healthy human body to look.

And I realized how little you need when you have fun playing outside.

On the way out of town we stopped at a brewery running off of windmill power and finally succeeded in our quest for Hatteras style Clam Chowder.  

Entertained by a girl who wore her bathing suit for 3 days straight, and loves to dip cantaloupe in ketchup.

A few strong micro brew beers down, I was lobbying to start a nautical journey.

Then it only seemed appropriate to get a kid kayak too.

Now we're just one sailboat away from living the dream.


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