Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Steppin' out

I don't want to say that we've seen the end of this annoying winter-spring (science of jinxing), but I think we may have. There is still snow on the ground, and prettily dusting the foothills, but I think (hope?) that's the last of it. Heiko still did some crawling around and rock eating out there yesterday. It was a good old time.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

And then we had a party

We had a birthday party for Heiko on Sunday. I'm happy to report that I was so busy having a good time that I didn't take any photos of the actual event. But here's a little photographic evidence that a party occurred, food was eaten, and a good time was had. Don't you love those quiet moments after a party when you can finally pour a glass of wine and sample some of the food yourself?
We spent several days preparing for this party, making food, baking cakes and tidying up. I was kind of terrified that none of our new friends would show up. But they did! It was neat to see the collection of people we've met here gathered in one place. Colleagues, yoga people, neighbours, playgroup friends and a few fellow Canadians. We also got to meet some new humans, as in new babies, which was pretty fun. I even had a baby snuggle with a seven week old, which took me right back.

At some point I glanced out the window to see a phalanx of strollers lined up at the front porch. Inside, kids from newborn to 11 years wandered around with plastic cups, almond butter sandwiches and Heiko toys, and the bedrooms were used multiple times for nursing and diaper changing (not by me). What has happened to our lives? At some point our guests would have simply brought wine, now they come with colourful plastic toys for our kid.

Speaking of whom, I think the little man had a pretty great time at the party. Of course, I feel that the party was mostly for us, a celebration of having survived this first year. Though I know it is what people are doing these days, I didn't pick a "theme" for his party, since I'm pretty sure the presence of twenty+ adults in his house is probably thrilling enough. And the truth is I hardly saw Heiko at all at the party since he is quite the social butterfly.

In these days after the festivities, Heiko seems a little restless and bored. I guess it was pretty exhilarating to have all those guests, considering that before the party we had not done any entertaining whatsoever. Plus, his one-year one-tooth campaign is soon to come to an end as tooth two makes its appearance. Thus H is on a no-sleep nursing jag, which means we're all tired around here. But it's OK, I'm riding on waves of warm-fuzzy from the weekend. On the topic of warm and fuzzy....

Friday, April 19, 2013

Making cakes!

Today I'm baking cakes for Heiko's b-day party on Sunday. I actually did a test run of the Heiko cake on his actual birthday last week. He liked it. A lot. It was sugar free, although dates sure have a lot of sugar in them, so he was wired (see below). Today I'll make the same cake again, with some high-altitude mods this time, and I'll also try my hand at the mega-rich Mako apple walnut cake for the grown-ups. Although I should mention that these grown-ups also enjoyed the Heiko cake.
Side note: have I mentioned this before? I always thought I'd be one of those people who didn't take pictures of their kid with food all over their faces, or at the very least, I wouldn't share those pictures. What happened to me? Add it to the list of things I thought I'd never do as a parent.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Winter Storm Yogi

So we have snow here. A lot of snow, really it is a lot, maybe closing in on two feet now. Every day I think it will stop snowing, and every day it continues. It is a big mess, and we still don't have a snow shovel! The broom is really no match for this much snow. We've been a little cooped up as a result, gradually eating through the random assortment of foods in the fridge and cupboard. The meals are getting more and more "interesting." Heiko and I are waiting for a break in the snow today to head downtown to replenish the provisions, though it is possible no break will materialize.
I didn't know that we were in the business of naming winter storms, but apparently this one is called Winter Storm Yogi. It seems pretty appropriate. I can hardly believe that there is less than a month left in my yoga school. I kind of want it to continue forever because it is fun, and also because it is scary to emerge into the big wide world, calling yourself a yoga teacher. We'll see.
Meantime, H and I are just going to cozy up and wait this out. Maybe we'll do a few sun salutations. Someone should tell old Yogi that it is springtime! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013


And it happened!
He is one, people! I'm going to let the man speak for himself here, just as in the beginning.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11, 2012

Well, it's happening.
Tomorrow, the little man will be one year old. I can hardly believe this in some ways since it seems like just yesterday that he was a floppy little blob of newborn. In other ways I feel as though Heiko has always been a part of our lives.
Of course at this time I am reflecting on all the ways that Heiko has grown and changed over the past year. But then, he's a baby, growing and changing is what he is supposed to do. What is more remarkable to me right now is that way that I've grown and changed, a transformation that is almost as dramatic. Now I'm going to ramble on about this below, and then I'll probably ramble on some more later, so consider yourself warned.

At this one year mark I've been remembering the day Heiko was born. Honestly I have to stop myself from writing about this every week because I think about so often. But this week, I'm allowing myself to linger here. Birth. What a thing to happen, that moment when one body becomes two bodies.

I guess I'm in an unusual minority of women who have caught their own babies. It is fairly uncommon these days, although historically I suppose it would have been more standard. It certainly wasn't something I had thought about doing before it happened, although I gather that there are people who set out to do it. It is funny, the plans we make about how a birth is going to go. It seems rare that these plans are realized, and certainly what happened that day a year ago was nothing like what I had imagined. Catching Heiko (was he Heiko yet?) was simply instinct. Before then I was always puzzled by the expression "catching the baby," but that is kind what happened. An acquaintance who caught his baby described it being like catching a bag of sausages. Floppy and slippery. OK, that is probably enough.

Today I'm also remembering April 11, 2012, the day before Heiko arrived. It was the last day that P and I had to ourselves, to walk through the park and drink coffees without a stroller or carrier, to do things around the house with some efficiency and eat a quiet meal! I remember thinking on that day that I had slept poorly the previous night, but my idea of a good sleep was about to undergo a massive redefinition. Knowing that I was going into labour,  I thought that I was on the verge of reclaiming my body, to stop sharing so much of myself with another human. That was only partly true of course. As I nursed Heiko to sleep tonight I realized how familiar this routine has become, and for good reason. I've literally nursed him thousands of times.

I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining here, because that is the last thing I want to do. If anything this last year with Heiko has simply made me appreciate most things more. It is as though the quiet moments are quieter, and a sound sleep is sweeter. In fact, just about everything seems to be richer, more vivid, crisper, brighter, funnier.

I could go on and on and on and on. But I'll stop here for today. I'll come back soon with some one-year photos of the H-man. And probably some more reminiscences of this last year.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Asana at altitude

We spent the weekend at a yoga ashram, for realsies! This was part of my yoga training. We were at Shoshoni, which is at an elevation of almost 10,000 feet. It was somewhat breathless, and also breathtaking up there in the mountains outside of Boulder. I'm still reeling a little from the experience. It was at once quite enjoyable but also a big challenge for me, as someone who bristles a little even just saying "namaste". This was a full-on ashram with lots and lots of ritual practices and life-size statues of deities. Actually, some of the statues (called Murtis) were larger than life size, which is a really curious thing to behold.
Anyway,  I was lucky enough to have my two favourite guys with me! Enjoying ashram life and apparently doing math... the mathshram.

In addition to doing a lot of yoga and waking up really really early, we also went on a little walk, which was beautiful. The guys saw six elk, but I wasn't so lucky.

It was a nice weekend. I'm glad to be back to earth though, down here at 5000 feet. I brought some questions home with me: What is a cult? (this is possible to answer, I think). What is yoga, anyway? (harder). What is spirituality? (really hard apparently). True or false: this sentence is false. Finally, I wrote this with my foot? No, that's not a one. Here is Heiko, looking like he is receiving answers.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Front Range love

Recently, we've been grumbling a little, OK a lot, about living in here in Fort Collins, and also about living in America in general. I don't know how much of that has seeped onto this blog, but I want to counter that negativity with a little list of local loves:
- I can run on beautiful trails facing the mountains and it is gorgeous and smells like horses and dry, sweet grass (photos from yesterday)
- It is great to live here if you think tumbleweeds are hilarious, which I do
- I recently discovered the blog of this craft shop in Denver. Check out this awesome post about pioneer fash which I am so so into (not like, so-so, but more like so SO, you know, extra so). I definitely hope to visit this shop next time we're in Denver
- There are lots of other pioneer elements, such as the name of our street (Pioneer Ave!), and the inspiration to make jams, pickles, ferments, sweaters (see Heiko, below), quilts (it grows!) and other handicrafts
- Speaking of Pioneer Ave, I love our cozy little bungalow
- People here really are truly very friendly
- Yoga school is amazeballs and the local gals in my class are pure sweetness
- Food-wise you are in luck if you like bison, coffee and salsa. 
- Weather-wise you are in luck if you like sunshine. Oh the sunshine

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Manufactured in a facility that also processes....

...a lot of peanut butter pretzels.

So it is official. The little man is going to be an epi-pen carrying kind of guy. This morning Heiko had his official allergy test, and it was unambiguously positive for a peanut sensitivity.
Well this is shitty. First and foremost, it is bad for Heiko, in all of the obvious ways. He'll have to carry an epi-pen (actually two epi pens, one is not enough) with him, possibly for the rest of his life. I think this is part of the genesis of the fanny pack, right? I guess it'll contribute to his nerd-cred, but sadly not in the way that I would hope.

Not to make everything about me-me-me-meeee (why I should be concerned about this here I'm not sure... this blog is clearly just a long gaze at my navel), but it is also bad for us, as parents. Putting aside my BIG love of peanuts and peanut products, it is inconvenient to carry those epi-pens (there goes my minimalist "diaper bag", if you can call carrying a ziplock bag of wipes, a single diaper and a single toy (a soup spoon!) a diaper bag). More than that, it is also frightening. We've seldom taken Heiko to restaurants to eat, but that will be a different experience from now on. However once he becomes more independent it is all the more terrifying. But I suppose we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

After his appointment this morning Heiko and I went grocery shopping. I glumly pushed the shopping cart around, visiting the nut butter aisle not once but three times in search of peanut-free nut butters. Sadly none were to be found. The funny (not actually funny though) thing is that Patrick and I joked multiple times in pre-Heiko days about "if we have a child with a peanut allergy....". It just seemed so implausible and inconvenient, given that nuts are such a central part of our diet. And so here we are. The kid is allergic to peanuts. Can I say that I feel this may be karmic repayment for every time I have enjoyed a peanutty snack and then touched a doorknob in a public place? Ugh.

Well, let me end on a note of that other favourite vegetarian protein source: cheese. Heiko may have been manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, but it was also one that processes a whole lotta love (and cheese, true). I suppose this is just the new, nut-free normal.