Saturday, January 17

new digs*

the boho family, photo by tara whitney

Dearest ladies and gents,
It was indeed time for a transformation, so my blog has moved to the following new digs...

Chronicles of Me ~ Part Deux

Do add this new address to your bookmarks or blog lists:

I'm so thrilled about this new adventure.
Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 16

our boho kitties rock!

elvis (left) and amber (right) protecting while cedar naps

amber (left) and elvis (right) discussing cedar's dance moves

We had no idea how our kitties would respond to Cedar. They have been our children for years and to introduce them to a new baby brought up concerns for us in a big way. Our kitties slept with us, cuddled on the couch, followed us wherever we went and so I wondered if all of this would stop, if they would run away or just ignore Cedar and be annoyed by his cries.

What ended up happening was so beautiful. At first Amber was the one to be nurturing right away. She went up and sniffed him and laid near him on that first night bringing him home. With the bassinet right up against my side of the bed, she would lay near it and constantly look in to see if he was alright. Elvis reacted differently. At first he hissed and ran away from him. It was as if he thought Cedar was another cat there to steal his food and cushy blankets all around the house. We noticed Elvis looked annoyed and frustrated with us. I was so worried he'd just take off one day, so we tried to give our kitties as much attention as possible. Then, about a week after Cedar was home, Elvis started laying a bit closer to him each night. He would walk up and smell him rather than turn away when we brought Cedar into a room. Most recently, he lays near Cedar and places his paw somewhere on his body and purrs.

The cutest thing is that both Amber and Elvis are really protective of Cedar now. Each of them grab a side to snuggle on and they look at one another as if they are discussing what the babysitting plan is (I captured it in these two photos).

My favorite part of the week is during the weekend when we all try to stay in bed as long as possible and all four of us are cuddled near one another. We call it the "family bed" and I must say, I am totally blissed out on those mornings.

Cedar loves to watch them but I have no idea if he has registered the difference between a human and a cat as of yet. One time when Amber was snuggled near him, he squealed when looking at her up close and flailed his arms to where he whacked her in the face. I thought she was going to jump off of the couch but rather, she just turned her body in the other direction and was so very patient with him.

I am curious what your experiences have been with your children and pets, or other peoples children and your pets, or other peoples pets and your children or if you just want to talk about your pets. ; ) Do share.

Wednesday, January 14

loved baby*

cedar's bum, canon 50d

I know I've been a wee bit quiet.

There's been a shift here in our home. Since I am still truly in it, I am struggling to find the words to express what is happening but I am sure once I allow more time for reflection, the words will come. Right now I don't want to try to make sense of it. It just feels like some fears are subsiding. Blame and shame are not getting much attention. Expectations are hushing. My heart is opening wider. My love is growing deeper. I am lost in him. Totally utterly lost in how I want to meet his every need and rock him to sleep and talk to him about my life and dream with him and sit still with him and listen to music and dance with him.

I am marinating in this. I know I have always had a big heart but I didn't realize how much of it was reserved for this little guy.

Such a loved baby.

Saturday, January 10


cedar, this morning at 7 weeks, canon 50d

dear sweet son,
you teach me to sit in stillness and watch the sunrise.


Friday, January 9

squam art workshops 2009*

christine, swirly and kelly rae at squam 2008, canon digital rebel xti

Last year, I shared the life altering experience I had at Squam both here and here. Since, I am still evolving and growing and moving forward with so much of what I learned about myself, my dear friends and the new lasting friendships I made there. One of my dearies called it a "Soul Picnic" and how perfect of a description that is.

Well, it's happening again folks and this time TWICE...both in June and September of 2009. I am hoping to somehow make it work that I can be there in the Fall because I cannot for the life of me imagine missing out on the absolute juicy goodness that is this magical place. Not only is it peaceful and gorgeous and nature at its best...but to be surrounded by such soulful, loving, accepting, unique women (and a few brave men) in one place just rocked my world.

My dear friend, Elizabeth...the Queen of and Creator of Squam, wrote this letter on the Squam blog and I wanted to share it here with hopes that you too will be inspired to partake in the next Soul Picnic of a Lifetime if you're able::

{preview of documentary "Who Does She Think She Is?"}

Okay, trumpets please, the first big announcement of 2009 is that we will be showing the film "Who Does She Think She Is?" at both the June and September sessions.


But wait, it gets better. Director Pamela Tanner Boll will also be on hand at the September screening to discuss the film and to answer your questions.
And, she will be with us for the whole weekend and taking classes, too.

If you are not familiar with the film, it was made by the same producing team that won an Academy Award for Born Into Brothels.

"Who Does She Think She Is?" examines some of the most pressing issues of our time: parenting and work, partnering and independence, economics and art. The film follows five women artists as they navigate the economic, psychological, and spiritual challenges of making work outside the elite art world.

Here's what some of our country's leading newspapers had to say about the film:

from The New York Times: "Calmly directed by Pamela Tanner Boll, "Who Does She Think She Is?" is about answering the call to self-expression in the face of biological imperatives and cultural programming." (October 17, 2008)

from The New York Times: "The new film, "Who Does She Think She Is?," provides a nuanced look at the sacrifices and challenges facing female artists who become mothers." (October 14, 2008)

from The Wall Street Journal: "Why are there so many women in art school, but a tiny percentage represented in major galleries? Why does a woman have to choose between having a family and practicing her art? What are some of the hurdles that women face in the art world? These are a few of the questions filmmaker Pamela Tanner Boll tackles in her new documentary, "Who Does She Think She Is?" (October 17, 2008)

Needless to say, I am chuffed and thrilled and honored that this will be available to you at SAW this year.

Bisous, Elizabeth

Wednesday, January 7


cedar, canon 50d

I love how when I am open about the messy bits in my life,
that healing weaves its way into the story.

Today was gentler than yesterday.
It was more quiet and soothing. Him and me. Me and him.
We gazed at one another while I told him stories.
Not in a baby voice, but my me voice...
And I shared some of the journey that brought me to him.
He listened intently.
We danced in my studio to Libera until he fell asleep nestled in my neck.
Then we laid together just breathing.

I read him your stories...
the ones where you all came and circled us, told us we weren't alone,
wrapped your arms around me and my babe and, held our hands and nodded with understanding. Oh how this transformed our spirits and made sense of it all.

Tonight we had a moment that I needed but didn't realize I needed.
It was quiet. Boho Boy was asleep. Me and Cedar alone on the couch.
Him on my chest. He wiggled his face up towards mine, sleeping...like a cherub.
My heart felt so full of love that it hurt...but a good hurt.

And it all came flowing into me as I allowed myself to truly see him.
Then there was something I couldn't see but feel...
Like the wind.

"You're the one I've been waiting for...".

Tuesday, January 6

rookie mom*

I remember so, so many times over the past four years of my fertility journey I would gather up all the strength I had to get out of the house and bring myself to the beach for a healing walk by the shore. Then, as I walked, I would pass adorable family after adorable family and it would break my heart. I would see cute mothers riding their cute strollers with their cute babies and as I would look away to watch the waves crash instead, I would think..."some day that will be me." It's amazing how much that longing consumes you when you are given the idea that you may not ever experience it.

So many tears streamed down my face behind my sunglasses on those days. So many times I would look down and just watch my feet walking forward in the sand so that I wouldn't have to see those moms and feel that heartache. I never once thought that any of those mothers may be having their own world of struggles. I never once thought that this day for them is their one day they are able to get out of the house for some fresh air and that walking in the sand is their sanity, their place of reconnecting with themselves.

I wish I would have known then, what I know now. That way, I might have looked a bit deeper into their story and had seen many mothers who perhaps looked at me with longing..."there she is all by herself on the beach, only responsible for her, so much free time, free time...how I long for what she has." I think it would have helped me to know that during those walks on the beach, I too was holding something so valuable but I was often too depleted and saddened to see it.

Today I took Cedar to the beach alone for the first time. It was early in the morning and my favorite beach is about a 25 minute drive away. I had been looking forward to this moment for years. It was my turn, right? My day on the beach with babe dream coming true.

Well, he cried a lot of the way because there was one burp that decided to wedge itself into his gut about 10 minutes after I put him in the car seat. Damn...I thought I got all of those burps out before we left! So, by the time we finally arrived, he was angry and not at all his Zen self able to appreciate fresh ocean air. I thought for sure once I got him in the stroller and walking, he would doze off into baby-la land. Well, the dirt road down to the beach is pretty intense. Its steep, with a lot of rocks and bumps. How would I know this because I've never needed to take it? I always took the stairs. So, as I took the stroller down the road, holding onto dear life so that it didn't tip over, he totally starts wailing. Wait! I never saw babies cry on their way down to the beach! I thought for sure once we get to the sand, he'd stop...but he didn't, so I decided he must need the rest of his bottle. There was an issue. The sand was damp and wet...you know, like winter beach sand but whatever. I laid my blanket out, plopped myself down and held him to feed him. Oh my...the sun was in his eyes and I didn't have a sun hat for him. So, I am sitting in the middle of the beach, on a blanket with a newborn and my bum getting soaking wet and all these people walking by are looking at me like I am a total rookie and haven't a clue what I am doing. He was wet and cold and annoyed and I was ill prepared. I felt myself on the verge of just bursting into self pity tears but then I took a deep breath and showed him the waves while he finished his happy juice. I propped him up on my chest so that I could put my other hand over his face to block the sun and we finally had our moment of Zen.

After this, I walked him for a bit (see video above) but then quickly got into the car so I could change him (who knew that strollers make you spit up all over everything) and then head home. I thought I was okay but then half way home I just burst into tears. I tried to figure out where all the emotion came from and then I remembered. All those times I walked on the beach longing for what I have now and here I was, having that dream moment and in all honesty, it was totally awkward and uncomfy and I just wanted to go back home. I realized that I had a certain expectation of how it was supposed to be and was trying to live up to that expectation today but failed miserably.

The drive home was a cycle of remembering the pain of my longing for so many years, then feeling guilty for being annoyed by all that transpired and then forgiving myself for having very normal feelings that all new mothers have. I'm trying to find my groove, my center, my Zen, my ability to let go...and I know that will take time.

I cried more today on the couch and I am just letting myself cry. This is a lot. Going from (in)fertility to adoption and the myriad of emotions in between...its just a lot to take in and work through. Thank goodness Cedar-love has the patience of a saint and that we are head over heals for one another. We'll figure it out together.

I'd love to hear stories like I just shared with you. A day when you took your babe out and it was just a comedy of errors. It would help me to not feel so isolated and alone with it all.

Sunday, January 4

total baby nerdness*

My sisters, nieces and I have this "Voice" we use to talk to our pets and when we all get together, we exaggerated it with one another. Sometimes, when we're talking on the phone and one person is having a rough time, one of us will talk to the other in this Voice and it always ends in laughter. Total medicine for the girls in my family...and the boys just roll their eyes. I think its because they're jealous since they just can't get the Voice right.

So, I made this video of Cedar right after he woke up and had his bottle. It is for his Auntie Darlene because, well...she is the creator of the Voice and I am using it here to talk to him.

I must forewarn you that if you're not in the mood for total baby nerdness, then...you might want to skip the video. ; )

Friday, January 2

eight belles*

boho baby cedar & owlie, canon 50d

Owlie, a gift from true and lovely Amy, was the first stuffed friend that Cedar reached for when I placed it near him. I think Owlie carried with him the soft, sensitive, thoughtful, deep, oh so deep of a soul that Amy herself embodies. These are qualities I feel pouring forth our son and it doesn't surprise me that he was attracted to her spirit so easily.

I also wanted to share Amy's music with you. Dim the lights, light some candles, close your eyes and take deep breaths as her melodies swim through your soul. She transforms the heart with her unique voice and lyrics. They will find you either laying in the sand or grass looking up at the stars, sitting in a cafe in Paris people watching and spilling in your journal...so many places she takes me in my mind. I cry. I laugh. I revel. I dig deep. I dream. I long. I breathe deep. I question. I soar. I accept. I let go. I embrace. I sit still. I feel.

And she has become a dear soul friend in my life. One of those friends you feel you've known in another life and you connect in this one with chills and an honor already nurtured and new memories to unfold. Effortless and true.

Eight Belles...do open your heart and listen. Your life will change...and it will be good.

{album photo by jesh de rox}

Wednesday, December 31

to a new year of crushes...

cedar, five weeks ~ canon 50D

each step of our journey has led us to this beautiful boy.
we are totally crushed out in love.
dweebed out new parents, kickin' it on the couch in our pj's tonight.
totally reveling in cedar~ness.

we wish you a new year of crushes and puddiness and adventures galore and risk taking and open arms and gut hurting laughter. a year of totally believing in who you are and loving every juicy morsel of you and showing up to all of us so we can revel in your gifts.

tell me what your gift is that you know down deep you have and that you feel ready to give life this year.

start here.

Tuesday, December 30

shell shocked ~ {updated}

shell shocked boho, self portrait

I was going through my plethora of photos from Christmas and when I stumbled upon this one, I laughed out loud. The concept of laughing out loud when you're alone has always been curious to me...because it must be REALLY funny or trigger something deep for you to laugh when no one can share it with you.

The day I took this photo I was feeling all mixed up inside...and it shows. Not only in the dark circles under my eyes (hello...no touch ups here) but also in the expression on my face. I thought I gave a slight smile when I took this but in reality, I just couldn't find the energy to even smile for myself in the mirror.

On this day I was consumed with guilt because I was struggling with how I felt the night before. Boho baby has had some digestion issues (that I think this week we have finally figured out) and it has kept us up at night, all night. I know some people that can be woken up out of a deep slumber and be fully conscious (and dare I say joyous) and I am learning that I am not one of them. Although, my husband comes from this planet (which worsens the guilt for me that I don't). I am a total day person. Even without much sleep, once I wake up, I am AWAKE and energetic and present but I have never been a night person (ask my night owl sisters and mother that can chat until 3am when we get together and I head to bed at 11am). So my struggle about this topic is that when I hear him crying at night, I want to hand him to my husband, so I can crawl under the covers and get my sleep. I didn't expect to feel this way. I thought since we struggled for over four years to conceive that once I finally had our dream baby, I'd leap around the house joyful at 3am in the morning to give him a breast or bottle (okay, that's pushing it but youknowwhatimean). I also never thought I'd be brave enough to write about this struggle. Because I know that beautiful souls out there that read my blog read it because they resonate with our journey to conceive...and are longing for a baby and the LAST thing they want to hear is that I am struggling to wake up in the middle of the night to feed mine. I know this because I have read those posts from friends or strangers in the past and it made me want to strangle them (well, not really but almost).

I guess I am sharing this because I always want to keep it real and I am also trusting that my readers know my heart enough to know how very much I love my baby and appreciate every morsel of him and that my struggle has nothing to do with that.

In sharing all this, I want to be sensitive to my beautiful soul readers that are still on that roller coaster journey to conceive the way I needed people in my life to be sensitive to me. I came home from adopting our child just assuming (or more so hoping) that since I didn't carry him in my womb for nine months and birth him, that it would be easier for you to read stories and see photos of my baby. I was hoping the fact that I adopted him would give you hope and not cause you pain and longing like it would if I was pregnant with him.

But the night before this photo above was taken, another thing happened that shook me back into a space that I thought had left me five weeks ago before Cedar came into my life. And this space has created an awareness of those tender souls reading my blog and how they are effected by what I write...even though he is adopted.

I was curled up on our hotel room bed on Christmas night. Cedar was sleeping near me. Boho boy and Boho brother were at the table chatting. I opened up my laptop and decided I needed some comic relief and when I need that, I go to Dooce...our founding Mother of blogging. I scrolled down her page to see a photo of her with her shirt tucked above her belly with a teeny tiny bulge (and I mean teeny tiny) with the subject "14 weeks". My first initial reaction was joy because I know she had openly written about her miscarriage last year and I was thrilled that she felt confident and safe to share this current pregnancy with her readers. But that annoying feeling of something punching me in the gut followed suit. That familiar, deep center-shaking feeling that I will most likely never know what it feels like to have a little being grow inside of me. It totally freaked me out that I felt this way. I was shell shocked. I had felt healed from this since Cedar came into my life. What the heck?

It was then that I looked over at Cedar, touched him, hoping that his soft skinned, baby smelling, yummy self would heal the wound that just surfaced but what happened was that I ached because I never felt him grow in my womb and I have NEVER wanted to admit that. But here I am...admitting it. Sometimes when I stare at him, that reality is hard and it comes with a myriad of complex emotions. For the most part, it quickly fades when I think about how outrageously miraculous our story to finding him is and how grateful we are to K and T for gifting us with our son.

But this night the punch in my gut didn't fade and I knew that meant I just needed to get it out, let it flow, call a friend and cry, so that I could move through it. Boho boy came over to me, noticing I looked a bit shaken and when I told him about Dooce, he was gentle and loving and not surprised. He gets it. He feels it too. Thankfully, a bit later the boys had to run a few errands, so I could lay on the bed and move through these not so pretty emotions with no one watching.

A few hours later, I felt lighter and more forgiving of self and more in love with my son than ever. So, I want to say to my readers that still long for their baby while they read my sharings of new motherhood, that I will never forget the longing you feel. I may be healing and eventually healed but I will never forget what you are feeling and I promise to always live my life sensitive to how my story touches others going through the same journey. I am sure when Dooce wrote that post, she too was thinking of people like me that would stumble upon her words and how it would bring to surface and trigger emotions.

In regards to night feedings I mentioned earlier, last night I sat in bed with my husband and admitted to him for the first time that I really struggle with them. I got all negative head spacey on him and he just listened. Once again, I was consumed with guilt for feeling these things because of my journey to conceive. Although, rather than push them down, I let it out and then laid my head on the pillow feeling like a big jerk but also feeling that release.

Then something interesting happened. The next time Cedar woke up in the wee hours of the morning, I felt more patience. Boho boy reached to get him and I did it instead. I felt more awake and better. I felt better! Perhaps part of that had to do with me beginning to forgive myself and work through the shame.

All this to say that when I speak my truth and let it out, it always helps to shift things. To keep it real. To be honest about motherhood, even though they may not be the prettiest thoughts or feelings. I plan to do that on my blog because we all know its not perfect, these paths to our babies. Whether on a journey to conceive them or a journey to know, love and understand them, it can be hard...but hard is okay...hard teaches us to be better, wiser, more patient beings.

So, watch as I continue to be shell shocked A LOT and figure my way around this maze.

{i am grateful for your comments, sweet and tender souls. you have enveloped me in acceptance and understanding, without judgment. your stories have given me strength and more patience and energy and appreciation for this gift of motherhood i have been miraculously given...both the challenging and the awesome bits. please keep sharing your own struggles here. this is a safe space. a cushy space of truth and empowerment and a circle of empathy. thank you...i will continue to come to your comments for this reminder. none of us are alone. the tribe of motherhood is a deep and wide one full of kindred spirits. }

Monday, December 29

protected by your wings...

boho brother (jon-erik) & cedar on christmas day, canon 50D

Dear Uncle Jon-Erik ~

Meeting you was such a unique experience for me. It was like you came into my life swinging on a rope from trees with your oiled leather hat on just like Indiana Jones. I remember the first time you held me after a long day of traveling from Canada, you sunk into the rocking chair and just tuned everything out and sat with me for a few hours. You kept calling me a "beautiful, fragile eggshell soul" that you wanted to envelope with your wings and protect like a bird. I loved how each time you said this, you made your arms look like wings hovering over me. It was then that I knew you were different and cool and spiritual and had a lot to teach me. I felt so safe with you that I instantly fell asleep in your arms and you fell asleep too and my mommy just couldn't stop taking photos (she thinks I don't notice these things when my eyes are closed).

I thought it was cool that you would go on long walks for hours on the beach with your leather hat, camera strapped around you and a bag to collect sea treasures. You'd bring them back and put them on the floor in a cool design. You'd tell us stories of your travels and how you were the only one with a tshirt and sandals while everyone else was bundled up. Something about it being obvious you were Canadian. It must be cold where you live because you talked about you needing to wear like four sweaters and coats and even your dog has winter clothes. I guess that's why you were outside when no one else was over here.

I remember every morning when you'd come into our bedroom and see that my mommy and daddy had been up all night with me you would say "you guys are on the red eye train to love" with this huge smile on your face and they would look at you like they wanted to eat you for breakfast. You never took the night shift because you must like your sleep. I don't think my mommy and daddy like to sleep because they stay up with me.

I thought you talked really cool. I liked hearing you say phrases like "cosmic junction" and "feminine energy". I think that means you're a hippy. I want to be one when I grow up. I heard that if you have a Volkswagen bus that you're in the hippy club. We have a bus, so does that mean I'm a member? Perhaps if I start referring to the fact that my mommy gives me a bottle when I scream for it as a cosmic junction, eh? See...I threw in something Canadian just for you.

I'll never forget the look on my mommy's face when you showed her the transformation you made on our veranda as a gift to us. How you made it more spacious and redesigned the plants and flowers in each pot and hung candles and lanterns and prayer flags. Now it looks like a cool Zen garden with each plant covered in all the rocks you collected. I heard her say she will now take me out there in the mornings for breakfast and that they want to get a baby hammock to hang. Dude...that so rocks. Thanks, man.

But wait...there's more. During the photo shoot of us that my mommy did, I was naked and I peed all over you and rather than get grossed out, you cupped my pee in your hand and wiped it on your jeans without flinching. That's some serious manly coolness. Lets do it again but this time I'll poop and we can use it to paint stripes on our faces like the Indians.

So, you're gone and I already miss you, your thick Canadian accent, your stories about living in the woods and heating your food over the wooden stove. I miss hearing your passion for art and all things creative and earthy. I have a feeling when I come visit you, we'll have many adventures in the forest and lakes...just like my daddy had when he grew up.

Until then, I will feel protected by your wings.

I love you, dude.


Saturday, December 27

fuzzy head shot*

boho brother (jon-erik) and cedar, canon 50D

One of my readers asked for a head shot (sans hat) of our little schmook. Well, you can't get any more of a head shot than this. Hello cute fuzz.

Boho Brother has been in town since the 22nd and will stay here until the 29th. Since I couldn't be with my family this year (per Pediatrician's instructions to stay away from airplanes and crowds...and believe me, my enormous Portuguese family is a CROWD), the four of us went 20 minutes down the road and stayed in a hotel room overlooking the sea.

It was beautiful, peaceful, romantic. We brought a tree, strung lights, had a fire inside and outside each night. It was a great distraction from not being with my family. I didn't allow myself to break down about that until the drive home. Then it was me and a car full of stuff, following my husband and Jon-Erik in their car, totally boo-hooing it. Both Cedar and I crying, actually. My second mommy meltdown. It was so hard not to be able to comfort him while he cried in the back seat. I almost got side swiped by a car and that was it. Tears flowed and all the faces of my sweet parents, sisters, nieces, nephews and cousins came into my mind. All of them singing Christmas carols and us not there. Me worried that I almost got in an accident. It was pretty pathetic but good to release the emotions, nonetheless. It was all better when I arrived home and my husband came over to my car and held me tight to his chest. Then slightly more better when I was able to take Cedar out of the car seat, rock him and smell his head. Then even MORE better when Jon-Erik gave me a foot rub on the couch when we got settled in.

You know...for a while I was feeling a bit annoyed that it was me and a bunch of testosterone over Christmas. But you know...it's kind of nice when they treat you like a goddess. I have a friend that has four boys and when I asked her if she missed having more estrogen in the house, she said..."It's nice being the princess". I got a taste of that this holiday.

Last year we were so totally sad and depleted because it was the fourth Christmas without having a baby and this year Boho Boy and I continue to remind one another that we have our dream. Our Holiday bean that has been not only healing for us but everyone who spends time with him.

Just see photo above.

Monday, December 22

baby for change!

cedar in obama onesie, one month, canon 50d

Happy one month birthday, little schmook.

Sunday, December 21

photo session with tara whitney*

{click on photos for larger view}

Last Sunday we were photographed by a dear friend of mine, Tara Whitney.

She sent us the online gallery today and as we looked through each magical photo, tears welled and my heart swooned and my breath was taken away. I told her that seeing each of these photos...the three of us standing, cuddling, embracing, truly solidified for me that we are a family.

You know, there are a myriad of emotions that come with adoption. For me, so much of it has felt surreal and dream~like that I still wonder if it has really happened. I wonder if he knows we are his parents. I wonder if this joy will stop as I am not that used to it. I was used to longing for him when he wasn't here. I still wake up in the middle of the night and for a split second I wonder if I am waking from a dream that we have a son.

But watching our story unfold through Tara's photography just confirmed it all. We have a son. We are a family. We are a "three"...and oh how she captured us so perfectly in and near our home. How she captured our connection, our whimsy, our love.

Tara...you wrapped up our hearts in a cushy package of beauty that day and now, now...we have it forever. Thank you.

Here are some of my favorites...

{per the request of some commenters...Cedar's clothes are from LovedBaby, his red hat from Everyday Beautiful and leaf elf hat from Elephant Sauce...yummy gifts from friends who know my taste so well.}

Saturday, December 20

a note to Omi from Cedar...

omi & cedar, canon 50D (click for larger view)

Dear Omi ~
I like the sound of Grandma in German. Ooooomie.

I'm so happy that I finally got to meet you after a few weeks of making you videos and sending you emails and text messages (from my baby cell phone). I think you have the prettiest blue eyes I've ever seen. I hope my blue eyes end up as pretty as yours someday because the girls will really dig me.

I thought it was cool that you spoke to me mostly in German cuz now I will know two languages by the time I go to school. Then I can talk to my teacher in German when I don't want her to know what I am saying. My favorite nickname out of all the ones you called me was My Little Potato Man. Don't ask me to spell it in German. Something like "Mein wenig Schpetzalmen", right?

I loved it when you sang to me and fed me and changed my seriously stinky poopie diapers. I especially liked it when you laughed hard after I pee'd all over you or my parents. Thanks for saying I have a good aim. More than anything, it made me happy that you took such good care of mommy and daddy. They don't have as many bags under their eyes and they have more energy to take care of me. They also have full bellies from all the yummy meals you made them each day. I guess they were forgetting to eat because all they could think about was me. Which isn't a bad thing. I mean, I don't mind being the center of their Universe.

I am going to miss you and our early morning time alone while you let my mommy sleep. I liked burping in your ear after each feeding because you would always tell me how fabulous I am. Does this mean it is cool to burp and fart? If that's the case, then I am the coolest. I am the Gas Man. Do they have teams and awards for gas? I'll have to look into that when I am older. I would surely win first place and get a ribbon.

When you left, mommy and daddy were talking about how much they needed you and didn't realize how much until you were here. They feel more refreshed and more like themselves. I mean, if it wasn't for you, my mommy wouldn't have a cool new sparkly nose ring. I can't wait to pull at it one day. Right now I just can't seem to tell my hand what I want it to do.

So, anyways, it was cool to get to know you and your voice and your smell. I'll miss my daily naps on your chest and whispers in my ear. I'll also miss the smell of your cooking...even though I can't eat it yet. Someday soon we'll be able to put it all in a blender but for now, I'll settle for milk. I can always close my eyes and pretend the milk is your steak salad.

I love you Omi and hope to see you again soon.

Cedar...the potato man.

Thursday, December 18

the boho cure*

me a few hours ago post nose piercing, taken with my camera phone

Last night I had a mommy meltdown. Just sooo tired and premenstrual and unable to calm my poor crying baby (for hours all night long).

So I brought him into my sleeping husband and he saw it on my face and swooped our son up and let me be.

Then I curled up into a ball and cried and bit my nails, while Boho Boy rocked the babes to sleep.

There it was. My first sleep deprived meltdown. I was told it may happen at 3 weeks.

Then I woke up this morning and Omi said to go take a few hours of "me" time outside of the house. She must have seen that I was feeling fragile and guilty and uncertain and confused.

So I gave her a kiss and Cedar a kiss and I went out.

And I drove to one of my favorite beach towns and I got my nose pierced.

And that is all it took.
I felt like me again.
I went home with newly pierced nose and held and rocked my schmook,
and kissed him all over and watched him sleep.

Just a simple nose ring did the trick for me.
It's the boho way...

But in all honesty, it is that reminder that all mommies need to not be afraid to ask for help and to take a deep breath (preferably fresh air) and do something that reminds them of who they are outside of being a mommy.

Bless sweet Omi and my dear husband for being sensitive to what I need.

I think Cedar likes my piercing. He keeps staring at my sparkly nose.

; )

Wednesday, December 17

three weeks*

cedar (boho baby), three weeks, canon 50D

My lovely Mother in-Law is here for a week and she is being wonderful. She's allowing me more sleep, while she takes care of the schmook and I must tell you, my whole being has shifted. She's also been feeding us healthy foods. I haven't been great with feeding myself lately. I am learning I need this too, to be strong for my family.

I will have more to share about her visit, along with a few photos soon. I will share some sweet stories in that post. She will be here until Saturday. Cedar adores her and she him.

Cedar looks different each day. It has been wonderful to not miss a moment of this. How I am lost in his eyes. I am marinating in these early days of snuggling and smelling one another's necks.

We had a super fun family photo session with Tara Whitney this past Sunday. Can't wait to see and share the magic. She totally brought out the fairy in all three of us. I was feeling a wee bit uptight when she first arrived, having been the first time I was social in weeks. She then melted me with her gentle spirit and put me at ease and created an atmosphere that was so us. I heart her.

Saturday, December 13

my daily weep*

Cedar loves to share us. He needs both mommy and daddy time during his days. Boho Boy had snuggled him for a few hours when I went out to run errands. By the time I came home, he was really missing me, my smell, my voice...me. He had revelled in his daddy time and wondered where the heck I was (I rarely leave the house these days).

So, he cried and cried hard until I came downstairs and put him in my arms. Then he hushed and fell instantly asleep. So, even though I came home with a list of things I needed to get done, I sat myself on the couch and shifted my energies to where they needed to be. Boho Boy put our favorite blanket on top of us and put on our favorite song (Devi Prayer by Craig Pruess & Ananda) and I stroked my baby boy to the rhythm of his tiny breaths.

Then Boho Boy whipped out the video camera.

And he captured one of those moments when I feel so much love for our child. When I find myself meditating on the long and messy/beautiful path that lead us to him and tears just start flowing.

Now its on video. My daily weep.

Thursday, December 11

dream induced laugh*

Cedar laughing in his sleep at 2.5 weeks old, taken with my camera phone

He does this thing where all is quiet and he is sleeping deep, breathing heavily and then all of a sudden, his mouth stretches wide open in a huge smile and he laughs. Belly laughs, really hard, in his sleep. Never when he is awake. Only when he is sleeping. Every time it gets me. Every time I giggle so much when I am holding him that I have to brace myself on the couch so that I won't wake him.

It is these joyous moments that get me out of my head. Out of that awareness that I am running off of just a few hours sleep per night and ache all over because of the tiredness. I had heard that the first three weeks were challenging but how can you prepare someone for sleep deprivation? I had pulled all nighters here an there before and had insomnia for like one night but never could I go that long because I am one of those people that loves her sleep. I had always looked forward to sleeping in on the weekends all week long. But I am coming to the realization that I may never sleep in again. ; ) Like I said, I knew this going into parenting but how can you prepare? Seriously? Oh my goodness.

Our dear son is nocturnal. Just like he was in K's womb. He is wide eyed and ready for adventures from 12am - 4am and the rest of the day he is a sleepy bear after eating. The thing is, my body clock is still believing that daytime means wake time and night time means sleep. I always struggled with sleeping during the day. I could never take naps. Even if in a dark room. So the concept of "sleep when the baby sleeps" isn't quite happening for me.

I have received gentle wisdom from friends about how to help our little buddy get on our clocks but I am trying to not have any expectations of him and just go with the flow right now. We've only been home for a few days and we are still adjusting from spending his first few weeks in a hotel room, as well as traveling. ; )

But it is amazing how despite the fact that my energy is completely zapped right now, my love for Cedar trumps all of it. If I start feeling the grumps come on, all I have to do is take one look at him and I go into this other dimension where I feel I have superhuman strength to get through it. I am so blessed that my husband is into teamwork and that even though he's the one getting up early for work the next morning, he is sensitive to the fact that I need my sleep too in order to be present for our child all day. We are figuring it out, sharing the feedings and trying our best to be gentle with one another as we stumble through those zombie-like grumpies.

It is definitely Cedar's pure cuteness that is getting us through these very early days and the fact that he is our dream finally living and breathing in our arms. Oh and speaking of dreams... that dream induced laugh of his just rocks our world right now.

Tuesday, December 9

my heart healed...

cedar & grandma marmie, canon 50D

daddy (vu-vu) & cedar

daddy, cedar, me & callie lu

darlene (auntie) & cedar

my parents & cedar baby

On our drive home from Oregon to San Diego, we made sure to stop at my parents house on the way. They live on a house up a hill with a beautiful view at the bottom of the Sierra's. We were exhausted from the drive, the whole beautiful experience and from me coming down with an awful cold. We had been in the car more than 6 hours when we pulled up to my parents place and there was my dad, sitting in the garage waiting for us with a grin wider than the sky.

Having my parents come out to greet us and see baby Cedar for the first time, strapped into his car seat, was a dream coming to reality for me. To see their eyes well up with tears and awe and to giggle and be speechless filled my heart so.

It was then that it all came crashing in on me that this is real. That I haven't been dreaming after all. That I really was bringing a baby home. A baby I call my son. His name is Cedar. Oh my gosh...his name is Cedar! We've had that name for boy or girl for years now. Now it is not only written in the pages of our journals but it belongs to a living, breathing, little being that depends on us for everything. A little being that I have fallen so deep in love with that if I go to the bathroom to pee, I miss him. Does that make me co-dependant? Hee. ; )

So, to see this same love in the eyes of my parents was something I will never forget. And then the next day my big sister Darlene came over and she looked at my father holding Cedar and cried. Laughed and cried and then I cried and we all laughed.

And it was then that I became more aware that it wasn't just Boho Boy and I on this journey. It was all of us. Our families and dear friends that love us so much and wanted this so badly for us and for them. Cedar is our little dream miracle baby on high come to fruition and we are all just butter around him. Melty, creamy, butter-like puddy in his tiny pudgy hands.

As soon as we all stepped foot into my parents warm, cozy house...I felt the healing begin. She whipped us up a bowl of her famous chicken soup for the soul and all was well. I didn't realize how much I needed my parents until I was in their arms. And I didn't realize how much I needed to process all that had transpired until I was curled up on the couch near my mother and sister sharing all the details of the "birth" day while looking through photos on my camera. The parts that still hold tenderness in my heart made me well up with tears and I felt comforted and listened to and understood.

I am the first person to adopt a child in my family. We are all newbies. We are all stumbling and figuring out the myriad of emotions that come with it. It feels good to help guide their emotions through it as I share our relationship with the birth parents. I am so very blessed at their openness and willingness to try on a new path for our family.

My sister already shared this story on her blog but I wanted to share my perspective too. It was a pivotal point in our time together.

It was the second night and Boho Boy and I were running on just a few hours sleep. My cold was increasingly getting worse and it was obvious that if we didn't get any rest, we wouldn't be of good use to our sweet baby. My parents and sister offered to watch him while we caught up on our sleep. A few hours later, I hear my mothers voice in our dark bedroom..."We need a mommy or daddy" and in the background, I hear a blood curdling scream. We've never heard Cedar scream like this. Boho Boy walked out to the living room first and I followed, staggering behind. He picked Cedar up and tried to burp him, assuming it was a huge gas bubble (isn't it always?) and something fierce inside me told me to grab Cedar. Not because I didn't think my husband could comfort Cedar because so many times he has been the one that could calm him rather than me. But it was just this primal instinct that took over me...and as soon as I grabbed him and put him on my shoulder, his head plopped down into my neck and he stopped crying immediately. He breathed heavy into my neck and wrapped his arm tightly around me. I looked around at everyone and their mouths dropped open. There was silence...for a long while.

I know they were all shocked because they had been trying to calm him for 30 minutes and in once second he hushed in my arms.

For me...it was magical. It was all of the excruciatingly painful days and months and years waiting for him to come into our lives wrapped into one healing moment. He wanted his mommy. I am his mommy. Wait...I am his mommy?!?! He knows I am his mommy. Even though I didn't carry him in my womb for nine months...he knows my scent, my voice, my skin, my spirit. All the little bits of doubt that would drip into my mind about whether or not he knows who I am melted away. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, breathed in the scent of his skin, danced back and forth in the living room while holding him gently, stroking his head and said over and over..."Mommy is here, it's okay...mommy is here."

And he fell asleep. Just like that.

My heart healed that day.

Saturday, December 6

home sweet home*

cedar, canon 50D

We finally arrived home Friday evening. I hadn't realized how hard it was on our bones to be gypsies with a newborn for a few weeks until we melted into our bed and sofas here at home. Cedar is so much less stressed now that he doesn't have to be buckled into a carseat for hours. He loves his new home and the lights we have strung everywhere (that is where his eyes go when feeding him...we tell him they are "light fairies").

I am too tired to write...but wanted you to know that we are in bliss (and in a bit of shock). I am recuperating from a nasty cold I caught with lovely blisters on the back of my throat. It was difficult to have to keep my face away from Cedar at that time.

Time with my family at my parents house was so very comforting and the closest we felt to home in so long. I have photos to share and a few heart warming stories. That will be my next post, when I am a wee bit more rested and settled. Being with family was so what we needed.

Until then, we are cocooning like mad with our little boho schmook. Going with our instincts, making mistakes, forgiving ourselves, laughing, crying and gazing at our sweet little son for hours on end.

I took this photo today when daddy was sleeping and Cedar and I were watching the sunrise.

Tuesday, December 2

on the road again*

the boho boys, canon 50D

We received "the call" from our attorney yesterday that we are allowed to go home to California. So, we packed up (what felt like our house) and headed closer to the border last night. Now, after just a few hours sleep (our little guy is on a backwards schedule...he is a wee little night owl and sleeps all day), we are getting back in the car towards my parents house in Northern California. We will be there for two days where Cedar will get an abundance of love from my parents, beautiful sisters and darling nieces. I cannot wait to feel some semblance of home before we head even further South to our home by the sea. We should arrive home either Thursday or Friday.

Everyone is giddy to smooch on our little schmook...and I am giddy to observe the mushiness.

Sunday, November 30

love you fairy godmother...

our hotel room transformed to a Boho Zen Bungalow

Created for Cedar's beautiful Fairy Godmother Jen, in response to the video she did for him on his day of birth (See her magical video here).

I am still figuring out our new Flip camera...so to help with clarity during the blurry bits, the rock I pick up has the word "Gratitude" on it and the last red leaf says "You Teach Me Love". ; )

Song by
Sigur Ros
Cards hanging by Swirly, Jen Lemen, Nina Beana & me
"Be Here Now" pottery by Swirly
Rocks painted by McCabe (affirmations on them by my tribe)
Gratitude rock created by Thea
Prayer flags by Eastern Sun Printworks
Cedar's outfit by Babysoy

Saturday, November 29

first Cedar video*

Here is a video we did for Cedar's Omi (grandmother in German)...wanted to share it so you could see him live!

Please ignore the huge bags and dark circles under my eyes. ; )

Feeding time:

Thursday, November 27

full of gratefulness*

Boho boy, K and T during labor, canon 50D

boho boy and K during contractions, canon 50D

Boho Boy and I are full of gratefulness for so many gifts in our life (family, friends, blessings...) but what comes from the tip of our hearts down to the deepest parts these days is how very grateful we are to K and T for the precious precious gift they have so unselfishly given to us and to Tammy, our adoption consultant and dear friend, for bringing us all together. Tammy had a feeling deep in her heart, even though she knew we were not quite ready and feeling tender from the previous fall through. Thank you, Tammy...for following your heart and helping to guide us towards our son, Cedar.

The relationship between K, T, Boho boy and I has been a rare and beautiful one. So much laughter and special memories has been had during our times spent together. So many hilarious and fun and endearing stories to share with our son about his birth parents. Not only how much they loved him and sacrificed their love to give him a life they wanted for him but also how much they loved and respected us as his adoptive parents and their friends.

I wasn't sure how the days in the hospital would unfold. I wasn't sure how I would feel during the birth. If I would feel threatened or saddened that I couldn't experience this part of it. If I would feel helpless and clueless on how to support K. How Boho Boy would respond and support (or faint or not).

All those fears fell away as we were all directed to the birth room. A spacious and beautiful birthing room with hardwood floors and wooden sliding doors. Large windows showed a view of trees and hills. All of us giddy with anticipation. Boho Boy and T cracking jokes to keep K and me at ease. K rubbing and drawing strength from the beautiful "Brave" pendant that one of my best friend's Stacy made for her (she made K and I matching ones).

Then when the contractions came on hard and she dilated from 5 to 8 in just a few minutes, the room fell serious and focused. The nurses had been trying to find a vein but couldn't, so she was unable to get an epidural. The warm towels wrapped around her arms were there to help bring her veins to the surface, but it didn't work in time. Not what she had planned since she has been laboring for weeks and needed relief when the contractions came on strong. Suddenly, as we all became aware that she would not receive relief, I felt a rush of adrenaline, as did Boho Boy. We knew it would be intense and every muscle in our body prepared to hold K through it. Then we saw something take K over like a huge tidal wave as she arched her body and screamed that she needed to push. Nurses and her doctor rushed in and said this "was it" and that she could push. Boho boy and I wrapped our arms around K's back, held her hands and pushed and breathed along with her. Believe it or not, Cedar's head was fully out in 9 minutes. His shoulders wedged him in there and all we saw was a purple face but we focused on getting K through the intense pain. He was stuck. I felt this Momma Bear inside of me and the voice that came out of my throat was not mine. "Yes you can do this K, you can, you are brave, you're doing so amazing...we're here with you...come on..." and two more pushes and with help from the doctor maneuvering his shoulders, he was out. K fell back in one smushy lump of exhaustion with a big sigh. Boho Boy cut then cord and then we stood there staring at one another while I stroked K's hair, half laughing, half crying while they whisked a quiet Cedar away. He had spit out a bunch of meconium on his way out and they were concerned about his lungs being full, as well as his purple face. K said to me..."you're a mommy...go to your son". I was torn whether to stay with K to comfort her or to go to him and she helped me with the answer.

Boho Boy and I surrounded the nurses in the next room hovering over our new son. My heart was racing faster than I thought possible. I was trying my ultimate best to not worry and to trust he was alright and safe in their arms and then I heard another cry and I heard giggles. A nurse turned to me..."are you the adoptive parents? do you want to see him? we need his father to cut his cord again...". Mmmmm..."his father...". Those words melted every worry away.

Then when they cleaned and wrapped him up and put him in my arms, my tears surfaced and I looked down at his face and felt as though I had found a long lost friend of mine. Then watching Boho boy hold him for the first time was overwhelmingly joyful. I wasn't sure how I would feel seeing Cedar for the first time. I know that with adoption, it can take time to bond and sometimes it doesn't. As soon as I held him, I was madly in love (and relieved).

We then took him into the birthing room and handed Cedar to T while K was getting cleaned up. These were special moments of laughing and cooing and taking photos of Cedar and T. I loved watching T gaze into Cedar's eyes...having their own little man to man conversation. It was tender and soft and I was thrilled to capture it with the lens.

I walked over to K and gave her a long hug. I told her she was my hero. She told me that we were her heroes. We placed him in her arms. She was glowing.

I felt proud and overwhelmed and grateful and happier than I had ever thought possible. I was surrounded by three people that loved this little being more than life itself. We were all in a love bubble of Cedar celebration.

The next few days we shared him back and forth in the hospital rooms next door to one another. We slept with him the first night, they had him the second night.

I was amazed at how hard it was to be away from him. I felt like a part of my soul had been taken from me. As painful as it was, it brought me comfort to know that I already loved him like a mother. That he already felt like mine. It also gave me comfort to know that K and T had this time to love on him, get to know him and share all of their reasons for giving him a life they dreamed for him.

24 hours later, when K and T's attorney came into our room to tell us that they had signed the rights over to us earlier than they had to (they had 48 hours) and congratulate us, we were breathless. When she left the room, Boho Boy crawled into the hospital bed with me and we cried together.

How can I say into words how thankful I am on this Thanksgiving day? I don't think there is a need. I think we all feel how precious and rare and beautiful and life altering this story is...and I cannot believe it is my story. Our story. Cedar's story...

We are full of gratefulness.

Today we are breaking bread with K and T in our humble little hotel room. It is unspoken how we all feel. As we try to stay light and fun, down deep inside we know that there are things we want to say but can't...but it is all understood and respected. As K aches down deep in her heart, I struggle with how joyful I feel and how much I care for her and don't want her to hurt. I am reminded that we too have given K and T a gift and so it all comes full circle. Nothing needs to be said. There just needs to be a lot of hugging one another, laughter, sharing food and gazing at the little schmook all night.

Happy Thanksgiving to all...and thank you for sharing this sacred journey with us.

Wednesday, November 26


me & my cherub, taken by boho boy last night

my sweet boho boys today, canon 50D

Boho Boy had gone to get us some food while I lay in our hotel bed and cuddle our sweet son. He told me on his drive back that he saw our hotel from a distance and thought to himself "my wife and son are in that hotel" and it hit him, tenderly but also so powerful and he cried (a man cry, he says... ; ).

This overwhelming feeling of awe and realization hits me every once in a while, when I gaze at our baby and my heart fills to bursting and I get a huge lump in my throat. For years now the tears that have spilled over my cheeks have been those of longing and sorrow for this sweet soul but now they come from a joy and harmony I have never known as I hold him close to me. How often Boho Boy and I have looked in one another's eyes over the past few days and smiled or teared up with a knowing that all the hurting and longing of this journey was so worth it. Our baby has found us in the most perfect way.

Today we went to our 3 day of life check up with the Pediatrician out here (we love him). As we were sitting in the waiting room surrounded by darling young ones, Boho Boy caught me smiling while observing them play with the wooden toys on the floor. Later he told me he thought to himself..."I have my wife back" and it almost brought him to tears right there in the waiting room. He remembered all the other times when being in a room full of beautiful children would have brought to surface all those sad and tender places for me. Now I sit there with my cooing babe in my arms and watch them with peace and relief in my heart.

We are healing and our sweet Cedar is the balm.

Monday, November 24

photos of our sweet Cedar*

(taken with camera phone)

(taken with camera phone)

Just arrived home from the hospital a few hours ago. Home meaning our hotel. We are in our little love bubble. Trying to sleep while Cedar is sleeping and eat and play when he is awake. So far we are in awe of how simple he is. He only squeaks when he is hungry and the other times he just looks around the room and marinates in us (as we gaze at him inches away from his face).

We are madly in love. Truly, madly, deeply.

In a few days we take him back to the pediatrician here for a check up regarding his bruised face from the birth canal, as well as making sure his jaundice is getting better. Will share more soon.

We are so grateful for all of your support, love, enthusiasm, tears, joy and for feeling it with us as we know you've all walked the very long path to our son right by our side. Warm hugs to each of you.