Blogging About Yoga, Books, and Such

How a Simple Phone Call Broke My Heart

A little background to prepare you…

My father had several surgeries in July and August. During his second surgery, the medical team made a grave error which caused either an ischemic or anoxic brain injury. This surgery was on August 1st. He is still unable to do lots of things he was fully capable of doing when he walked into the hospital that morning. It has been a long, hard road.

The following is an email I wrote to my four siblings and my Mom after a phone call from my Dad, while retrieving my daughter from school.

Dad called me and said that he had a message for me to relay. He said he had been trying to contact his family to let them know he was on his way home. That he couldn’t find Mom, to tell her he loves her immensely, and he will come home to her soon. (She was sitting right next to him in their home.)

I said that he might not understand this, but he was actually home with Mom. That he didn’t have to go anywhere. That he was being taken care of.

He said, “So you’re telling me I am home.” And then he kind of laughed in disbelief.

After a few nonsensical things about traveling, he said he was trying his best to get to me. I told him that I would come to him the next time we saw each other.

I told him that maybe some day he would be coming to Florida to live. He said, “Oh really! That would be good for me.” I agreed.

I heard Mom’s voice in the background, so I said goodbye and told him to hang up.

I had already lost it from his comment about loving mom ‘immensely’, so I needed to get off the phone before he heard the tears and sadness in my voice.

My heart is breaking.

How To Tell if You’ve Had Enough

How To Tell if You’ve Had Enough…

There I sat with the blood pressure cuff on my arm feeling pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t high.

On my right, the markers my daughter had just slammed into my hand after getting frustrated with her project, saying, “Here, keep them for 15 years!”

On the TV, the news coverage of Hurricane Irma.

Directly in front of me, my view of our palm trees blowing in the 25 MPH wind, not even from Irma, but from the nor’easter.

Five simple words repeated like a mantra in my head.

I can’t take much more. I can’t take much more. I can’t take much more.

Not the kind of mantra I prefer, but it remained.

The tears began to flow. The short and sharp breaths joined in.

I can’t take much more. I can’t much more. I can’t take much more.

I thought of my father.

My mother.

My failures as a mother.

My hives.

The breaths got longer, deeper.

My eyes closed as I wiped the tears.

The cuff came off.

The markers were released to a hiding place, most likely to emerge before the 15 years is up.

The mantra slowed, faded, remained.

I can’t.

And I won’t.

how to tell if

 

 

 

Moana and Hal Leonard Teach Us Lots of Ways to Keep the Beat

Moana, Maui, Pua, and Heihei are beloved characters in our house already, but now that they’ve taught us all of these new drum beats, we love them even more! The Beat of Your Heart is a musical activity book full of culture, fun, sound, and creativity. The rhythms progress from simple to difficult and are introduced along with percussion instruments like the fala, pahu, and fa’atete, which can all be constructed with household items.

Thank you, Hal Leonard, for our complimentary copy of your book in exchange for this review. We will have lots of fun clapping, patting, and drumming!

Visit Blog Mom Reviews for Mickey and Rapunzel’s musical exploration books from Hal Leonard.

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From Hal Leonard’s website:

A Musical Exploration Activity Book

Disney Learning

Series: Disney Learning
Format: Hardcover Media Online
Author: Various
Feel the beat inside you when you play along with the Drums of Motunui! This beautifully illustrated book with online music, video, and drumming allows children to discover beat, rhythm, and the sounds of Motunui’s drums through activities and creative play with characters and artwork they’ll recognize from the Disney movie Moana. Includes online activities such as: video read-along, audio sing-along, and activities to explore sounds and sound makers. Singing and making music provide important benefits to children as they grown and learn. EXPLORE MUSIC books encourage children to be free to explore, play, and develop musical ability at their own pace which can establish a life-long love of music.
$14.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00160410
ISBN: 9781495064791
UPC: 888680622664
Width: 8.25″
Length: 10.75″
32 pages

Label Daddy Spruces Up My Swag

label daddyLabel Daddy always makes me look good in business. This time, I purchased their small oval labels to put on my Play Doh tubs I give out for free at my Fundanoodle Vendor Shows and Play Dates. We use Play Doh to trace the letters on our Muscle Mover cards. These labels allow for an easy way to direct potential customers to my website. Thanks Label Daddy, for my complimentary labels in exchange for this review.

Get your discount code at Blog Mom Reviews.

label daddy

label daddylabel daddy

Label The Things You Love

Want an easy way to keep track of all your kids’ stuff? Get organized with Label Daddy’s peel-and-stick labels for everything from books, clothing, lunch boxes, shoes, toys, sports equipment and more. Our peel-and-stick labels are scratch-resistant and waterproof, so you don’t have to keep labeling things over and over again!

 

Roller Coaster of Emotions Tamed by Words

The roller coaster of emotions throughout this time with my Dad has been mind boggling. One moment, I am encouraged. The next, I am so distraught. One minute, I am laughing. The next, sobbing. And of course, at many moments, comes the piercing anger.

roller coaster

This has not bothered me though. I have allowed myself to feel and do whatever I need to get through it. And we are only at the beginning. I’ve done a lot of writing. This has become my outlet over the years, and has helped me tremendously over the past two months. When the anger arises, my keyboard gets a beating. But the act of banging out these words provides a bit of satisfaction.

roller coaster

This poem illustrates my last ditch effort to help my father sleep and swallow. Amazing that our body can forget how to do those things. This is all quite amazing. Unbelievable. Tragic. Downright wrong.

The words help.

____________________________________________

 

Throat Chakraroller coaster

Standing by his bedside,

I lay the stone at his throat.

Placed my hand above,

Moving it in a slow, gentle, flowing motion.

Swallow. Swallow.

As simple, yet as difficult, as that.

Meditating on opening, flowing, functioning;

Breathing energy into this space.

Onto his feet with oils;

Couldn’t believe what I was doing.

Never imagined doing this.

Any of this.

roller coaster

Go Ahead. Get Pissed Off. You’ll Feel Better

Go Ahead. Get Pissed Off. You’ll Feel Better…

Yes, I am a yogi. I remain calm as much as possible. Teaching yoga is my favorite thing to do. I believe strongly in the power of positive thinking and manifestation. I use essential oils and Chakra balancing for my health. I informally counsel others on these ways of living. Most of the time, I am a happy, friendly, loving, and giving person.

go ahead

But right now, I am pretty damn pissed off!

I have found myself here several times since June. I have been deeply immersed in medical arenas, discussions, inquiries, conferences, emergencies, planning, etc. on behalf of my father.

My father.

A vibrant, strong, intelligent, funny, clever, 86 year old man, who’s been reduced to unthinkable things. He WILL recover. He WILL be healthy again. I know it.

But every day or two, I just get pissed off. And I’m okay with that. Pissed off feels good some times. It releases me from the happiness and hopefulness often hard to muster.

Dad…get pissed off and get yourself out of here.

go ahead

Unfiltered, Unedited Look Into “She Waited For Me”

Here is your unfiltered, unedited peek into my latest manuscript.

Here’s What Pisses Me Off

I wrote a blog post a while back about how depressing it was to see happy mamas with their new babies. I always felt totally robbed. I can’t look back at the first four months of Emma’s life without feeling sad, angry, resentful, and cheated. It was so fucking hard! I was severely anemic, had PPD, felt completely paranoid, was sleep deprived of course, and had to take care of a newborn.

It blows my mind to this day that I breastfed her for three months! What the hell was I thinking? And what the hell was everybody else thinking? Why didn’t somebody say,

“You know, Libby, your body really is taking on a lot of stress already. Your blood level plummeted to half of its volume within minutes after your C-section. You have post partum depression. You’re crying every damn five minutes because you feel like your world is crumbling around you. You are 44 years old. You just endured months of hormone shots and pregnancy. You lost 30 pounds in a matter of days. Give yourself a break. You can feed her formula. You don’t have to let this parasite suck you dry. Go ahead. Dry up. Let your body heal. Emma will be fine.”

Nobody said anything like that. And I never thought about it. And it pisses me off. Even five years later.

And here’s another thing that pisses me off. Why didn’t anybody do anything about my medication? They made me decrease my Zoloft to 50mg during pregnancy. Why didn’t we discuss a gradual increase back to 100mg shortly after birth so I wouldn’t feel like a fucking crazy person? The anemia and weight loss were quite enough. But being so anxiety ridden that I couldn’t eat should have been clue number one that I needed a little something more.

I will never forget sitting in my living room, looking down the hall at my mother holding Emma, standing outside of my husband’s home office. She was crying, telling Jeff that I needed help, that I can’t take care of my child like this. I don’t know if I said it out loud or not, but I remember thinking…”Oh no, no, no! You don’t get to cry! I’m the only one that gets to cry!” But, honestly, I was happy for the support and that someone else was taking care of my child at the moment.

They did gradually get me back up on my meds. The anemia slowly improved. My appetite came back and I ate everything in sight. I began to feel like a normal person who wasn’t deathly afraid of this tiny human. And even though Emma was complimented in the hospital for a good latch and breastfeeding was actually a joy for a while, that all drastically changed when she was diagnosed with acid reflux and put on Zantac. What a joke. Who the hell puts a newborn on Zantac?!?! She didn’t have any worse reflux than any baby does. She was simply showing her true, spirited personality and she was DONE with breastfeeding. And so was I. One of the best things I ever heard from a doctor during that time was, “It’s okay to stop breastfeeding. You got her through the most important time.” It was a freaking miracle that I got her through anything. And when I look at her today, I see that I did a hell of a lot better than it felt like at the time.

It’s stupid to look back on the past and start the ‘woulda, shoulda, coulda’ dance. But, dammit, if I had been thinking more clearly…

  • I woulda ditched breastfeeding.
  • I shoulda told my doctors to get me the hell back on my medication sooner.
  • And I coulda enjoyed my first few months of motherhood.

Instead, I didn’t, and it makes me very sad. It always, always, will.

 

The Anatomy of Birthdays and Heart Surgery

The Anatomy of Birthdays and Heart Surgery…

anatomy

He turns 86 today. She turns 50 in 10 days. He is awaiting heart surgery. She has a plane ticket to Chicago to celebrate her birthday. He wants to get this over with. She wants him to be okay. He doesn’t want to miss or disturb her birthday plans. She says that he is the priority and birthdays can be celebrated any time. He has always insisted that birthdays be celebrated ON THE DAY. She agrees.

This is one of those times when living in the present can really help. They know very little about what’s going to happen, yet they would like to do things as planned. They don’t want to have to change their plans, but of course, they will. It’s his heart after all.

anatomy

If they live in the present, none of this matters.

He is important to her. She loves him. He’s been there for her a countless number of times. She will be there for him. She will be present.

Bottom line…she wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him. He trumps her.

Take care of HIM. Period.

anatomy

 

 

Three Savvy Ways to Build Your Yoga Business

Three Savvy Ways to Build Your Yoga Business…

Up until a few days ago, I didn’t think of myself as having a yoga business. But, low and behold, I sure can! Yoga is my favorite thing to do. Apparently, I’m good at it, so why not do more and make it better?

three savvy ways

After meeting with one of my mentors to pick her brain about some yoga business ideas, I came away with much more than I expected. There are licenses, insurance, marketing, networking, taxes, blah, blah, blah. I knew all that from my attorney and have most of that taken care of. What I didn’t know are the three areas from which a yoga instructor can gain the most success and profit.

And apparently, these are important because my mentor repeated this list more than once:

1.) Private and Semi-Private Lessons – This one I can do. This is 1:1 or 1:2 instruction with students who want to improve their practice, have limitations and need modification ideas, or are beginners and want to learn the basics before braving a group class. Really cool stuff.

three savvy ways

 

2.) Workshops – This one I can do too. There are certain subject areas that always make their way into my classes: Chakra Balancing, Prop Use, Modified Postures, Breathing Techniques, Mudras, and Meditation. Doing occasional workshops and diving deeper into these areas would be fabulous!

three savvy ways

3.) Training – Not ready for this one, but I will be. Thinking about Reiki, Eden Energy Medicine, and maybe, just maybe…Kids Yoga.

three savvy ways

So, stay tuned for information on this site about my new yoga offerings. And thank you for your support thus far. After all, a yoga instructor can’t survive without her students. Namaste.

Flip Flops Family Wreathe: Really Crafty Link Party

Thank you to Keeping It Real for the opportunity to participate in the Really Crafty Link Party #72 with my Flip Flops Family Wreathe. This was so fun and easy to make!

Supplies needed:

  • 3 pairs of cheap flip flops (I chose one pair for each member of our family; these were 98 cents each at Walmart)
  • flower embellishments ($1 bin at Michaels)
  • white wooden letter for your last name (Michaels)
  • ribbon
  • hot glue

Directions:

  1. glue all flowers to shoes and letter
  2. glue shoes together along the edges that touch
  3. glue letter to middle pair
  4. glue ribbon to back of middle pair
  5. reinforce ribbon with electrical or packing tape
  6. hang and enjoy!
  7. Hint: if you have a peep hole, try to measure the ribbon so that you can still see through some part of the wreathe

Or buy one from Oh BaBee! Originals. I would love to make one for you.

 

flip flops

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flip flops flip flops