Archive for December, 2011

Ella’s windshield was finished yesterday. The sailboat canvaser did an incredible job! Now all we need is some snow so we can switch out those wheels and strap some skis on that baby.



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Each day when Ella wakes up we have a ritual that we follow every morning. She usually lets out a yell to let us know she is awake and needs to be flipped from her back to her belly. Dave and I get to her fast because she can easily get pretty mad if she is left on her back too long. Once she is flipped and comfortable we leave her alone for 10 minutes or so to see if she falls back asleep. If we check back in on her and she is still awake we know she is ready to start the day, this is when the fun begins.

We open up the window shade, pick Ella up and sit on the edge of the bed, she is almost always smiling. Then we sing our good morning song, it goes like this:

We wake up this morning and we smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before us. We vow to live fully in each moment and to look on all beings with eyes of compasion. Hooray, Hooray today is gonna be a great, great day. Hooray! Hooray!   Dave usually adds an  Oh YEAH! Oh YEAH!

You are welcome to steal our song, make it part of your morning routine and see if it makes you happy to get out of bed each day. Yes, we are fully aware of what big dorks we are, however if you would like us to record the tune for you we would be happy to do so.

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Each morning when I wake up I lay in bed for several extra minutes and look out the huge window in my bedroom that overlooks the park in back of my house. This morning as I was laying there I began to think about Ella and how incredibly sweet she was all day yesterday. Her smiles and laughs are infectious, my heart expands each time I think of her and all the joy she brings to me each day. I’ve always taken my time to get out of bed each morning. I’m very lucky that I don’t need to set an alarm to wake up and I can get up naturally and without a rush. I have time to reflect on what the day will bring, what happened the day before or just muse over how lucky I am to have Dave and Ella in my life. However, this time in the morning  used to be a time for me to wallow in guilt and worry. For several years after Ella was born I would lie in bed each morning and think about the circumstances of Ella’s birth injury. I’d feel extremely guilty for my decision to have a natural birth in a birthing center, questioning myself, wondering if I made a different choice would the out come have been different. These few moments laying in bed each morning set the tone for the rest of my very depressing day.  Overcoming this thought pattern was not easy and it took ten days of silent meditation to change my mind and my life.

Two years ago I spent ten days in silent meditation at a Vipassana Meditation Center http://www.dhamma.org/en/schedules/schsuttama.shtml in Canada. It was so incredibly hard, we spent all day, except when we were eating or sleeping in silent meditation. I wanted to run away most of the time, Dave dropped me off, so this was not possible. If I knew how to hot wire a car I would have been out of there.  Needless to say I was stuck. Each day I sat in meditation and each day I experienced the same excruciating, radiating pain in my hips. It wasn’t until I think day 8 of the meditation that things changed. About two hours into the meditation on this day I began to feel very hot and started to sweat. Not just a little sweat, a lot of sweat beaded and poured off of my body. It was not hot in the meditation hall, it was February in Canada! This heat continued to build in my body and the pain I had been experiencing in my hips intensified almost to the point where I thought I was going to have to get up and leave the meditation to lay in the snow outside. I didn’t, I stayed and then I felt an incredible whooshing energy move through my body and right out of my hips. The pain was gone, I didn’t and still don’t experience the pain in my hips when I sit in meditation. I finished out the rest of the silent mediation with no pain. I came home to Dave and Ella and stepped back into my role with them as Mom, caregiver and wife. It wasn’t until about a month after my silent meditation that I realized that I no longer laid in bed each morning and thought about the terrible circumstances of Ella’s birth. I wasn’t thinking about the past, I wasn’t chastising myself for past mistakes and I wasn’t thinking about what could have been. I was present. My days were no longer sad and depressing, I was opening up to the love and joy of Ella.  This wonderful, terribly hard experience changed my life and I am thankful for that. It wasn’t easy getting myself to the meditation center, I signed up and canceled many, many times before I followed through. In fact, Dave pretty much had to push me out of the car and drive off very fast when I finally went to the center. Ahhh.. If I only knew what ten silent days could do to change my life, I would have shut my mouth a long time ago.

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