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March 2011 - Shivaya Naturals

March 2011

A Story Book

March 29, 2011

When I spoke yesterday about not being able to get my rhythm going, the one thing that I realized is that it is our external rhythm that we have struggled with, rather than our internal one. The boys and I seem content inside the walls of our home, it is when we attempt to join “reality” that we sometimes lose our footing. It has been 34 days since Landon’s arrival, and we have managed to stay mainly within our family unit, and have slowly made the transition from two children to three.

Our days have looked quiet, but full of small projects that we can do together while holding a baby or while the wee one is napping. Friendship bracelets and dream catchers have been made, poems have been created and about a million yards of i-cord now lay about the house. Nothing major has been conceived or completed, just little bits of fun here and there to keep the days flowing.

After the holidays, the boys and I began lessons on poetry, and they have sat each day and come up with a short verse. I love watching children create poetry, it is so much fun to see how they interpret the idea of a poem. We were recently introduced to this book, and it has been a wonderful resource for the boys to see how almost anything that they can think of can become a unique poem.

Elwood had seen the book that I had made around the holidays out of a few Artful Blog clippings and some left over scrap book paper, and they decided that they had to do the same to their own boring school composition books that they were using for their poetry. It is a very simple craft that can be done in about an hour, and can turn any ordinary composition or sketch book into a pretty space to create in.

You will need the book of your choosing, scrap paper or fabric, glue, scissors (I used pinking shears for a more designed effect), and a paint brush or foam brush.

Begin by cutting out your paper or fabric in shapes of your chosen size. These will most likely be cut down even further in the process of making the book, but it is good to start a little bit bigger.

Begin by layering one piece of paper/fabric at a time onto the book, letting kids know that it is okay to place the pieces wherever they see fit, and encouraging them to layer each new piece onto the last. Don’t worry if the paper extends beyond the edge of the book, that will be easily remedied once the project is dry.

Once all of the paper has been placed, allow the book to dry for about an hour, and then take your scissors and trim the edges of the book, giving it a finished look.

Journals, poetry, school books, the possibilities are endless for what these can be used for. After we were done making these last week, Jacob went around the house and found every last blank book he could find and turned them each into scrappy journals. I have to agree with him that they just make doing a book report or writing poetry a little bit more fun.


The Comfort Bag

March 28, 2011

I have to admit that when I see other moms who are able to bounce right back into the rhythm of their old lives after having a baby, I find myself somewhat envious. I am struggling to see through the diapers and the late night feedings, the recurrent thrush, and the nasty case of mastitis that landed me in the hospital and briefly interrupted my milk supply.
Of course, no matter how difficult a moment may be with a brand new baby, seeing Landon smile makes everything seem perfect with the world. I am a very firm believer that the only way to get through difficult moments is to create a space, a time where I can find a quick dose of comfort to nurture my soul back and revive my fuzzy mind.
When I was in my second year of university, I discovered a book by Jennifer Louden, The Women’s Comfort Book. I think that I have discussed this book a few times in this space before, but that book is the reason that I take nurturing myself as a mom, as a wife and as a woman so important. Jennifer has these small, quick chapters that give women easy tips on finding comfort in the every day, in changing the attitude from one of thinking of nurturing as self-indulgent (which is what we are unfortunately always taught) to thinking of it as caring for a part of the soul.
My favorite part of that book is the chapter on the comfort bag. I love bags. Love them. I love making them, carrying them, and filling them. Jennifer’s idea of a comfort bag was to fill a space with what one would need in any situation to find comfort. An easy access point to spend 5 minutes or an hour, or a half of a day enjoying something nurturing. To this day I still have the first bag I ever used as my comfort bag. A quilted paisley Vera Bradley with tons of pockets and lots of room for anything I could think of to bring me comfort. It went with me everywhere: work, car, yoga, etc.
Today, Landon’s diaper bag and the boy’s backpack fills up most of my space, so my comfort bag has become the small pillowcase bag I made two summers ago. I love this bag, and the feminine feel and soft look are perfect for my current mood. All that is in it are the essentials for me, for I know that my comfort time may only last a few seconds. The first sweater that I have ever attempted to knit for me is on the needles and safely stowed inside, as is a small bottle of lavender essential oil, my mama shawl, a few tea bags of my favorite new tea, a bag of yummy chocolate covered almonds, the book I am reading (not about parenting, or babies, or education, just something for fun), and my journal. Always my journal.
Quick comfort, essential nurturing and a lot of goodness is one bag can only ever be a positive thing, and it is a great reminder to me that I can carry comfort with me anywhere I ever go. I love being a mother, and a working woman, and a wife, and a ……. but I love being me most of all, and I am never me without a sense of well being. 
So tell me, what would you put into your comfort bag today?