Friday, September 11, 2009

How To Relax

Go to this link.
If you're not pregnant, ignore the birth-related content. If you are pregnant, feel free to peruse the offerings.
Download the free 15-minute relaxation hypnosis. It's a simple process with a few short steps.
Put the track on your iPod or MP3 player.
Lay down and put something over your eyes.
Listen to the relaxing sound of a precise English accent guiding you through a relaxation hypnosis. She never says anything that is specific to pregnancy or childbirth, so anyone can use this for general relaxation, to help control high blood pressure, deal with anxiety, insomnia, etc.

If you've never done hypnosis before, it can sound rather intimidating, as if you're about to give up control of yourself to some other entity. But I find it similar to a guided meditation, with something to listen to besides all the voices in your head. You can come out of it any time you choose. And it really does leave you very relaxed. I've been doing this every day lately, often when Elan goes down for his nap. Sometimes afterwards I feel rested and energized, but when I am very tired and have the opportunity, I've fallen immediately into a very rejuvenating sleep. And I am just about the world's worst napper, at least when I'm not pregnant or recovering from being pregnant.

My other experience with hypnotherapy was when I visited a hypnotherapist to help me get past my fear of flying, which had been tormenting me for years. The combination of self-hypnosis techniques and a half pill of Valium got me to the point where I now fly drug-free and with minimal nervousness. I'm determined not to pass on my fear to Elan, though I do notice that lately he's started grabbing my arm if there's turbulence. Is that his own reaction to a somewhat unnatural form of transportation, or does he pick up on my subterranean moment of fear myself? I don't know, but I take a deep breath and comfort us both.

So give yourself the gift of 15 minutes. Try this, and let me know what you think.

Thanks to my sister Laura, who's having a baby any day now, for finding this link and passing it on to me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Oh, here, there, and everywhere. (Yes, we do travel a lot. And yes, I always pack too much.)

Our latest voyage was closer to home.

On a wildlife-filled ranch in west Marin county this past weekend, Mikhail's sister Sara tied the knot with Renee.


Well technically, they got married a year ago, back when same-sex marriage was (briefly) legal in California. This past weekend was their community wedding, and it was a gorgeous location, heart-tugging ceremony, and rockin' party.

Rock climbing after the ceremony

Elan was as crazily energetic as I've ever seen him -- the entire weekend long. He trailed after his older cousins, shouting "Mama, I'm wunning!" as he trotted by at the end of the line of 4- and 5-year-olds. He was never in one place for longer than a few seconds, and I was constantly looking for him, always losing him in the minute I had my back turned. He has no fear about wandering off on his own lately.

With his cousin Rowan, getting ready for the walk down the aisle

With his Auntie Sara

And then came the party. Sara & Renee had two babysitters hanging with the kids in a room next door to the "Boogie Barn." Elan was a big fan of the kids' room, filled as it was with his cousins running in circles and then falling down on soft blankets on the floor. We parents definitely took advantage; I noticed that as the party went on later into the night, the parents of young children were disproportionately represented on the dance floor (we WILL NOT miss out on a night out!).

Finally at ten we retrieved our so-tired boy and I gave him one last chance to go dance. He decided he was game, and the next hour was spent boogying down on the dance floor dressed in his fuzzy blue, polar bear-covered, footed sleeper.

Dancing in the barn with Grandma Karen

Turns out those plasticy foot bumps are perfect for late-night dance parties in lantern-filled barns. Who knew?