Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lazy After Class Dinner

It's been such a long day. Up early since Angelo had his usual "flop fest" and we had to get up early for Kindermusik. (We co-sleep and since I had to get up and ready early, I snuck out of bed to shower and dress.) He was up about 9:00 am, which is about an hour and a half early for him. He was in a pretty good mood, but wanted to be held, so I finished the morning routine with him on my hip; not so unusual. He threw a few fits before we got there and I wasn't sure we were actually going to join the class. We eventually made it in and with a few hiccups, he warmed up and mellowed out. It all ended well. Joanna invited us to come over and play and Angelo and Bella had a _great_ play-date. We played outside and inside, ate Annie's mac n' cheese, enjoyed Tramp's lovely doggie company and left so worn out that he fell asleep within 5 minutes of leaving their house. He slept about an hour total in the car. Then Daddy (whose office is right beside the garage) brought him up. He nursed and cuddled for about a half an hour and then played adorably until Daddy was done with work and could play with him while Mommy got ready for work. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and got changed to teach. 

Seemed like there were very few people on campus, comparatively. found a good parking space and got to class in plenty of time. Had a great last class in the series. This has been such a great class!! It's a beautiful studio, there was a large enrollment and the energy has been up every week.  I wish we had a few more weeks in this cycle, especially since I don't have anything set up for the next class.  I've been working on it, but nothing has gelled up; it has been difficult setting up classes in Morgantown in general since I moved back. But, I am sure something will work out soon. In the mean time, it would be a good time for people to set up private lessons and use the instructional DVD. (www.TribalBellyDance.net/classes and TribalBellyDance.net/market)

Eventually, I got home about 9ish and find that Angelo is asleep on Daddy's chest; not suprising given that a "good nap" is 3 to 3 1/2 hours and he'd only slept one. Since I just want to sit and relax, I pull out an Amy's all natural frozen spinach pizza. Then I see that it has feta on it. Great for me and Angelo, bad for Eric, who hates feta. So, I search for other easy, quick options. First I put a box of Quorn Southwest "chick'n" nuggets (only available at Giant Eagle in Morgantown), then I start a box of Near East all natural garlic and olive oil cous cous. I pull out a bag of organic  frozen spinach and throw it in the wok with a little organic olive oil. When it's almost done, I throw in a couple fork-fulls of minced garlic. It is all done about the same time. Layer cous cous and spinach, arrange SW "chick'n" and serve. Yum! Could've used a little bit of salt, but considering how much energy I'd already expended, it was pretty darn good. As of now (10:37), Angelo is still not awake to experience this "masterpiece". 

I'm a member of the Tribe.net tribe "healthy food for lazy people", but don't actually follow it. :) Ha Ha! 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Workshops I'm attending/shows I'm performing in

The picture is actually of me in the car after the last Jalsah, which was so much fun, I forgot to take pictures. :) 

Here are some other really fun things I'm doing and hope to see people at (remind me to take pictures):

April 4th- Onca in Charleston, WV (2 2 hour workshop + show) http://www.wvbellydance.com/workshop.html

April 25th- Variety Vaudville Follies, Historic Met Theater, downtown Morgantown. Fundraiser for MT Pockets Theatre- www.MTPocketsTheatre.com 

May 2nd- Teletha (her bio) in Beckley (? hour workshop + show) email Alexandra: theshadesofamber@hotmail.com
find the registration form here: http://www.taletha.com/events.htm

May 30th and 31st Eva Cearnak in Pittsburgh (3 hour workshops each day. show Sat. the 30th) http://www.zafiradance.com/eva.html

July 11th Urban Tribal Dance Company in Morgantown!!!!!!!! (Check out this amazing youtue video of them:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MVZbvaOZYw and their website: www.urbantribaldance.com)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Serendipitous find on humility and confidence

I have some students who  will be performing for the first time soon, and because I've witnessed issues in the past and discussed with other teachers who have had similar problems, I thought it was necessary to address the topic before it had a chance to become a problem. I of course am assuming the best about the students, but have seen too many times students who get "drunk" on the "stage high" and then stop being open to feedback. I just saw this link that Tiffany Boscner posted on facebook and checked out the link to the newsletter. without knowing it, hers was the first article I looked up! And it talks about what I was trying to convey to my students about performing, enjoying positive feedback, but remaining open to learning after!  this is what she said:

Humbleness and Confidence 

by Tiffany Bisconer

The idea is, in the world of creation, a choice between humbleness and confidence does not need to be made. The interplay between humbleness and confidence is a continuous balancing system apparent within the life of an artist. Humble confidence helps to keep an artist honest about their abilities, and assured enough to continue to put forth the effort inherent in creating. It also allows a person to be aware enough to know that being humble is what ensures continued growth.

Humbleness is thought to be reflective of a willingness to learn, to listen and a display of quiet compassion. To show humility is to admit to being human in an interconnected circuit of existence that is not simply isolated to one's own accomplishments, abilities and goals. Admitting mistakes is a positive side-effect of humbleness, a sign of humility that can allow an artist to overcome short-fallings and continue to improve their craft and ultimately refine their message. Humbleness is not weakness or self-depreciation; rather, it is truly wisdom in action.

To feel secure with a knowledge base after having worked hard to accomplish a level of mastery within a field, is a fundamental task towards the development of confidence. Confidence should not be confused with arrogance, ego, or a feeling of superiority. Confidence is belief in one's abilities. The more confident a person, the more capable of humbleness they become. The sacrifice of ego can open up doors of learning, which ultimately leaves a person open to the calls of inspiration that can motivate future work. Being as though art is created as a form of dialogue, the projection of true confidence can be a vehicle that drives an artist to succeed in communicating their vision.

When to be humble? When to be confident? Know that these are not opposing roles or conflicting concepts, they have the capability of being accomplished within the same moment. If a person believes in themselves and can bring forth the combination of confidence and humility, that interplay can be the most powerful sounding board in projecting an artist's intent. Ultimately, to have the most impact and to continue treading towards a higher level of work, confidence will need the support of humbleness each step of the way.

~Tiffany Bisconer is the founder and director of Beauty ConspiracyTM Artistry. She is a multi-faceted artist who finds her passion in cultivating creative thought and action in her own artistic path and in the lives of those she has the honor to work with.www.tiffanybisconer.com

Link to the article/newsletter (Creativity Calling)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Website for Heather Stants/Urban Tribal Workshop

www.TribalBellyDance.net/workshops Thought I'd go ahead and hyperlink that one to make it easier.  Hey, teachers, I'm offering a discount for groups of 5 or more registered together! Email me to find out more: Narah @ Tribal Belly Dance. Net 

Heather Stants/ Urban Tribal Dance Company in Morgantown July 11th!!!!

So, while there is still a lot to catch up on here (so much going on), I really wanted to share this exciting news!  It is officially official! I'm bringing Heather Stants, director of the Urban Tribal Dance Company here to Morgantown, WV July 11th!!!! www.tribalbellydance.net/workshops will give you the current details.  Check out this awesome video of them!  We'll have a show that evening too! This is so cool, not just for me, but for the Morgantown community as well! 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crazy Crazy Week!

It has been crazy busy this week, but exciting! Baby birthday party Tuesday, to Baltimore to see Cirque (Kooza) on Wednesday, to the National Aquarium Thursday, back Thursday night; Friday preparing for the Liz Strong workshop and show and now I'm back to the 'burg today for a private lesson with Liz. I'll fill you in on it all later...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

how your newborn is telling you what he/she needs

Was on FB with a friend and reminded me to post this really cool and important thing for new parents (or veterans who need help with their brand new, totally different baby). it was so helpful to us when we were trying to figure out what Angelo needed. there's a list of sound reflexes babies make that tell you what they need: ney = i'm hungry, owh = sleepy ; heh = change me; eh = burb me, eair = has gas I just used the list i got off of oprah.com (which used to list the pronunciations too, but doesn't now), but theres a whole program that teaches you how to hear it better. even just that list made a huge difference. so much so that I'd say "are you hungry" when Angelo said 'ney' and by 4 weeks, he was saying 'hungee'!!! My Mom heard it and was blown away. the program is here

Today is my Baby's birthday!!!

Today is my Baby Boy's 2nd birthday!!! I've been awake for a while because I'm so excited! He already got into one present last night, saying "Yay, birthday!" I agree! Two years ago today this amazing little guy came into my life and I was positively drunk on baby love. 

It was a very long labor. I'd been contracting at least an hour or so and then my water broke about 7:00 am on March 16th. ... Some day I'll put the whole story up here, but for now we'll say he was born at 2:55 pm on March 17th. I believe he was waiting to be born on my Granny's birthday.  So he was born on his great - grandmother's birthday, a day before my sister Hillary's birthday, who was born on her great-grandmother's birthday (same side of the family).  (So my Granny was born a day before her mother's birthday.) Angelo's Kindermusik teacher, whom he also shares a birthday with, has a son who was born on his great - grandmother's birthday.  A friend of mine who was in the same pre-natal yoga class with me had her daughter two days before Angelo (when I came into the hospital, she was coming out of the bathing room with her daughter) and a very very good friend of mine, Terri, had a son two days after Angelo was born. Terri and I seemed to have a lot of parallel experiences: we are both Scorpios married to Aquarians and had Pisces sons born two days apart. We also kept having similar experiences throughout our pregnancies- I said it was because Angelo and Slayton kept talking about their plans and synchronizing. :) 

Another really amazing thing is that he was born on St. Patrick's Day and I was born on the Celtic New Year (Samhain, Nov. 1st). He is definitely a magical little (with Mommy's blue eyes) guy!  I think about all these "coincidences" and realize that there are no accidents. 

Well, busy day ahead; his Maw Maw and Paw Paw and Aunt Charity and Uncle Mike are coming over to celebrate and we have Kindermusik this morning. The rest of the week is super busy too, but I have a few posts I really want to get up: quick and easy panel skirt; the Pirate Doll I made Angelo; the kiddie Art Books; How Your Newborn communicates with you {what those cries mean} ... In addition to some other really exciting stuff this week, I have a performance this weekend!  Better run now...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Angelo's "Pre-Birthday" Party at the art studio

Today was really fun!!! We had a party for Angelo's birthday at "Our Studio", an art studio here in Morgantown. (www.OurStudio.org) They are a non profit studio that specializes in reducing, re-using and recycling while making art! Angelo and some of his friends got to snack, make puppets, paint, and climb the furniture in the library (after the [all natural] cupcakes, of course).  Eric made the cupcakes from an all natural mix from a company called Pamela's. They are gluten free and so yummy! I put together some "art book" projects for the kids to take home as favors. That was fun! I'll post pictures and descriptions once I get that final picture of the finished project. I had to put one together for Angelo and me to do! :)  I'll also post the party pictures on FaceBook. 
Busy week coming up! Angelo's birthday is on the 17th and family is coming in to celebrate. Then we are going to see Cirque!!! We're also visiting the zoo and aquarium, then back in Morgantown, then to Pittsburgh on Saturday for the Liz Strong workshop and show. Whew! 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Breast Feeding Support Group

so, I finally made it to the Morgantown Breast Feeding Support group!  had to drive around a little to find Euclid Dr. because there was no sign, but we did get there.  Angelo had fun playing with the toys and interacting with the other kids while the Moms talked.  Kristy Clark runs the group and  she opened the discussion asking what our best piece of breast feeding advice would be to new Moms.

Kristy said she would encourage them to learn to nurse laying on your side as soon a possible because it makes such a huge difference in the amount of rest you get, which is so important, especially for recovery. She also said she wished she'd followed someone's advice when they suggested going to a support group while you are still pregnant so you can see people nursing to become more familiar with it.  

Becky Metheny, a doula and mother of 4 said she would recommend getting help/support right away if you run into any problems so you can remedy the situation and continue nursing. She also recommends seeing the lactation consultant at the hospital, even if you aren't having trouble so that if you have trouble later you'll already have spoken to her and not feel so awkward about calling.   

Another Mom (can't remember all the names, sorry. :( ) said she was really encouraged to learn how low the percentage was of women who medically cannot breast feed. 

My advice was that sore nipples do not necessarily mean you are doing something wrong (like positioning or a poor latch on the baby's part), it's just that your nipples aren't used to it.  The best thing I've found for that is Earth Mama Angel Baby's natural nipple butter. It has calendula oil, shea and cocoa butter. (www.earthmamaangelbaby.com) It isn't stinky and sticky like lanolin and it is animal friendly/ cruelty free.

Another Mom suggested that you surround yourself with as much support as possible: your partner, family, friends, lactation consultants, your doula, etc. 

There is a Face Book group for the Morgantown Breast Feeding Support group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52285652250

OK, that's all for now. I had insomnia last night (full moon) and Angelo woke up from his nap early ... now he needs another.  


Baby Slings- Baby Wearing Tools

Slings, wraps and carriers allow you to hold your baby longer, which is important for their security and the bond between the two of you/your partner. You can also "get a lot done" while wearing your baby (putting him/her in the sling). "Worn" babies cry 50% less! Next to Mom/Dad, what's to worry about?  :)  this is what I've tried and worked: 

I really like my ring sling, which I got at www.KangarooKorner.com It is actually a water sling. dries very quickly and doesn't ever overheat baby. I got one with a shoulder pad, but that limits the type of holds you can use (can only use a hip carry on one side). this company provides great directions with their slings. 

I also really love the Robozo wrap my sister got me.  don't know where she got it, though. It is very versatile in its holds. I still use it in a hip hold with Angelo (almost 2, almost 30 lbs) and used to nurse him in it when he was a newborn. it takes a little practice to get used to (as do most slings, but this one knots, and I tried it first, so I remember needing _slightly_ more practice with this one. also, there were more possibilities...)  I love the beautiful stripe and always make sure to use it for "special occasions". it "technically" isn't a wrap since I think they consider a longer piece of woven cloth a wrap. by the way, Angelo didn't like the "newborn carry" for long- wanted to be upright in a front carry with his legs free. a lot of people recommend folding their little legs up like a frog, but he never liked that. I just snugged up the cloth under his bum. each baby is different and will like different holds/slings/wraps at different ages.

I tried 4 yards of cotton gauze as a wrap and thought it worked great. though would have been much better if it were 5 yards. If you are also tall, I'd recommend the longer length.  never tried it, but I've heard great things about the Moby wrap, which they now sell at Target. 

I got a Maya Tie from Maya wrap and it has been really helpful when I am by myself and need to pack/unpack the car. he didn't like it until he was past one year. we use a back carry with this. beautiful patterns! so hard to choose! :)  

www.mothersmilk.com has a variety of free patterns for wraps/slings.  I've not bought any from this site, but did get some useful information there.  Mothering Magazine has a reprint available of their "Babywearing 101" article. if you want to check it out, the site is www.mothering.com  

Angelo's outgrown the Baby Bjorn sport carrier, but we loved it when he still fit in it. the only issue is that, especially with boys, you can't have them in it more than about an hour . it really lets you be hands free for most things (except bending over :) ).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Earth Loving Practices

So, while I do not claim to be a perfect Global Citizen, over time, our family has taken steps to be more Earth friendly. I've found that once I became a mother it became even more important to me to preserve M0ther Earth. After all, "We did not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." (Chief Seattle, more than 150 years ago) and "With our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next 7 generations" (Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy) Hopefully, this list of what we've done so far will help anyone looking for ways to help the earth and inspire those who weren't looking. :)

*Most obvious, despite the fact that no one collects recycling in our area, we separate and deliver the recyclables to a recycling station an exit down the road.

*We have a large amount of dish and hand towels to reduce our paper towel use. I've even cut up old towels and serged the edges to make more cleaning towels.

*I am a vegetarian. My husband does not eat red meat or poultry. 

*We are raising our son vegetarian, therefore reducing his carbon footprint.

*We use environmentally friendly cleaning and paper products. (7th Generation all purpose and shower cleaner, toilet paper, paper towels, chlorine free training pants [uses no chorine and recycled paper]; Ecover non-chlorine bleach and dishwashing tablets; Method laundry softener, glass cleaner, biodegradable wipes, Lil' Bowel Blue; Baby-Ganics floor cleaner.

*We increased the amount of insulation on our home and added a heat pump to reduce our energy usage.

* We use high efficiency washers and dryers.

*I re-use food containers to store leftovers

* I re-use glass jars for craft storage and paint water

*I collect bottle caps, wooden fruit crates, receipts, tags, cardboard and other odds n' ends 4 art.

*We drive zero emission cars.

*We give to Goodwill or find a friend who could use something rather than throwing it away. May seem like a no-brainer, but some people throw away useful things and I don't know why.

*We buy a share in our local CSA farm (community supported agriculture). Reduces shipping/fuel usage.

*We take plastic bags to the co-op so they can re-use them.

*We support local businesses whenever possible. (reduces shipping/fuel usage)

*Collect clothing I no longer wear but like for recycling as costuming, toys, etc.

*We use all natural, environmentally friendly toys for our son. I am also making some out of organic, naturally dyed material, organic cotton batting and stuffing. 

I have not figured out why I cannot cut and paste things in this blog. :P otherwise, I'd give you more reasons why what we're doing is important in the words of other journalists, etc. 

I hope you are inspired by this list to make some changes and keep the earth viable for generations to come. or maybe you can pass it on to others who may want some ideas.  there is also a short video clip on howdini.com on how to reduce your carbon footprint.   

I also plan on starting to cook more from scratch, even it is only once or twice more a week or month. Baby steps do make a difference. This will be a theme throughout this blog. :) 

Great Belly Dance class tonight!

Tonight's Beginner class at E. Moore Hall was great! The energy was up and attendance is still high. It was such a beautiful day and it was still light when I arrived. I'm so happy to be teaching in such a beautiful studio and to have such a big class that is so positive. I hope everyone has a good break next week for Spring Break.  this class has gone by so quickly! I can't believe there are only 2 more classes left in this session!  

No Continuing Belly Dance class next week either. We're headed to Baltimore for Cirque!! Then to the zoo/aquarium.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kindermusik today

Angelo and I were able 2 make it to Kindermusik today!! So happy to be back after missing 2 weeks due to illness (I keep saying illness all grumbly in my head).  With the time change, there were lots of sleepy kids in class today, especially Angelo. When his Daddy got him up to dress him, he was still asleep for 1/2 of it and didn't move for the other 1/2. He started asking to nurse about 1/2 way through class and I went ahead and nursed him for the last 3 songs of class.  He did really well, though, especially considering how tired he was. He's really into cleaning up the instruments now.  the pic is of Angelo's 1st day of the new semester.

Kindermusik is a music and movement program that incorporates all kinds of concepts important to development. The website is: Kindermusik.com

Angelo's teacher here in Morgantown is Penni Witt. You can look her up on FaceBook if you're interested in classes. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hopes and Dreams

I'll fill out my profile shortly, but I thought I'd introduce myself. I started belly dancing in 1993 and practicing yoga shortly after. I got my Masters in Occupational Therapy and my specialty was in pediatrics, though I've also worked in Rehab and in Nursing homes. I quit my full time OT job when symptoms from Hashimoto's disease rendered me poorly functional. I went professional as a belly dancer since it gave me energy rather than draining it. My husband I were married in 2000. We were lucky enough to get two lab-shepard-husky-rotti mix pups about 4 1/2 years ago when my sister's dog had puppies (that's Dana in the picture.) The showed us how to love unconditionally and prepped us for the biggest job we'd ever know: parenting! We were blessed with a beautiful boy, Angelo (also in the picture), in 2007. When one of our dogs, Tara, was killed when a mountain lion came up on our porch, we were devastated, completely traumatized. We experienced our greatest joy and our deepest pain all within 9 months! I got my Reiki II attunement shortly after she died. It was absolutely necessary for healing not only myself, but the whole family. I got my Reiki I for the dogs and baby in the first place. I'll never stop missing her, but we have "settled" into a new normal. I teach a couple bellydance classes a week and perform. I'll be going to at least one workshop a month until June and then am sponsoring one myself!! (will post more on that later...)

I'd been thinking for some time that I should start a blog for several reasons: I wanted to share certain experiences that might help other people (especially pregnancy, vegetarianism, belly dance, natural parenting, yoga, Reiki) to share my development in the mixed media/collage/shrine arts (because all humans are artists and should be encouraged to be artistic), keep people posted on my belly dance happenings and my thoughts on belly dance topics, to share my efforts to live green and inspire others to be environmentally friendly... I'm sure I will have more things to discuss here, but that's a start.  I have to say that there was "universal intervention" in getting me to finally get this started. I'd thought about it for a while and was also meant to search the web for Moms who did arts/crafts so I could get ideas for how they fit all that in. Then I got my most recent issue of Mothering magazine featuring 5 crafty Moms who have multiple kids, cook from scratch, sew for the home and family, craft, and blog all about it. some even home school their kids and managed to write books!  That was the inspiration I needed! So here we are!

some links to check out:
My websites: www.TribalBellyDance.net and www.EarthMovement.org
Mothering Magazine: www.mothering.com
Yoga Journal: www.yogajournal.com

more later...