Thursday, August 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, My Matteo Fantastico!

Happy 4th Birthday, my dearest Matteo Fantastico!

Your sweet and gentle nature inspires me to be the best mom I can be...
you deserve nothing less

Your beautiful spirit touches us all.

Thank you for choosing us to be your family, for we are blessed

I love you,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


My sister in law summed up these past few weeks pretty perfectly for us:

"nothing like a roller coaster ride you didn't know you were in line for"

umm, exactly

My hCG levels went up and though they didn't double, it still gives us some hope for this pregnancy. We had been expecting the worst and now, well... we just are trying not to expect anything. I'm finding it a hard line to walk... I want to talk to the little baby inside of me, give it encouragement and love, let it know that we'd be so excited to have it join us, but I'm also afraid to get too close, to become too attached to a dream that could be short lived.

I have an ultrasound later this week as the next step. Tomorrow is Matteo's birthday and then we have to get ready for his big party on Sunday, so there are a lot of really joyful things to keep us occupied.

So for now, we're just waiting...

I really wanted to thank everyone again for all of the love and support. The comments and emails I've received have given me so much comfort. I feel so incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful community of friends. Thanks so much for holding my hand during this ride.

Sensing my sadness the past week, Matteo put together this bowl of flower petals and leaves for me. He offered it to me last night and simply said "this is to heal your heart". I told him that at that moment, my heart was feeling pretty full.

All my love and gratitude,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sadness and Gratitude

Last week we received a surprise in the form of a dollar store pregnancy test with 2 lines (yes, that means positive... I suppose the inexpensive tests don't actually spring for positive and negative signs). I honestly felt like I had been smacked on the side of the head with a shovel. We weren't trying, we hadn't even seriously entertained the idea of a fourth child... but there it was. I have to admit to feeling ambivalence about it. There are so many times I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water with three, I didn't know how I was going to manage four kids under the age of 5. But then, joy, hope and confidence took over... Ivan and I convinced ourselves that we could do this with nothing but love and gratitude for how richly the universe was gifting us with another life to join our already full, happy one.

Over the weekend, I had felt some sharp cramps and had some spotting so I called my obgyn's office on Monday. Always so responsive, they slipped me in right away. There was nothing to see on the ultrasound, but it was assumed that it was still too early (about 4-5 weeks pregnant). I had a series of hCG tests this week to see the progress of the pregnancy and I got the news this afternoon that it doesn't look very good (the hCG numbers aren't doubling as expected). I'll have another one on Monday, but the signs are pointing to another miscarriage.

So I sit here heartbroken, weeping for the child that I didn't know that I wanted, scared to be hopeful that perhaps this will work out despite the lab tests. With my three wonderful, amazing, sweet, loving boys I really can't take the time to ponder that which is out of my control. So I thank you, dear, dear friends for letting me mourn here.

I don't want to end this sadly because after the last miscarriage, what had healed my heart were the boys that I could hold in my arms. Perhaps there is another Spirit Baby waiting to join the craziness that is the Small Tribe someday... maybe hope against hope, this will turn out to be a viable pregnancy...

... But for now it is these beautiful boys that bring me love and joy...
for that I am grateful and comforted.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Simple Pleasures and Found Treasure

Simple Pleasures...

Ivan was surprised to come home today to find me ironing our everyday napkins. I have to say that it's not a normally a chore I have on my to-do list, but our days have been so incredibly chaotic that I felt the need to put some semblance of order somewhere, anywhere in our lives. There was something so comforting about spraying the water, listening to the hiss of steam and the rhythmic back and forth motion of a hot iron... and then finally, the immediate gratification of running my hand along the smooth fabric... it brought me an easy and simple bliss.

Lately I've found myself focusing on finding beauty and pleasure in the smallest of our daily movements and items. I took some time this week to clean out the refrigerator of the myriad of condiments, jams and whatnot that had been sitting in there forever and was happy to find some pretty glass jars (after cleaning) to use for vases, storage, etc.

I took more than a little pride in finally going through the stack of little boy jeans that needed mending and finally patching them up. I realize that many would argue that it probably is more cost efficient to just go buy new pairs than to spend the time sewing them, but the frugal side of me could not bear the thought of spending money when I could just fix them myself and get a little bit more life out of them.

"Before" picture

Perhaps I am looking for joy in the small things that are more readily under my control rather than the larger, bigger issues in life that aren't. Nevertheless, I hope that all of you find small bits of happiness in your daily routine and as I always find inspiration from you, my friends, I hope you'll share what kind of joy you find in your daily life :)

... Found Treasure

I have to admit a not-so-dark secret of mine... I am a bit of a scavenger. Luckily, there are vast riches to be found in being a scavenger in my neighborhood. Now, please don't get me wrong, it's not like I dig through peoples trash bins (um, big yuck) but I do avail myself of the boxes of free things (like books, household items, etc) the neighbors leave out on the curb in front of their homes. The other day I was wistfully thinking about making the green shack a place to get away if I needed some breathing space. I was thinking that a wicker chair may be a nice addition... and then last weekend THIS appeared on the sidewalk a few blocks from my home!

I couldn't believe it, a (relatively) clean rocker in pretty good shape! There are a few spots that could use reinforcement, but, it was even better than the one I had pictured in my mind! I am showing it here with some pieces of an old quilt (that again, I had found in a free box) I am going to make cushions with. (The ottoman was a find at a local salvage paradise called Urban Ore- only $5!).

It's surreal how I can think about needing/wanting something and within a few days, the universe will provide it curbside. An umbrella double stroller, baskets from Ikea (the exact same ones I was planning on going out to buy the next day), racks for the boys trains, a baby name book while I was pregnant... are just a few things that seem to arrive just when I need them. I tend to walk everywhere -usually with the boys and a stroller- so it is a bit of a job explaining to them why they need to walk so Mommy can carry furniture home in their seats, but I think they're used to it by now : ).

I thought I'd share some of the flowers that we have in our dining room. Whenever I walk by them or see them from another room, they lift my spirits up a bit... a simple pleasure I wanted to share with you all :)

(By the way, my apologies for my lack of WIP updates.. I just haven't had much progress on any of my crafty works, but with Matteo's birthday coming next week, I'll be hunkering down this weekend to finish things up and hopefully will have an eyeful for you all next week!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I have a house where I go
When there's too many people,
I have a house where I go
Where no one can be;
I have a house where I go
Where nobody ever says "no";
Where no one says anything- so

There is no one but me.

- A.A. Milne "Solitude" Now We Are Six

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In My Father's Garden

The boys wanted to use their firehat to gather their harvest

Today we went to visit my parents and the boys were able to go to one of their favorite places, my dad's garden.

When he retired a few years ago, my dad picked up a few plots at a local community garden. It's become the hub of his social life as he visits the garden daily to tend to his plants and visit with fellow green-thumbed friends. Ivan and I have semi-joked that we don't need to join a CSA as long as my dad likes hanging out with his gardening pals :)

Nico's favorite person in the world is his beloved "Lolo" (the phrase in the filipino culture that refers to older relative, such as a grandfather). He was all smiles, first being able to run and play in the garden AND to spend time with Lolo.

I don't think I'd ever be adventurous enough to actually buy Italian eggplant at the market, but since my dad has been growing it, it's been a special treat at dinner this time of year.

The boys LOVE cherry tomatoes and often just pop them in their mouths the same way other kids pop candy

Matteo was showing us how butterflies fly :)

It is so sweet to me that my boys have developed a love for nature and gardening through their special relationship with my dad. I'm hoping that it's something that they will always remember and treasure.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Magical Getaway

Thank you so much everyone for your well wishes for our getaway to Ivan's grandparent's home near Mendocino! It was a much needed, truly magical visit. Ivan's grandparents are incredibly lovely, charming people who live up the coast on beautiful land with apple orchards, a forest and even a small pond! It was so wonderful to have the boys spend time with their great grandparents and be able to run around free in such an amazing environment. I can't really describe in words what a lovely visit we had, so I hope my photo journal will suffice...

Come sit a spell, there's lavender planted along the front porch

Grandmother's lovely garden

The birds that joined us outside the window at breakfast

Every visit we look forward to the treat of Grandmother's homemade jam

Walks in the woods

Nico looks for frogs at the pond

Matteo takes a break on our hike

The boys asked if they could have a tractor like their Great Grandpapa's

We visited Navarro Winery for a tasting party. Ivan and I had served Navarro wines at our wedding, so it was a special visit for us.

Nico in the barrel room,it looks like he's trying to get a taste of his own :)

We went to Mendocino Beach, collected driftwood

...and rocks

This was Luca's first visit to the ocean, he liked sand

Matteo thought the water was cold

It warmed up eventually so Nico took his pants off and jumped right in

I love this picture of Ivan and Luca. Ivan has this blissful look while Luca looks like he is laughing and saying "he's like putty in my hands!"
... actually sweetheart, we all are :)

Matteo also enjoyed taking pictures on this trip. He took this photo of his great grandfather.

a gorgeous carved driftwood bowl, my wonderful husband gave me this weekend

So here are some apples I brought back to share with you all :)

Thanks for accompanying us in spirit!