Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Autumn's Arrival

With temperatures hovering close to 80 degrees, the official arrival of Autumn came without much fanfare. But this week a subtle shift occurred outdoors and within...

Our lushly green trees made room for some burnt red leaves to appear

On cool brisk mornings the boys ride their bikes to school

The apples in our generous neighbors tree have ripened, providing a sweet stop for the rides home after school

..and we're adding Nature's Autumn gifts to our season bowl...

Wishing all a lovely change of season

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WIP Wednesday- Royal Gifts

My crafting time the past few weeks has been used doing one of my favorite things- making gifts for children. Admittedly, it's usually around 2AM the night before the child's birthday party... but who's complaining? I'm happy to take the quiet time that I can to meditate with my hands and create something special for the child in mind.

It occurred to me that I never posted photos of Matteo's birthday crown (the only craft that got completed during that crazy time), but here it is...
...and bless his heart, he loved it more than the gorgeous felted crown that I had bought for him on Etsy :).

Matteo had a special friend at school last year, a wonderful little girl who I will call "M". Her Baba had mentioned to me that M had commented on Matteo's "dreamy brown eyes" during dance class and I had already been in LOVE with M's sweet nature that we decided on the spot to pre-arrange their marriage (JUST KIDDING!... kind of). ANYWAY, it was M's birthday recently and she had mentioned to me that purple and red were her favorite colors... so I had to make a crown befitting such a lovely potential daughter-in-law (ok, I'll stop)

...Can I just share this photo of the two of them? At party last summer, her Baba and I were trying to get a photo of them together and when asked to smile, we were met with the following responses:

"I'm eating"
"I want to play"

This picture just makes me giggle

A few months ago, I made a really truly wonderful friend, Nicola. We had initially met on our local parents network when she so kindly took a play structure off of my hands. I fell in love with her daughter, Lala who is 5 and hoped that we could get together again. Life being as it is, we didn't cross paths until months later when I realized that a parent/friend from Matteo's preschool is good friends with Nicola and thus a friendship was born. Nicola writes a wonderful blog about natural living, motherhood and frugality and it's been truly a treat to have a blogging friend who is also a friend that I see regularly (we always seem to be at the same yard sales :D). She is also my hero as she actually gets PAID for her writing, as she does a column for the Examiner on Frugality.

We were honored to be invited to Lala and her brother, Finn's birthday party last weekend and I was so excited to have the chance to make the Princess and Pea set that I had seen in so many wonderful blogs!

I used a "previously loved" Plan Toys Farmhouse girl and gave her a makeover by unbraiding her hair and making a new outfit for her with felt and some trim

Used the rest of my Good Folks stash and felted a pea...

I am slowly, but surely, getting back into the swing of things... starting to think about holiday gifts, a few more swaps to catch up on, and my adorable boys- Nico and Luca's- birthdays coming up in November...

So glad to be back WIP' ing (sounds naughty doesn't it ;}?)!
Thanks so much for joining me!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Boys at Summer's End

Little boys dance through the sprinklers

Howl with delight

While the littlest one smiles and crawls into the fray

Hope You're Enjoying The Last Days of Summer!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Castle Builder

A gentle boy, with soft and silken locks
A dreamy boy, with brown and tender eyes,
A castle-builder, with his wooden blocks,
And towers that touch imaginary skies.

A fearless rider on his father's knee,
An eager listener unto stories told
At the Round Table of the nursery,
Of heroes and adventures manifold.

There will be other towers for thee to build;
There will be other steeds for thee to ride;
There will be other legends, and all filled
With greater marvels and more glorified.

Build on, and make thy castles high and fair,
Rising and reaching upward to the skies;
Listen to voices in the upper air,
Nor lose thy simple faith in mysteries.

-The Castle Builder by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mother's Milk

Photo courtesy of Mel Orr of Haddy2Dogs

I've always taken breastfeeding for granted. I live in a part of the country where it's actually harder (in a social sense) NOT to breastfeed. I've heard many stories from mothers, who for medical reasons could not breastfeed, who had been approached by the Nursing Nazis in public, who just had to let them know- quite smugly- that "Breast is Best" (um, thanks, I think they already knew that).

Breastfeeding for me has always been matter of fact. It's simply what one does. I'd never been very sentimental about it or felt the spiritual experience many have had. I fed Matteo and Nico until the time was right for them to move on. No tears on either side. End of story. This all changed this past week when what I took for granted was no longer available.

I didn't write about this before because quite frankly I was tired of my own drama and didn't want to submit you lovely people to more of it. But after I had posted about the miscarriage last week, through follow up blood work and an ultrasound, I found out that I wasn't miscarrying, but rather had an ectopic pregnancy. Joy, right? So I had to take a trip to the emergency room for a lovely dose of methatrexate to terminate the pregnancy. I could deal with that for I had long given up hope for a viable pregnancy, but what I wasn't prepared for was the inability to nurse my precious Luca Bean for 4 days following as the drug worked through my system.

Up until then, my happy-go-lucky Bean was The.Easiest.Baby.Ever. Now my Littlest Love was absolutely beside himself, pulling at my shirt, banging his head against my chest in rage. He never had to take a bottle before,he didn't know what this fake milk/formula was... my poor little guy was just going mental not knowing why he wasn't getting his booby. For me, I was incredibly stressed trying to make sure the Bean would eat something. I spent a small fortune on organic blueberries and peaches knowing those were foods he loved. I wasn't sad, I was just plain angry (though I still don't know at whom) while I pumped and dumped at least 4 times a day trying to keep my supply intact, while attempting to explain to my 4 and almost 3 year olds that playing with the pump controls while Mommy was pumping wasn't really conducive to Mommy "letting down".

Last night I finally was able to nurse my precious, precious little Luca. He woke in the middle of the night and I was able to do what I had been doing thousands of times before, simply lift my shirt and offer my breast to him. My hands were free of a bottle and I could stroke his little warm head while the light of the almost full moon was on his peaceful, lovely face. I finally understood the spiritual connection one has while breastfeeding a baby. I discovered a bliss and happiness that was always there, but had taken for granted far too easily.

Never again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day of School

Two little boys starting school together for the first time

Two lunches

Two backpacks

One loves to draw

while the other ponders cars

Two little boys yelling goodbye through the window :)

It all flies by so quickly...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tea and Tart

So the ride is over, my friends. I miscarried on Sunday afternoon. I'm doing OK, sad that my dream of having another precious child is put away for now, but relieved to no longer be living in limbo.

I'm trying to figure out why the universe pitched us this curveball. I'm asking myself what lesson can I take away from this (because there's a reason for everything, right?). Ivan and I now realize how much room there is in our hearts, homes and lives for another baby and that maybe we'll be blessed with one later. But I think more importantly for me, I'm learning to understand and accept shortcomings from others. What was the hardest thing to deal with was the silence and lack of support from where I thought it would or should be- leaving someone a message in tears and not getting a call back, being quoted Doris Day ("Que Sera, Sera")... it left me feeling alone and empty. The epiphany I had today was that I vowed that I was going to raise my boys to be different. To be the kind of people who openly and generously show their love and support for those they care for. Even if it's just to say "I don't know what to say, but I care and am here for you". My lofty ambition is not to have my boys become captains of industry, but rather simply to be caring individuals with emotional intelligence. I know it starts with me and so I'm working on letting go of the anger and focusing on my beautiful, magical boys.

I wanted to thank you, my wonderful community of friends near and far for being with me during this time. You are what helped me get through the tougher moments. Up until recently, it was always easier to just post pictures of pretty toys and write about the lovelier things... I now know that at times it's OK to be honest and share what's in my heart. I'm serving up some tea and apple tart for whenever you want to drop by, curl up your feet and visit.

You are dear and special friends.

Love and Gratitude,