Friday, April 29, 2011

A Treat for the Girls

Can I just say, "I LOVE FREE-CYCLE!!!" today.  Yes, 95% of the emails that come through are just deleted but every now and then there are true gifts and blessings!  Over the years, we've received a crib, kids clothes, books, crafting stuff, etc.  But today was a real treat for the girls...Barbie stuff! (RV, furniture, grocery, a couple dolls and clothes) Eloise and Isobel have been holed up in their bedroom for over 2 hours, except emerging once to ask when Sofia would be home to play!  And the best part theses are vintage (older than me!) dolls with clothes that are clothes and the dolls look more like real people. 

This treat for the girls has given Finn an "only child" afternoon!  Cuddling, playing, stealing my French Onion soup (why will they eat nearly anything out of my dish, but not theirs?)...

We needed a quiet afternoon like this...thank you to the generous people of free-cycle :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a new season begins with new intention....

I find myself fearing the season of the "empty nest" today.  Granted Sofia is only 6y5m12d (who's counting?!) and we have many years before there is any chance she will be moving out, but yesterday she lost her 1st tooth.  The tooth that made me cry when it broke through her gum.  The tooth that made me so proud of her persistence and strength.  The tiny tooth that bit me and made me cry.  The tooth that is now in a baggie in the possession of her tooth fairy, Chloe, on its way to help build fairy homes.  The tooth that has reminded me again she will not be little forever.  These last 6 years have been way too short!  And if a tiny tooth is causing this much anxiety about them growing...

1 out 19 to go!
But as I sit here rocking baby Mathilde Grace (who still has 20 teeth to erupt and lose) I'm trying to bring my focus back to now.  Back to my sweet baby, sleeping toddler and happily playing preschoolers.  Back to being truly present for them, for the moments, for our family.  Back to focusing on building and molding strong and faith-filled people who regardless of physical location will keep our "nest" full forever!

On a slight tangent...I have started blog reading recently.  This is certainly not always a productive use of my time or attention but there are 3-4 blogs that have challenged me recently.  I do not know these mothers, but they are wise and supportive and offer a challenge to rethink and motivate to constantly challenge their readers to be happier, healthier mamas and wives of happier, healthier families.   And best of all they are real, they have children, they are not perfect and are also striving for better...  The "Happiest Mom" this morning challenged that Monday's be devoted to establishing intention (  Intention to improve something in the next week.  And like everyone else I'm full of intention in 6,000 different directions.  My dominant and driving intention recently has been toward order and peace and less of the earthly.  This intention has left me stressed and overwhelmed, kinda paradoxical considering the goal.  Well, I'm going to try her challenge and focus my intent.

The targeted focus of my first challenge toward the greater goal, our master bedroom!  I once read somewhere that the best indication of the health of a marriage is the state of the master bedroom.  Oh dear!  This statement often haunts me!  Our bedroom is SCARY; the catch-all of anything and everything that has not received an assigned home within our home.  It is the space that no one goes, the kids are banned, company is not invited is ours, it is private, it is a safe place to hide.  I guess that isn't an all bad reflection of us.  But the visible chaos is certainly not, nor is it a peaceful and retreat-like place; and that is my intent.  So following the "happiest mom's" recommendation to place it within the who-what-when-why-how model....

WHO - Mark and I
WHAT - create order and peace within our Master Bedroom
WHEN - by our anniversary (this year...5/10/11)
WHY - Being great parents begins with being a happy couple.  Happiness can be further improved by a peaceful retreat of a bedroom, right?  A place that is ours (and well, Mathilde's for a few more months).  A place that is secret and private and clean.  A place where parents can be grown-ups.  I WE need that!
HOW - The elusive time and energy would help.  But since those are not easily found, we'll have to employ a tag team system; you play, I work then I play, you work....and a constant mantra of "no more boxes, no more piles"

We both function best with deadlines and rewards :)  So deadline established....5/10/11! may take a bit of financial planning bedroom furniture and bedding...and let's throw in DJ Hero 2 for Mark (we know I'm going to cave and let him buy it anyway, but let's pretend not for a few more weeks!)

Off to be "present" with my littles who are no longer cuddling or sleeping or happily playing!  and too try next time to focus and create flow and thought here and not such random combinations of thoughts :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shhh! All is so quiet!

I'm likely going to regret this but "it is SO quiet here".  The sun is up and Finn is still sleeping, the big girls are playing quietly in their room, Mathilde is sleeping in my lap, and I'm sitting here at 8:39a with a hot cup of coffee in near silence.  Is the world ok?!  These moments don't happen often...

It's Spring Break this week.  Isobel has been off of school all week and Sofia's break begins today :)  and it has been a wonderful time to slow down and reflect both on the season and events of Passion week but also on our existence as a family.  We have spent the last year moving and up-ending our world and as the dust settles, I've been feeling a very strong pull and need to organize, purge and find peace.  And so far, well we are still in chaos physically; there are boxes and piles and THINGS that need attention.  But this week is a "break" from those physical concerns and the focus has been placed on our greater need for order and calm and what better way to find that with littles than a schedule change.  And it has been great and I'm really starting to look forward to summer and the great things we can do together.  We have done crafts and themes of the day and eaten at the table and just played.  And guess what? behavior has been good!

Monday was pirates.  Why? well because we have TONS of old paper towel rolls and what better way to use them than to paint them into telescopes.  So eye-patches down because "Arghhh Matey".
So proud of his creation!

working hard to coat every bit of it with paint
 After telescopes were painted and while they "patiently" waited for them to dry, we rested and watched Peter Pan.  And then..."all aboard" the pirate ship!
"mommy off the port bow"

A revolt! 
Tuesday was a little more tame with BUGS! inspired by the Very Hungry Caterpillar and SPING.  There were egg carton caterpillars, tissue paper butterflies and hunting for dandelions and bugs in the beautiful sunshine!

I so love watching him learn and explore

eliose creating..

Wednesday was a more relaxed day and return to the world with grocery shopping (twice) and cleaning.  The littles played and played and just were.

And here we are at Thursday already.  Holy Thursday...there will be an egg carton re-creation of the Last Supper.  And quiet, I hope, a time for more reflection and creating of order....

Well my boy is to have a great day with 5 of the greatest kids ever!  Wishing everyone a blessed day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Not sure how it is already April...I have written nearly everyday, to bad neither pen meets paper nor fingers meet keyboard.  I have found my best thinking and writing happen while running kids back and forth to school; maybe I need a tape-recorder, hmmm?!  I'm hoping with spring and the many opportunities it gives for reflections that I can flit in here more often to record the "moments" that make this adventure so grand...

Anyway, I'm going to back up for a moment, we welcomed Mathilde Grace into our family on January 30th! 
1st picture with Mathilde moments after her birth

Her delivery was smooth and easy except well she tried to stall her arrival for a bit...I wonder how this fact will show in her personality.  Each of the kids personality very much reflect their pregnancy, labor and delivery.  Sofia is always eager and ready to live but hesitant when you'd think she'd jump; always active in utero, arrived at barely 37 weeks but not ready to uncurl or sleep anywhere but safely snuggled in her carseat.  Isobel was active in utero but then induced at 38 weeks in a quick and easy delivery but she was always awkward to swaddle and cuddle; she is cautious and observant about EVERYTHING before she decides what to do, she loves to be cuddled but usually won't accept it until she is distraught about something.  Eloise came fast and furious at 37.5 weeks, we barely made it to the hospital despite Mark racing at 85mph to get us there, I was 10cm and she arrived with 45 minutes and she hasn't slowed in anyway since; she is sharp as a tack and her personality is warm and fearless.  Finn was a peaceful pregnancy and required much patience as we waited until 39 weeks to meet him, but when it was time he too arrived very quickly; he is FEARLESS but quiet and easy-going and trouble seems to find him and he still requires a lot of patience.  Mathilde so far is sweet and cuddly and loves to sleep.  Not one the same but each a gift and blessing to our family.
Happy Mathilde
I've observed something recently...  When I was pregnant with each of my babies there were warnings of things to fear with each addition and a sense of judgement and feeling judged by strangers of my brood.  But after the arrival of each, I've left any care of judgement behind as my blessing are simply that a blessing to us and the world.  And I am tickled to claim them ("yes ALL five are mine" and "yes we know where they came from") and watch the reactions of others...from encouraging words to rolled eyes...each gives me a moments pause to reflect. 
On to current events...this week is both Holy Week and spring break :)  The perfect opportunity to slow down and focus.  I hope to be back tomorrow with the pics and stories of this week...pirates, bugs, and ____ oh my!