Oh, the many uses of an umbrella!
What does your monday morning look like?
She is 13 lbs at six weeks, our Kathleen Claire is. Rapidly leaving the newborn stage even as I try to hold on to the moments so that I can savour each drop of the sweetness. Today at the doctor’s office she began charming from the moment we entered. Peacefully gazing around, turning her head to focus those pretty blue eyes on whomever was speaking, and smiling when hearing my voice. Oh, we have our fussy times, especially at night although we celebrated four straight hours last night, but mostly Kathleen is a happy, peaceful baby. She loves being in our arms and in the sling the very best but she also has times where she will lay quietly looking around.
It is so neat to me how one little baby has added so much to our little family. Both of the girls delight in helping care for her and are thrilled with how she smiles at them or enjoys being held by them. Somehow there is this added feeling of love and care. I know that having three children has brought a change in my role as a mama; almost as if it flows from me more naturally. I have had other people tell me that they were so worried that they would have a hard time with three and yet they felt the same way too.
Suddenly, I have this feeling or belief that I CAN DO THIS! Not because I suddenly am a perfect mama, or even a better mama, but because suddenly… I don’t have to be. I just am their mama. They were given to me, I was given to them. We just are. Maybe sometimes it seems like we don’t fit. And I don’t know what I am doing any more than I did a month ago, a year ago, or even four years ago. I just know this, I never ask or expect my daughters to be perfect, what makes me think that they expect that of me? We have a book that Aneliese loves for me to read to her and the last line is, I love you because you are you. She loves that line especially when I look at her and say it right to her.
My time of internet quiet began with a visit from my mom and sister. It was lovely and we were thoroughly spoiled while they were here; the girls were delighted with Auntie Shaylene’s abliity to play! As I expected, it was wonderful to have them here, the time went much too quickly, and I was ready to hop on the plane for a visit back home. But, since we didn’t expect to go visit this year, I am being thankful that we are going to both Alberta and BC in July!!
In the past week, we have made great progress on getting our house ready. I need to take some pictures because even though there is still much to do, it really is looking beautiful. I can hardly wait to be living there and inviting new friend and neighbors over. We are hoping to have our house warming at the end of February/beginning of March but if all goes well, we will be moving within a week or so.
I began my hiatus with full intention of basically turning the computer off and not thinking about it. However, I didn’t quite make it there, but it was nice to be intentional about doing a couple of other things. Such as making a list of books that I want to read (I am intending to share it soon for those who are interested), getting back into some semblance of rhythm in the girls’ and my day. We have mostly managed to be clothed, have teeth and hair brushed by ten so this is progress. Granted, Cecily often has had an accident by 10:05 and Aneliese is still requesting special pajama days every other day, but we are getting there. We have also been enjoying getting back into some “arting” again with a few great art supplies from Stubby Pencil Studio.
And now, Aneliese, Cecily, and I have succumbed to some sort of winter bug. Which of course means hot lemon/honey drinks, plenty of chicken soup made from homemade bone broth, and extra mediation between two extra sensitive sisters.
And now my friends, I will end this scattered…slightly boring post with pictures…which in my world fully revives it!
My mama and my sister are on a plane headed this way right now! I am not sure who is more excited, Aneliese or I. Just one more sleep! I am looking forward to a whole week with them. A week that I know will fly by way too fast.
I decided a couple of days ago that starting while they are here, I am going to take a little internet hiatus (with the exception of email). I am feeling pretty great and mostly recovered from Kathleen’s birth which means that I am also ready to start taking over some of the things that Dan has been needing to help out with leaving him more time to work on getting the house ready for us to move in. With the addition of Kathleen, we need to do some reworking and refiguring of our daily rhythm and I need to take some time to really focus on that with out being distracted.
Aside from that, I have a few delightful tasks that I want to take some time for in the next little while. I want to decide on a few projects for the coming months, such as planning my garden! I also have heaps of book titles and subjects that I have been wanting/planning to read so I want to narrow that list down to a realistic number that is on paper and not just a list floating in the foggy mists of my head. I want to do this for the girls as well especially because I want to start introducing them to more poetry. And, we also want to start working on some more intentional memorization that will go well with planning our reading.
That said, “see” you in a couple of weeks! What are some projects that you have for this year? Do you have any book suggestions either for the girls or I? I would specifically appreciate hearing about any audio books for children that are well read/done as that is something that Aneliese is starting to really enjoy and it is great for in the vehicle.
- Our wood stove is hooked up! The man came to sign the papers to certify it today. A large pile of wood is sitting in our driveway and being moved down into the basement by Dan and his two helpers at this very moment. Now we can use our crazy expensive oil furnace just a little less. And we are one step closer to moving in.
- I love the snow here. It just kind of floats to the ground and makes me feel so peaceful. It has been gently snowing for the past couple of days and only now is starting to come down quite hard. I do acknowledge that although it is beautiful coming down, it is also so heavy and deep which makes the road and driveway a challenge. But it is beautiful.
- Aneliese has been fighting her nap lately and so our compromise has been a “rest” where she sits quietly and looks at books with a timer on. We are at about 40 minutes and she does really well. This also means that she can hardly stay awake for stories at bedtime.
- The laundry with three children is endless. Especially when sweet Cecily has started having many more accidents…almost always on the way to the toilet…She will officially be known as the child who didn’t wear pants. We haven’t successfully folded and put away the clean laundry before the dirty basket is full again, but someday.
- Kathleen just might be my most cuddly baby ever. She is so content, provided that she is in my arms. She is also an extremely noisy sleeper at night, unless she sleeps in my arms, so my sleep is more disturbed by her grunting and growling than by her hunger.
And life continues on.
My blog has been quiet lately, a reflection of the drawing inward nature of the past weeks. Mostly I have just wanted to enjoy the days with Dan and my girls. And to spend many moments cuddling wee Kathleen whose days of tiny will pass so quickly. Not to mention that the addition of a baby has brought about a much more overt need of hugs, attention, and thoughtful parenting for Aneliese and Cecily. That takes up much of the day and then I am so ready for sleep that I can hardly form a sentence. I just keep thinking how privileged I am to be able to provide that for them even though in the challenging times (especially in the night), I forget to be thankful.
The Christmas days:
Thank you all for your kind words and wishes! My wee Kathleen is a week old today. We paid a little visit to our nurse practicioner for the one week check up and Kathleen is doing beautifully. She is back to just a smidge off of her birth weight and received multiple compliments on how nicely plump she is;). She has the eating thing down and has succeeded where her sisters failed in that she can pretty much empty one side during some feedings already. That makes me hopeful that I won’t be painfully full for quite as long this time! She is already working on smiles and we all think that she is oh so cute. She pretty much has her two big sisters wrapped around her little finger, they love her so. I am getting the impression that once I am able, my ergo is going to see a great deal of use again as she likes to be cuddled close.
I am feeling rested and so good. I can actually walk without worrying about falling; my hips don’t hurt at all. Of course I have healing to do from the c-section but I am not needing pain relief much at all. Now the job will be convincing myself to continue to rest and heal because I am ready to get up and at ‘er even though I know that if I do so that I will pay for it. My feeling so much better also makes Dan’s life much easier even though it will be a while before everything is back to normal.
The girls are adjusting well for the most part. Aneliese is like her mama in that change, even good change, is very difficult for her and so she has been having some struggles especially at night but with lots of love and patience, I think we are getting through it. Cecily’s demonstration is to be even more mischievous than ever and we need to be mindful that we don’t let her slip through the cracks with care and attention. She also needs watching because she believes that she is fully capable of getting Kathleen out of her bed and other such things.
A few moments from the first week:
My most favorite day of the year as a child was the day that we would get our Christmas tree. Now, we didn’t just go get a tree, we went Christmas Tree Hunting. Sometime between Christmas day and early December, mom and dad would decide a day that would work and that was our day. Sometimes we would drive way up into the bush in our valley and sometimes we would climb up the mountain of our property. Always searching carefully for the perfect tree; shaking the snow off of this one, standing back to look at that one. Sometimes we would stop for a fire and some snacks because we weren’t going home until we had found the right one. Often, we would decide upon one that we had passed up earlier in search of a better one (one time it was literally on the edge of our barnyard.)
Once we got home, dad would set up the tree and do any needed branch trimming. Depending on the sparsity of the branches that year, we would also tie in a few branches. Then we pulled out boxes from different corners and cracks where they were stored, waiting impatiently for Dad to finish stringing the lights, and the decorating began. Oh the beautiful random assortment; this blue one from my mom’s childhood tree, this funny penguin bought for Dad’s birthday, teddy bears for each child from a much loved uncle, a sparkly angel offered from a family friend, still another angel made from pasta and painted white, a box of little bows and felt candy canes from another friend who spent several years with us. I was dazzled by the beauty of each ornament as we carefully took them from the boxes and hung them on the tree until each one had its place. Finally it was time for the tinsel star to be placed on top and plugged in. And oh, it was beautiful!
As I moved from childhood, our tree became a little more polished, some of the old ornaments became a little too ratty looking and my mom replaced some. But each year with out fail, we went on the Christmas tree hunt and the memories kept building. Memories of piling into the truck, of my baby brother falling off the pack horse into the deep snow, my older brother insisting that the top of a tall pine tree was perfect and so climbing up to cut it. Laughing and being together. My favorite day.
Two years have passed without the great tree hunt and this year, we knew that we would select our very first Nova Scotia Christmas tree from our own bit of land. The modified version comes because of the wee one limiting my ability to walk and so our “hunt” entailed walking to the edge of our field and selecting from there.
**Continuing with no lights as our reminder for advocacy and prayer.
Her eyes are incredibly alive with life as she gazes out of their blue, blue depths. A slight change in their shape have a way of telling us what is coming next before she moves or speak; a slight upward slant indicates that she is up to mischief in her little mind or perfect roundness glimmering with tears showing hurt feelings.
She has fully developed in her ability to tease, especially the older sister, and loves to grab and run. But, with heart is too gentle to carry on for long so most often, the next response is to stop and return whatever was taken.She completely knows that others find her funny and so makes sure not to disappoint by saying funny things or clowning around.
Speaking of gentle, Cecily already shows such concern for others. She will do what she can to sooth away any tears that she sees, whether from Aneliese, her little friend Gretta, or even her mama. If given anything, she always wants to share it with “An-Yease” or make certain that she has hers as well. She is also so eager to help and to please. Yet, she seems to be developing a strong sense of justice early on in life in that she holds her ground. Cecily will give up almost anything if asked well but will not allow things to be taken from her. She clearly expects to be treated kindly.
These past two years have flown by with our little Cecily Jane…she lives up to her name by bring music to our lives! We are incredibly blessed by her little presence and I am excited to watch and encourage her as she walks through life; or perhaps rather as she dances.
Some pictures from Cecily’s day:
It was a low key birthday, starting with our tradition of birthday gift at breakfast and a special birthday crown. We had planned an evening of games and music together but then an unexpected needed trip to the “city” (I don’t know if it can really be called a city but that is what Aneliese calls it) saw us getting home in time to have a quick (and free:) pizza at our favorite little Bistro which was Cecily’s request of the day and then home to enjoy blueberry birthday cake in pj’s just before bed. Low key, but fun for all of us.
Carrying on in giving a gift on our birthday, being that Cecily is still a little young, I chose for her one last time by making a donation to Reece’s Rainbow. If you haven’t heard of them; “The mission of Reece’s Rainbow is to rescue orphans with Down syndrome through the gift of adoption, to raise awareness for all of the children who are waiting in 25 countries around the world, and to raise funds as adoption grants that help adoptive families afford the high cost of adopting these beautiful children.” My friend Krista is raising money for a specific little boy, Jakob, and so we were able to give a little towards her goal of $1000 by Christmas for him. She is also doing a give-away towards this.