Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas this year.

We had a bittersweet Christmas this year. Christmas day was as magical as it could be. The girls awoke and were beyond excited, yelling "Happy Birthday Jesus!" And my heart melted. Christmas just snuck up and took me by surprise. Handmade gifts were dreamed about and not made. Presents were ordered and wrapped up at the last minute. Somehow, everything came together and the magic and wonder of Christmas found its way into our hearts.
And my little loves enjoyed every bit of it.
My brother came into town last week, and we all went for a hike with my parents. It was perfect weather, and very peaceful. A welcome trip outdoors in the midst of preparing for Christmas.
Looking at these pictures now several days later, I feel a bit of sadness, at how things were just a mere week and a half ago, and how different they are today. A week later, a new year. Some things reamain unchanged, the mountains, the valley, the rivers, the sunrise and the seasons, always familiar and beautiful. and Faithful.
We spent Christmas day at my Mom and Dad's with my brother and our still-skunky dog. We had more presents, more food, I defeated all at scrabble, and the kids ate so much sugar they bounced off the wall. In more than one way, I am glad Christmas only comes once a year. And now it is over.
Unfortunately a few days after Christmas, our beloved cat, Pascal died. It was the saddest thing that one day he was balled up in blankets in a doll bed, or being dragged across the floor by his tail by an overly affectionate baby and then he was gone. We think he ate a mouse that had eaten rat poison. He was an indoor cat bent on escaping, which he did on Christmas night. We miss him dearly.

Last night another dreadful thing happened. Kieran awoke shaking, and then his eyes rolled back in his head he stopped breathing for a moment... as my heart stopped beating for a moment. For a few moments I thought my baby would die. I prayed my heart out, while Nick dialed 911. The EMTs came and informed us that Kieran had had a Febrile Seizure. I have never expirienced anything like this as a parent and I was so afraid. Thankfully it isn't as huge of a deal as it looked like at 5am. It is moments like these that we realize how vulnerable we really are and how great a gift life really is. And in these moments, when life is lost or spared I feel the true meaning of Christmas, ribbons and paper aside, the gift of life in the most likely of places. A babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. So vulnerable. So alive. So perfect.

I hope you all had a moment to appreciate the greatest gift of all this Holiday season, the gift of life. Because it isn't something we are owed, and tomorrow is never a guarentee.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1

"the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away...” Job 1:21

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Christmas for ME!!!

So can you guess what I worked, slaved, and saved up for?? Not a kitty...
Nor the cutest baby ever...
Not a tree with sparkly lights. Or the sweetie pie who didn't want to leave the tree at bedtime. I FINALLY purchased a new camera! A dslr, the Nikon d3100 and I am so happy with it! At first I felt a bit guilty dropping all that money on something for myself, but I think my only regret is that I DIDN't BUY ONE SOONER. I feel somehow, like I wish I had something so detailed to capture Anastasia's sweet baby feet, the wrinkles of Isabel's baby double chins, the tiny fingers of newborn Kieran. *sigh*
But Now I am ready for life, and all those moments that I want to see pictures of. I think it took about 1000 gnomes and 3 months of 3 am crafting to afford it. And I am so, so excited.
Funny though, how many accessories I suddenly have on my wish list, now that I used my (3 month) life savings to purchase something I really wanted. I am such a model consumer, don't you think? Anyway I guess I feel like Christmas morning came a couple of weeks early for me.
And look at our ballerina! I was so proud of her at her "friend and family" day for ballet! She was a little elf in "The Elves and the Shoemaker" and it was very sweet. She held that smile on her face the ENTIRE time. I was a ballet drop out myself, but ballet drives my little girl. And to see tiny ballerinas in their pink leotards and tutus are enough to melt even the most tom-boyish girls of us all. Especially when they parade around on their toes and giggle together. Be still my heart.
And afterwards I found that our local fast food joint, Spelunkers, sells candy cane milkshakes that are out of this world! It was a good, pink, ruffly, candycane evening indeed.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The racoon story

Today my girls told a story together that went something like this:

Isabel: Once Uponsatime there was a girl who got sprayed by a racoon.

Anastasia chimed in: And she was really stinky and had to take a potato juice bath.

Isabel: And then the monster came and ate her and the racoon all up!


they melt me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy St. Nicholas Day to you!

Last night, 3 tiny pairs of shoes were placed by the hearth and the children went to bed without any trouble. And they awoke with jubilation at truffles and chocolate coins tucked into the wee corners of their shoes. I do love all the magic of Christmastime. Driving through streets of houses glowing with colored lights. Like little gingerbread cottages. I love how Christmas music jingles its way through shops decorated with garland and trees. I love Christmastime. :) And I love our dog:
I love her even though she decided to go skunk hunting at my parents house. Last week she killed a skunk that came into my parent's yard. Their whole yard stunk. And my whole dog stunk too. So Nick and I spent our Sunday afternoon bathing our dog and all that thick, fluffy, stinky fur. In some ways it was completely amusing. In other ways it was gross and stinky. Our poor dog had never seemed so happy about getting a bath. In fact, she HATES baths, but this time she knew too well, that she smelled HORRIBLE. Poor Leia.

So as much as I love Christmas, I don't like Christmas shopping. I enjoy picking things out, but I hate dropping cash on it. And of course my girls want the same things as last year, tinkerbelles, princesses and Barbies. I cringe at how hard I worked to keep natural, handmade and pleasant toys in our house to have it slowly taken over by girlie plastic bonanza. But it is all okay, I reason because they play with princesses and tinkerbell dolls more than anything else. Endlessly. And sometimes I imagine the $22 I could have spent on a waldorf-style dollhouse doll that would be played with less and the $5 I just spent on a plastic Ariel, and think of how many yards of fabric I could buy with the leftover $17. Or the book I have been wanting for months. The extra bill I can pay, or whatever else. That puts my mind at ease. I just try to keep the big things like doll houses and furniture wooden and natural. And this year I have been saving my money for something BIG. REALLY BIG (for me anyway) so even though in some ways I feel I am giving the kids a little less, or at least spending a lot less not ordering from my favorites, Magic Cabin and Nova, I feel that it isn't really all about what I want for my children, but what they want, love and are passionate about.

And I just peeked in on the girls to find them building castles with wooden blocks, for a mixture of princess dolls, playmobil, wooden animals, and some fairies I made, and I think that is the balance I hope to achieve. I don't know why I am rambling on about this, but I guess I just spent years on my high-horse wanting the best and the nicest for my children, and that horse just fell in love with a cheap little pony. Haha. I think maybe I obsess and care too much about my children's playthings but when I walk into Target and see the dolls with freaky eyes and wobbly heads and skimpy clothes, etc I cringe because I don't want toys to jeapordize the carefree innocence and beauty of childhood.

End ramble.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Remember Me?

Its been ages hasn't it? Since I have written in this little space of the world wide web. Between broken cameras and computer issues, parties and craft shows, pumpkins and turkeys and everyday life with 3 littles I have slacked in my blogging. But I am back just in time for my most favorite time of the year! Since my last post, so much has happened:
Isabel turned THREE!
We were so ready for the "terrible twos" to be over, and we have embarked on the next year of our life with our crazy, funny, sweet Isabel. She never ceases to amaze us with her very quick wit, her great sense of humor, her budding imagination and how busy, busy, busy she is.
We celebrated with the only-ever STINKBUG BIRTHDAY PARTY!
We had a great big stink bug jamboree per Isabel's request! We had a stinkbug cake, decorations and antennas for all! And Isabel was the biggest stinker of all!!
Aren't we the best stink-bug family EVER?
We hiked at Lost River State Park...
where not all who wander are lost.
We had our first snow of the year....
just before halloween.
It was Beautiful.
Isabel was a cat for Halloween. And I mighty cute one.
Anastasia was a beautiful fairy.
Of course.
Kieran was the cutest owl in the world.
And he and Isabel had a boat.
They were the owl and the pussycat...
who went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat.
Kieran turned one.
I can't believe he is one. One. He was only born a few months ago it seems.
He took his first step at 364 days old. Can you believe he has been around so long?
I can't.
I am starting to miss the peaceful, blissful infant he once was.
He hasn't taken many other steps. He is a pro-speed crawler.
I am okay with that.
He can stay my baby forever.
I did really well at a craft fair at the Washington Waldorf School.
I worked so hard.
And it was totally worth the effort.
And the next day my parents gave Kieran a nice party.
And I forgot to bring my camera.
Then we went to Indiana for Thanksgiving.
We went to Chicago and they lit up the zoo with magic.
It was very magical, beautiful and perfect.
We spent a couple of days in the windy city. The weather was perfect.
We visited Annie and Martin on our way out and it was GREAT.
We also enjoyed spending time with family.
We stuffed ourselves with turkey.
Then we stuffed ourselves with pizza.
And we stayed at hotel on our way back...
and Santa Claus happened to stay the night there too.
We met him at the contintental breakfast.
That was magical too.
I hope you are all having a beautiful, festive beginning of advent! I look forward to posting regularly again!