30 January 2009

Blogging about blogging, for some reason

I must be sleep-deprived or something. I'm not lying awake tossing and turning noticably more (as I was when I was really struggling with depression again) but I am frequently waking after strange dreams, or having those strange thoughts pop into my head that I have to get up and write down before I forget because they for some reason seem REALLY important... I don't feel TIRED until late either, and then in the morning I don't want to get out of bed - lol and this is before the anti-depressants are even starting to come out of my system, so that doesn't explain anything.

But Morgan, after a couple of weeks of waking up in the early hours to ask for her nappy taking off, has started sleeping longer again and taking the nappy off herself when she wakes up. None of this really explains the thought which I am now intending to blog about. Or maybe it does.

When things are bad, I write a lot. I need to pour it all out somewhere, and this is MUCH better than raising my voice to the children (although usually both more or less happen together when life is tough). When things are good, I have lots of pictures and happy thoughts and other stuff to share. I have tales of what the children are doing, and craft activities, and in short can give a very odd impression of what life is really like.

Is my blog REALLY what my life is like? Not that I do much editing (I'm sure you can tell). Just that when I read back, my whole life seems to be all or nothing, crash and burn or flying high. Earth-Mother-Goddessy and smug, or pathetically falling apart and begging for someone to come make it simple for a while.

Yet the boring quiet normal stuff, in some ways, is more real - and make up much more of the picture of my daily life than the dramas.

Is the ordinary stuff boring, or do I just fail to see the importance of the mundane? Answers on a postcard... Or maybe not, eh? ;)

There are nice people in the world...

Just had a *very* embarrased call from the young manager of Magic Attic to say that he found my mobile and hopes I don't mind that he looked through the phonebook to find my home number! :)

So I was totally wrong about where I left it, but at least I get it back some time soon.

29 January 2009

Found maternity notes, lost phone

I'm doing really well this week (with more than a note of sarcasm I have to admit). My maternity notes showed up - IN A BOX OF CLEAN WASHING in the kitchen of all places. Don't ask. And today, I left my phone behind at the till at the wholefoods shop.

In trying to get my phone back, I have left not one but two embarrasing messages on the shop's answer phone. Message one included my usual talking-to-a-machine-embarrased-ramble and very very nearly forgot to include my name. And of course then I had to ring back and leave a second message to give contact details, because the first time I *started* to give my home phone number and forgot the last three digits.

Crazy? Pregnant useless brain? Combination of the above?

I did at least remember to get organic soap flakes, local salad, and milk. Also walked down Normanton Road and went in all the sari fabric shops (well OK I know but I didn't go and buy more fabric, honest) and found henna to do my belly. I think the plan is for my female friends and relations to gather on Saturday for a bump blessing party, and we're going to henna my belly - or try to... :)

Anyone too far away to come join us, feel free to send a small bead for my labour bracelet if you'd like! And if you're close enough and haven't had a personal invitation, seriously, invite yourself.

28 January 2009

The floor is under there somewhere...

Jenna: "I think we put shouty mummy back in her box, didn't we mom?"

This may or may not be because we put a LOT of other things back in their boxes too, and hence the stress of trying to find my notes is vastly reduced. Not that the actual notes have actually reappeared - but I now do at least believe it is possible.

And... Is it nesting if I suddenly get the urge to drag everything out from under my bed?

Shouty mummy

Shouty mummy is out already today. This is what happens when I realise that the house is so much of a mess I can't find my maternity notes, which I need to let the diabetic nurse know my blood sugar results, and spend an embarrased ten minutes with the phone wedged under my ear trying to find the dratted things.

Jenna asks me when nice mummy is coming back, and nearly gets beheaded for her daring. Normally my sense of proportion would be restored a little by this kind of question from the lovely little imp, but not today.

Tired and grumpy. But normal-grumpy not depressed-grumpy, and the doctor gave me the OK to stop taking antidepressants so there are things to be happy about this morning. Even if the cat scratched me for trying to move a blanket she was sitting on, and the children are trying to untidy everything I put away, and the dishes need doing. The computer area is tidier than it has been in months. And I can see my window sill. And my hall is very clean.

Think I'm ready to rejoin the fray. Maybe shouty mummy just needed to rant for a bit, and can go away now for a while.

27 January 2009

Our Chinese New Year (pics from yesterday)

Well, let's face it, Jan 1st hardly even warranted a mention around here due to lack of energy and not feeling very inspired by our national celebration of such times and seasons... Not to mention really NOT wanting to stay up to hear the inevitable drunken rows outside on the street (apparently it was actually warm enough for the domestic disputes to begin taking place out of doors so early in the year)!

Anyhow, as my thoughts start to turn towards spring projects, we celebrate Chinese New Year - which is much more fun than the UK version and involves colourful decorations and lots of craft projects. I can get 100% behind that kind of festival, plus it starts interesting conversations about different places, cultures, and faiths. And, as I say, colourful decorations.

The table prepared for yesterday morning, with library books and musical instruments, gifts for later and craft project ideas aplenty.

A dragon puppet. Well, why would anyone not want to play with one of these?

Lovely new chinese dresses, from a very kind lady on the local market who gave us a substantial discount, and gave presents to both of the girls.

Gifts from us - not the traditional envelope with money, but a small purse for Jenna and a shell bracelet for Morgan. In BLUE envelopes, with red and gold labels.

An enthusiastic lion dance by Jenna, with accompanying din from Morgan.

Hmm, and Martin entertaining the children some more while I finished making tea - silly daddy, but COOL lion mask, right?

We had egg fried rice, soy noodles, spring rolls, prawn dumplings, chilli beef with vegetables, and then mango and peach slices for pudding with some yummy organic yoghurt (yeah, not EXACTLY traditional but we don't mind!). My children can eat masses of egg fried rice. And they're always happy to get any kind of pudding in whatever quantities I'm willing to make!

After dinner, we wrote little cards with our hopes for the new year and burning them as we prayed together about our hopes and dreams and plans for the coming year.

Jenna's wish was for a rain of peaches. Pudding very nearly fulfilled that wish within fifteen minutes; although I still think she'd rather the peaches had come from the sky as she had hoped. When we asked Morgan what she wanted in the new year she just tapped the card and said, "draw, dis" so we let her colour it in, and thus she also had her wish come true! :)

Cold MUDDY walks and bump pictures again

Shipley Park with my mum today, cold noses all round and one pair of totally soaking wet trousers (Morgan's). She headed right for a huge deep muddy icey puddle, jumped right in, and then cried until I took all her clothes off and put her in the sling for the rest of the way around! It's funny spending time with my mum at the moment; we constantly say the same thing to the children in the exact same tone and in perfect unison. There are worse things to become than my mother though...

This is how Morgan is most commonly riding at the moment (now you see why I need a shortie, right?) - the Girasol is getting most use because it's my shortest but thickest wrap! Plus this is kind of another bump picture, so two for the price of one.

And, with the lack of motivation thing, I did get around to doing *something* small, just for me. Mostly just to prove that I can. I saw a lady wearing something similar and thought "oh, I want one" and indulged myself by going home and having a go.

And yet another bump picture. You know you love the bump pictures. ;)

25 January 2009

Schooling decisions (and un-decisions)

Hmm, well, random and probably not very coherant thoughts in answer to some recent questions...

Will Jenna go to school? Why haven't I put her in school so far? Why do I call what we do "unschooling" or "homeschooling"? Was I homeschooled myself? What was my own education like?

Well the answer to the first question, the only honest answer, is "I don't know!" I think she probably won't. But she might. I can see *some* advantages to it for her, especially as she gets older; or perhaps that's just my usual lack of self-belief, that I worry I can't provide enough for her and won't know where to go for more... I would quite like, at some point, for her to experience school, I think. There were times when I loved school, and could use what it could give me, and had the self-confidence to defy the system when it was preventing me from moving forward.

I actually liked school a LOT when I was small. Infant school answered my questions, made me feel capable, fed my interests. As I got older I was looking for something different. So I suppose it seems topsy turvy to want Jenna to do things the other way around... But the thing is, I don't see schooling in the next couple of years as being able to fulfil those positives that it did for me any BETTER than I can at home, and, just possibly, it won't even do that. And then if I chose to withdraw her, I not only have to battle the system but also her new schooled habits.

I feel, for me, the most frustration and difficulty I had at school came at the point when I hadn't yet learnt how to USE school, and instead let the institution go about trying to pour things into me which didn't fit or had already been learned out of my own interest. Maybe, just maybe, starting school later will give her more power to step outside how things are and get what she needs. I hated most of secondary education. I had had enough time to become bored and frustrated, and felt like for the most part I was going around in circles for the convenience of "keeping the class together".

What small children do, when left to their own devices, is unschooling. What all involved parents do with their children for some or all of the time is unschooling. It isn't something special that I do differently. Unschooling is just living a full life alongside my children and giving them chance to experience the world. Unschooling is trusting that my children can follow their own interests and learn everything they want and need.

They taught themselves to talk and walk. I didn't teach them. I shared my speaking and doing with them, they watched me, sometimes I gave them support or tried to help them without pushing them faster than they were ready to go. As we've been roughly attachment parenting these last four years I'd go even further and say this. I didn't teach them to sleep at night. I didn't teach them to be independant. I let them grow, let them move on when they were ready, but I didn't do anything special to teach them any of the skills they now have apart from just being present. I shared my life, my waking and sleeping, my moral code, my interests, my faith, my pleasure and my sorrow, and they grew and learnt - in the most surprising ways.

I say we're homeschooling, even though Jenna isn't at compulsary school age, because it's easier than saying she isn't starting school "yet". It leaves me with space to decide later, if and when I need to change what already happens every day, and leaves people with generally fewer questions! I say we're unschooling because homeschooling gives the impression to people who don't know much about it that we do school work at home; I write the timetable and teach a curriculum. Which isn't how it is and probably won't ever be how it is for us.

I learnt about learning by watching my children and reading about child development (a wonderful book I can't remember the name of about unconventional approaches to children and mathematics was a major push for me, as well as the usual John Holt et al). I heard the phrase unschooling on radical parenting forums, and was at first very sceptical. I follow this pattern a lot:

"I would never do that!
Why would anyone do that?
Is there really something in this?
I need to know more about that...
I think somewhere along the way this started to make sense to me...
I am now actively doing this."

Other random relevant history: My mum is a teacher (primary ages) and says she would have homeschooled us all if she had her time over. My youngest brother learnt at home at secondary age. I left school a few months early because I was struggling with depression, and self-taught the last few units before my exams. I did better in those tests than any others. I wondered for a long time why I hadn't been allowed to study on my own sooner, when I had asked to do so - and whether doing so might have avoided a breakdown that changed so many of my future plans...

Really, I think what I'm doing right now isn't about educating my children. It isn't about what I want them to become, or how I want them to learn, it's about me and how I am learning and growing as a person. That sounds incredibly selfish... I am unschooling myself, learning to trust myself to find things out, finding my own path to get there. For a while my life was just about surviving, and in the last few years since Jenna was born, the world has opened up more than I ever believed possible. I feel a little robbed by years of depression, and I'm enthusiastic about exploring new things and gaining skills. And the children, as ever, are hungrily filling themselves as they work alongside me.

So we didn't really choose at all. As long as we're all finding learning together and experiencing whatever is on offer to be so fulfilling, I probably won't be looking for something or someone else to educate my children. They are educating themselves and I'm fascinated by it!

24 January 2009

Pending sewing projects

Curses! Now I want one of these Onbags! And I just know I could make one really quickly and cheaply, if only I could afford to replace the sewing machine. Oh I know, I get to use one while we have visitors, but if I truly try to finish all of the current projects that have been held in stasis due to my laziness about hand-sewing everything, I won't see my guests at all!

I've cut out the pieces for a BBO-style mei tai - and have lots of ideas about making one more like the Napsack shape too, but with pretty aplique like the Chinado. I have some pretty fabric for a ring sling that is just crying out for a hem and some rings. I even have woven cotton that would solve instantly the shortie wrap question, if I could be bothered to do four straight hems. Yes, I know, I know, I don't need more slings...

But I have bits cut out for a gorgeous blue, red and brown patchwork blanket for the baby. And a summery skirt for me to enjoy post-birth. Not to mention the green velvet goddessy dress, which I did wear at Christmas but which bugged me endlessly by being too loose at the back and if I'm going to wear it again BOTH long side seams need restitching which is a loong job by hand.

I even recently found a pattern in a charity shop, for nice simple trousers for Jenna (who adores slouchy trousers), and it was a bargain. 50p! But it's just sitting there on the side now, looking at me in a way that cannot fail to induce guilt at my lack of motivation.


Too many projects, not enough energy. Or money would do just fine. As, in this case, money could replace energy by making everything so much quicker and simpler... *self pitying moan*

Off to ask on freecycle... And if all else fails, wait just a little longer in the hopes that there will be some spare money next month. Or the month after.

23 January 2009

Spring is sprung (nearly)

And the grass has taken over my vegetable bed - serves me right for not paying it any attention over the last few weeks (I've been growing salady stuff indoors but nothing in the veg plot). Anyway, Morgan is happy to "help" by watering it while I try to start on the weeding. Jenna started painting some herb pots for my parsley and mint while we worked out there, she wants more colours to finish them though so I'm not allowed to show her work!

The dish garden that is just waiting to have some grass seed added in the next few weeks IS showing some more promising signs of life though. It's a bit early to move it onto the season table, but look at these bulbs starting to sprout! Narcissus, tulip and some tiny blue flowers I don't know the name of - they probably need a little bit more depth of soil but my compost is terribly twiggy.

Our nest box went up a couple of days ago, and I moved everything round on our improvised cat-proof feeding station. Both children just love feeding the birds and filling the hanging birdbath. I'm sure it's a fairly tenuous hope being where we are and with so mny cats around, but I'm really hoping our nest box gets used - we've chosen a lovely sheltered spot that even the most enterprising feline ought to struggle to get close to.

I've just today made this lovely little felted bowl for the spring season table. My mother-in-law kindly knitted me a little rectangle in 100% wool, and I lovingly felted it in hot soapy water and shaped it over a bowl and bashed it about in the dryer until it was felted. I thought I might cut a more oval shape out and fray the edges slightly, but actually I just love the odd curled shape it has taken on, and just settled for embroidering some daisies on it in pale yellow wool.

The warming-up of outdoors means the garden is getting far more use this week. Sadly the progression of late January has also brought spring showers and LOTS of mud, so my kitchen floor is disgusting and my children are permenantly in welly boots. On the other hand, I have reached that state of housekeeping grace known as Caught Up On The Washing. And I've been baking bread every other day; no more plastic wrapped tasteless loaves and a big saving on the food budget! Here is Jenna enjoying home-made granary bread toast with marmite (normally she doesn't like "funny seeds" in her bread and won't eat crusts, but home made is obviously different).

Spring feels SO CLOSE. I can't help wanting it to hurry up a little, in this end-of-winter greyness.

Anxious about medication

If I stop taking my medication today and my baby is born before 35 weeks, my milk could damage its liver. If I keep taking my medication, that time is pushed further and further forward.

The NHS say that the risk of liver damage is small and it would "probably" be OK. The breastfeeding experts (LLL, kellymom, etc) say that the risk of harm with a preemie is even greater, and that breastfeeding a premature baby while on fluoxetine is "not recommended".

Why do I put myself in this position? I needed to feel like I was doing everything I could to return life to normal for my two girls. And now once again I'm finding out information I really could have done with before making a decision about anti-depressants, and I don't know what to do. Self-pitying post over, off to call a pharmacist.

Later update: (7.30pm) I've spoken to enough people to calm down anyway, and to get a better idea of what stopping medication would and could mean, and how long it will be until it's out of my system. The pharmacist I eventually spoke to was wonderful, although obviously reluctant to give me concrete advice as my doctor would know better how I'm coping. ;)

Anyway, I've decided to come off the medication. I've only taken half of the dosage I ought to in the last month anyway, and if I stop them today then it will be four weeks before we can tell where we go from here and decide what if anything I go back onto. And now I've made a decision, I feel so much less anxiety about the baby arriving early. :)

22 January 2009

Toddler sling protest - think I've cracked it!

Mum took us out for a bit earlier and I took the sling, knowing that we'd have the same protests and issues as usual but figuring I can't carry her without some kind of sling really. After half an hour, of course Morgan wanted "up" and out came the sling.

Then I thought about it, smiled to myself, and wrapped her in a hip carry.

And she didn't protest. She was right where she wanted to be (hugging my breasts lol), she was comfy, she wasn't having to walk, etc, etc. NOW WHY DIDN'T I DO THAT BEFORE??! I tried wrapping her on my front again last week but she's TWO and it's so uncomfortable with the bump. But on my hip nice and high she feels fine and I don't ache!


Now I just need a shortie wrap... My ring slings aren't tough enough for the use she would get out of them and my wraps are all super-long... Uhoh. And Martin had just *stopped* clutching his wallet, because I had rejected the only two new slings I wanted for the new baby as too hard to get hold of! Anyone got a 3m going cheap? ;)

This happens so often I don't know what's wrong with my brain. Some kind of discipline clash goes on for ages before finally I realise that it isn't what THEY want that's the problem, and it isn't MY needs that are the problem. The problem is, I just need to look at it another way and work out how we can all get what we want. When I keep trying and trying to override their needs or mine, we all get resentful and tired. And often it's something so *obvious*!

*Yawn* Please please sleep baby, come on, shh now, I'm here, pleeease go back to sleep...

Words I was heard to utter at about 2am this morning. And keep uttering, with a creeping note of insanity as the hours went by...

I heard a little soft baby cry in the early hours, and lay there for a moment feeling puzzled. Whose baby was crying? It sounded close, but it couldn't be Morgan, could it? Morgan would have come in to my room to cry more effectively close to my ear, right? No, it MUST be Morgan, it's not the baby next door, he howls, and this is a whimper. Is she going to come find me? Nope, right, OK, I'm up.

Down the corridor, into Morgan's room, usual questions. She just keeps crying, whimpering almost. And she keeps it up when the nappy is off, when she's clean and dry and nursing, crying so pathetically she can't latch on properly. Not screaming, not cross, not her usual unhappy noises, proper baby crying. Every now and again she manages to say "urts!" and by this I can only assume that her bottom is sore. But I am NOT putting the light on to see.

By 7am she is asleep, sniffling next to me. It's nice to be co-sleeping just for tonight, and kind of strange. I've got so used to not having her soft little body there and not being able to smell her sweet fluffy hair. I feel slightly crazy from lack of sleep, and slightly resentful, and also a little comforted to be able to hear her breathing, but mostly I'm just puzzled and upset that whatever it was I couldn't fix and she's sad. :(

When we get out of bed around 8 this morning I find she does indeed have a horrible rash. Then I remember that Jenna used soap on her yesterday in the bath, and she wore a disposable for a while at least (my in-laws always manage to send her home in one no matter how many times we protest, and no matter how many clean washables I send with her). I don't know if I've solved the mystery but it doesn't stop me being shattered.

Please, baby, pleeease let me have a quiet day today...

21 January 2009

Another busy random unschooling day

We had such a lovely lovely day yesterday. Mostly it was lovely because it was peaceful, and because I stayed calm, managed to get some time to read some of my library books, and the girls were generally very sweet and funny. Days like that make me feel like I'm not doing so badly after all. :)

We played snap and dominoes (both of which are at the moment) and the girls carried on a ton of observed role play which I would love to be able to write up properly because it is so typical of everything good in our lives at the moment... Jenna had the mandala cards out... We cooked... I should have written down everything we did, because if I could even categorise half of what we did into conventional subjects we probably covered a week's curriculum!

But anyway, at least I *can* share some pictures of a crazy active two hour long yoga and dance session. We started off doing some yoga stretches, Jenna suggesting a progression, me suggesting a related pose, telling stories about the movements and talking about how our bodies were feeling and about our breathing... This is me doing a progression from Warrior Pose, still in my PJs, with a headscarf tied around my head (by Jenna) to "make [me] look like a fierce warrior woman"! As reluctant as I am to share these picture of myself (which I don't like at all), they do carry some amazing memories. It's funny, normally pregnancy is the time when I am most comfortable in my body and most like my curves, and yet I'm dithering about posting up pictures taken by my four year old of me dancing around like a lunatic wearing an unflattering bra... Right, dilemma over, I'm putting them up and telling myself to stop being silly.

Jenna was half singing half chanting one of my favorite verses for pregnancy and childbirth - "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of love and of power and a strong mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) I love this kid, she is going to be an amazing birth supporter!

We ended up carrying on for ages, and doing lots of bellydance; talking about childbirth and the birth dance and the history and social context of bellydance, messing about using veils... And then more yoga. It was amazing. Again, I wish I could really write it down. Even the pictures don't really tell much, because most of the blissful lively restful fun morning it didn't even occur to us to get the camera out, which shows how engrossed Jenna was (normally she wants to photgraph EVERYTHING!).Here are some more baby-related yoga-ish stuff Jenna was coming up with. She had me come back down to join them on the floor after I'd sat down for a break, and then tied a red ribbon around my belly; she said it was my cord tied to my belly button, connecting me to all of my children. We talked about how my mother carried me in her tummy, and her mummy carried her, and we are all connected through time to every generation. She is fascinated at the moment with the idea of the placenta and is really curious to see one in real life.This is Jenna and Morgan gently rocking a doll in a pale blue silk cloth. The story for this picture was about the baby being rocked gently in the waters in my womb. Jenna laughed, gave the cloth a speedy shake, and said THAT was how the baby felt when I was just dancing and doing belly rolls! In the picture she's singing a made-up lullaby.

Ah, and because I'd forgotten I'd taken them and can't resist, look at these pictures of Jenna working on mandala designs. :)

19 January 2009

Tired and fed up!

We made it to story time today, but only just. I am REALLY SICK of Morgan refusing to go in the sling and I am REALLY SICK of her screaming and refusing to walk (and then screaming and refusing to be carried) and the book bag was heavy and Morgan was heavy and both children wanted to run off and explore this wonderful big wide world (not caring for hazards such as busses etc)...

I'm not stressed any more. But only because as soon as Martin got home I ran off and had a bath and massaged bump and washed my hair and read one of my library books! Daddy did tea, and I came down not feeling like throttling anyone.

I've been doing day 4 of the blood glucose monitoring today (3 days one week, 3 days the next week, was the recommendation) and everything is still reassuringly normal. I noticed that when my blood sugars were low today that was when I was most tired and stressed, so I'm resolving to try really hard to eat more frequently!

And that's the story for today. Repeat as needed: She will not be two forever...

Printing and tie-dye fun

So here is all of the girls' hard work printing and fabric painting; the vest with the tree painted on it is all my work, and I helped with the more complicated shapes for printing, but the tiny t-shirt with "fireworks" on it is all their co-operative effort! :)

And a lot of dying, to liven up some pale pale blue and a couple of white baby items. The tie-dye sleepsuit is much more brown than pink, but I took this picture at night without a flash. The giraffe top was a 50p charity shop find in black and white, and Martin hated it. He's much more keen for some reason, now that it is bright orangey-red.

Here I am, wearing the turquoise maternity top that Jenna printed little leaves and flowers all over. You can't see much of the t-shirt, because Morgan is in the way, but to my mind that just makes for an even better picture. ;)

All of the pregnancy weaning urge has faded now, in fact there was less of that than I expected (nursing Jenna in pregnancy I found VERY frustrating), but even those few INTENSE moments of "oh just leave me alone" have gone. Don't get me wrong, I'm still nursing a toddler and so still have those moments to some degree ;) and plenty of times when she asks for milk and I say no because I'm busy or feel like saying no because I'm not in the mood. But then when I take her in my arms it's like that wonderful newborn honeymoon phase all over again, when the tough bit is starting to be just a memory and you can lose yourself in those baby eyes for hours.

I've been a bit quiet about this, I suppose because it's just unusual to talk about breastfeeding a two year old in most circles. But I really love nursing her again, and I've come round from just wanting it to work out and knowing that it's the best thing for us, and truly enjoying the closeness and peace it brings to a very chaotic time!

17 January 2009

On grief and joy (more rambling)

One of those moments keeps happening to me, when people ask how many children I have. It has become automatic to lay a hand on my belly, smile, say "two already, and this one due in April". But my traitor heart still wants to say I'm mother to six.

I go through phases of things to worry about - the logical and illogical alike - and a recent one that occured to me in the wee small hours was the date that this baby could decide to arrive. Not normally something I would think about much, any further than "soon" or "not for ages". Well it has occured to me (or re-occured to me) that a very likely due date for bump would be the 12th of April (late but not very late), which is exactly one year from the day my tiny Lael arrived. What I can't decide is whether sharing a birthday like that will make things, over the years, harder or easier.

And then I wonder if anything could make it harder, and how on earth I will react this year being either heavily pregnant or with a newborn in my arms. The grief never vanishes completely, and in wanting another child soon I think I let myself forget that an anniversary is creeping nearer and it will be... hard...

At the same time as I am feeling full of life, celebrating birth and goodness and rightness, I have to remember death and pain and loss. Ironic, as this year would the 12th will be Easter Sunday.

I spent yesterday walking along, in the cold, on my own, dwelling on all of that irony. And right then and there had one of those contractions that well-meaning people call "painless Braxton Hicks tightenings" but which nevertheless make you stop in your tracks and breathe funny for a minute. ;) And then a bird was singing, and I looked around and realised that I'd semi-automatically turned onto the path behind the park as one of my many routes home, and saw new buds everywhere, heard the dried out long grasses rustle aginst the green railings, saw moss and a small tree flourishing on a warehouse roof against all logic.

I walked the rest of the way home feeling blessed.

I am blessed to have two bright daughters bursting with energy and noise and love and laughter. I am blessed to be sitting here complaining about braxton hicks and being kicked in the bladder and baby being active at night. I am blessed to have carried six little ones for long or for short, and to be able to talk about them and share their lives and their blessings.

See what I end up writing when tired and unable to get photos to upload? You *were* warned about the possible consequences of having me back. ;)

14 January 2009

And finally, yes I can do as I'm told (sometimes)

And here, in fact, is that promised totally up to date bump picture. Pictures plural, even, since you've been so patient! :)

The children are still both loving the weasel. How cute is this?

Also note more charity shop bargain clothes - especially the red tunic which is so VERY Morgan. We've been making so many things for the baby, dying and printing and weaving and, well, all sorts of crafty persuits, but uploading all of those pictures has sapped my brain of any coherant ramblings. On that note, off to take a final blood glucose level before falling into bed...

Assorted post-Christmas pictures (nearly up to date now!)

The gorgeous wooden play kitchen that we spent all our Christmas money on... And my beautiful tiny daughter posing in front of it. ;)

Same pretty toddler, having mummy milk and petting the cat at the same time...

Epiphany display...

More cold walks (and the weather is BITTER)...

More Christmas gifts, tiny wooden birds from Mamakopp's etsy shop (remember me going on about those? Proof positive of how loved they are!). Morgan likes to count them in and out of the bag "on, doo, eee... doo, eee, doo!" On the basis, presumably, that if you can't remember the words you should just go back and repeat the bits you DO know. :)

And just because, a rare picture of Morgan actually on my knee for something other than milk!

Christmas pictures


Talking to the bump a couple of days before Christmas...

Music session with friends (note what Morgan is up to as usual lol)...

And presents all hidden away in a treasure chest ready for morning...

Nearly 9am and some little people have found their stockings...

A lovely new toy for two happy little girls...

Family pictures!