31 December 2011

Year in Pictures

2011 has been, at times, bloody hard work, and I have wondered how we would live through it all. But wow. What a lot of beauty and wonder, and sweetest grace. This year has been amazing.
weekending 030
drowning 070
dye days 053
dye days 059thursday 001
thursday 022
weekending 116
weekending again 027
april 107
mayjune 017
What can I say? Nothing at all would make sense of it, or explain just how grateful I am for the myriad mercies large and small. Beauty from ashes.

Love and light for the coming year - and may we find grace in every moment of it.

29 December 2011


Christmas eve. Jenna is Mary in the Nativity at my mum's church. Tali sleeps snuggly and happy on Ashleigh. We wish Emma a happy birthday, and sing carols, and open a couple of early presents at mum's house.
At home the girls have their new Christmas PJs, and hang their stockings, and somehow collapse into bed after one more reading of The Night Before Christmas and one more song.
(And would you believe we didn't hear a single further peep out of them until 8.30am?! :) Madness!)
All day long I say, "She isn't a toy, she's a person!" And, "We don't take TURNS of her, she gets to be where she wants to be!" So then, when she's happy on someone else, I have to resist the urge to snatch her back and say, "She's mine, it's my turn, I want a hug!"
We don't open presents until late afternoon, because there is enough excitement with stockings and visitors and Christmas dinner, but Rowan has her trike from Great Grandma purely because of the logistics of hiding something like that. Christmas dinner is wonderful, and very peaceful for the sheer number of children attending. Martin cooks it all, because I am cuddled up with Talia - again. :)
There are rather more presents than I think are necessary. Family are hard to reign in, excited at the birth of a precious grandchild, and some of them to be here in the UK at all, and I really can't tell any of them off. They do choose wonderful gifts, and the children are so joyfully grateful for everything. Only I now I have to find space for everything! So much for simplicity, eh?

After presents, and a quiet couple of hours playing, we watch The Gruffalo's Child (which Rowan falls asleep in front of) and Dr Who (which Morgan falls asleep in front of) and all head to bed. Jenna is still wearing her two favourite presents, days later: an amber pendant, and a bright green skirt. :)
And all in all, it is a couple of very very happy easy days.

28 December 2011

Random Sharing

I did some crochet last week, my first post-birth crafting, to make a hat actually small enough for a newborn. I *had* small enough hats, but it turns out either Morgan or Roo stretched them all. So I crocheted a really tiny lace hat in lime green. The midwives came and signed us off (without any argument at all about not weighing her, which was really lovely) and were shocked that I appear to be able to crochet and breastfeed at the same time. Yay for multi-tasking. ;)
I made a batch of this (candy cane bark beloved of many other bloggers) for presents, and am going to have to make more because it's just too nice. Be warned. But other parts of last week were just plain stressful. I seem to have come down from the birthing high. I ache more than I did at one day post-partum, but mostly, I am so so tired! I threatened to cancel Christmas at one point (or more likely, a few times), but I'm glad I didn't, because Christmas was a peaceful oasis in the stormy sea of random new-mama tears and exhaustion, and fits of shouting at the children for running around like a pack of rabid monkeys. It isn't all pretty and peaceful, not all the time anyway!
Martin actually had one night just before Christmas when he didn't finish work until nearly midnight. I will skate neatly over how badly that went. Honestly, not pretty AT ALL. But eventually they all fell asleep, Rowan sobbing, on my feet on the sofa, at 10pm... Oh and *since* Christmas, less working, but oh also so so much less sleeping. Colic. Poor poor tiny Tali, poor poor mama, I HATE colic. I want to swear about it, but I doubt it would help.
Crochet, though. Crochet is good. And baby cuddles. And family days. (Save the swearing for 9pm tonight when Tali has stomach pains...) :S

23 December 2011

Christmas is upon us...

And we're not ready, not how I thought we would be, but that's OK.
The Jesse Tree isn't complete, and that's OK too.
The house is chaotic, messy, but warm and sparkling and filled with joy and the random singing of carols instigated all day long by the two biggest children!

22 December 2011

More babymooning

Argh these days are just so good! The main frustration in them is that there is not enough time for sitting and staring, in spite of my fierce protection of that time... There are so many things that still need doing, mainly feeding us, even if I do have so much made ahead. Martin has been working long hours.
I have lots of volunteers to take Talia for a minute, but I want to just hold her myself. Yesterday morning I was so tired I went back to bed leaving her peacefully sleeping on her daddy... And I felt physically bereft. Almost sick with missing her. Trying to respect that feeling in myself *and* still do anything else, ack: not easy.
The others are lovely busy little things. So much creative play, again, as the weather keeps them more contained and the garden is so so wet. Jenna went for a sleepover with friends and was reluctant to leave Talia, they are all still loving new baby-ness.
Special hugs to Kim, Kirsty, and Claire, who sent beautiful beautiful soft blankets just right for such a cold first week with a soft velvety new person. :)
Morgan just beams, for hours at a time, at all of us. Wow. She has a really special serenity that I am feeling really close to right now.

Jenna has such an amazing affinity with Talia's needs - she takes the baby's nappy off and cues her, and she's always right, I can't believe it! Tali is wearing nappies pretty full time because she likes to be warmly dressed. But still we are taking her to the toilet and catching so often, without any effort. This is what I want, to just be WITH her, listen to her, watch her, respect her - not to push myself or get hung up on what we're doing right, or wrong, or could do differently.

I'm finding Martin working to be hard hard hard. But mostly, I'm just in a really good place right now with everything. Did I mention that I was expecting to fall apart? ;) Yay! I'm so happy!