a real wednesday

A seriously sweet reader commented yesterday that my house seemed so peaceful.  I realized oh so quickly, that that is indeed what yesterdays post lead one to believe!  While yes, at times there are glimmers of peace within these walls, and in general we live simply enough to extract the maximum amount of peace one could imagine, the reality is this is really, truly NOT the way I would describe my household.  So, I ran around the house today with my camera and took a few quick snapshots to portray a more accurate image of our mornings.

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(Two pics of from the bottom is a Rowan who is really mad that his butter melted, nothing unusual, and brother telling him “shush he is hurting his ears”  Ahh… the sounds of peace)

Excited, immersed in make believe, messy, creative, genuine, musical, theatrical, comical, and generally really loud is more like it.  Thank you Jessie for the compliment.  I do think we have moments of peace, but I had to show the other side too, just in case someone was curious.

three is a magic number

Pillows and sheets scattered with dirt, sweaty cheeks leaned against my shoulder, a baby slewn across my soft tummy, a stack of new library books at our side.  These memories are as messy and fragile as they are untouchable and sweet.  Last night while singing the most commonly requested, “You are my sunshine” I was given a reminder at just how powerfully special these days actually are.  In response to the part that pleads, “don’t take my sunshine away”, I heard a little  voice whisper against my neck, “No one ever will mama.”  My heart.  It fell  in to my stomach.  The chaos of being outnumbered means we often have so many items on our to do list just to get everyone clothed and fed, it’s easy to skim right over these beautiful moments.  Because the truth is they are sloppy and unpredictable and very often breakable.  Small children can go from sweet and cuddly to wild and inconsolable in a matter of seconds; It is a very, very fine balance.  Most of the time, they last only long enough for me to take a deep breath and sigh it all in.  Then we are off, and on to the next thing.


So I am on the look out.

Wish me luck on my first week back at it alone.  I can’t say completely alone though because I feel the encouragement and support of so many friends and family.  We have been given so much love these last two weeks, and I am forever grateful.  Thank you! 

black raspberry days

The rain has been consistent since last night.  Consistently dripping, at times pouring, but mostly misting, keeping the air very heavy and wet.  I am quite sure this is just the weather vegetable plants adore.  Pregnant women on the other hand?  Well, we have to take solace in the idea that this weather produces delicious meals to satisfy us because surely, surely, wading through our kitchen to pour a cup of coffee is not ideal.

We pulled our first zucchini from the garden yesterday.  It was short, sweet, smooth, and crunchy.  I can’t help but be reminded this time of year that all this, (minus our tomatoes and brocolli), started off in egg cartons when the ground was still frozen and the air was crisp and dry.  I don’t miss those days right now, despite my previous thoughts.  The most magical piece of art in our garden, and the most spectacularly grown in size, must be the cabbage.  It looks like a giant purple rose to me, baffling me with the fact that her seeds were no bigger than a poppy seed at the start.  I truly look forward to those thick leaves being tamped down into some jars to be fermented and stored for the winter.  I had to pull up a few dozen watermelon radishes this week, handing them over to a neighbors piglets to enjoy, for they were stunted and nawed on by some sort of maggot or worm.  I started a new, this time with french radishes, the little two toned oval-shaped classics that you can envision with butter, or on a tray of fresh raw vegetables.  I hope this comes to fruition.  I have heard the worm bothering me so is a springtime pest so I shouldn’t have to worry for the rest of the growing season.

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In the land surrounding my beautiful fence built with love everything is coming together as well.  Black raspberries have blackened, the juiciest star cherries off of our newly discovered cherry tree have dripped down our chins, at least the ones the birds havent carried away, and little apples are beginning their life way up our of our reach.  Everything is thick and thorny and damp and mysterious.  We spend a lot of time just wandering.  Slowly mind you, but when you are 3 or 4, slowly is preferable anyways.  So we get along just fine most of the time.  Yesterday, one of these slow stops allowed us to investigate a flitting bird traveling in and out of a brambly berry bush.  It was a lovely find.  Piles of ripened berries are always toted around but mostly enjoyed at the time of picking.  So many interesting insects are plucked up and thoroughly examined.



This is a lively, lively time of year.  


rain, a welcome sound

A few days swimming in the fresh water…

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and a rainy day is welcome.

I declare today a prepare for baby sort of day.  Washing clothes, home birth supply pick up, car seat ordering (oh to fit three car seats in the outback is truly a game of tetris), and knitting.  Of course the knitting!  I don’t intend on making too many items for this summer babe, but of course can’t help but want to have the staples regardless of the rising temperatures.


So much to do.  But really, the third time around my list has dwindled.  Both the want for all the gear and the need to go get it.  I own the slings and wraps, my diaper stash is full, and clothes… well a summer babe hardly needs them, but even those are here and only in need of a quick wash.  I still have that ticking feeling in the back of my head that something has to be done!  But what?  I really don’t know.

Oh Rain, you’re a welcome sound.

the naturalists

Perhaps the boys inspire me with their inquisitiveness, or perhaps it is my curiosity that sparks theirs.  I can’t be sure.  But what I do know, without a doubt, is that being with them gives me the necessary time to pause, the permission to observe.  The rush of a normal day is pointless with these guys.  If something must be planned, its best done in tiny increments; Clothes set out the night before, snacks prepared, shoes lined up.  Otherwise the rush to get out the door is an argument, one in which I typically feel sheepish afterwards and quite disappointed.  But really, we go to dance class on Mondays, we manage to get there in a timely manner and otherwise our schedule is loose, one that can be altered if a potty trip is missed or breakfast seems to drag on or a shoe has gone missing.

Moving even from one part of the yard to another takes cajoling for it seems there is so much to stop and see.  A caterpillar to let perch on your bikes handle bars, a spider belaying himself down a tree, a flower almost in bloom, a hole in a leaf.  These great pauses have truly instilled a great interest in the world around me.  (When they are not driving me completely mad that is.  This has taken some serious effort!  It is a conscious decision to remind myself that we do not have anything more important to do.  This is valuable.) While surely I once possessed such a powerful urge to learn about what lay beneath a brooks surface, or what makes a cricket chirp, it seemed the insistence to find out waned over time and was replaced by mundane thoughts, leaving me in a place where I hardly saw the little critters unless it was to eek at them.  But I have been saved.

In our library box there is an endless stream of books illustrating the world around.  Topics ranging from wildflowers and mushrooms to amphibians and tracking have been well loved.  Miles has earnestly worked in his “nature book”, a monthly record of things he finds interesting outdoors, complete with illustrations.  And Rowan, he is the leader of the mindful pause.  The boy needs blinders if we are trying to get from point a to point b.  But, in the right time and place we welcome his intense curiosity.  And me, I have been attempting to guide their interests, learning right alongside them as much as possible;  Filling up our days with hikes and magnifying glasses, overcoming any hesitations to eek at a particularly creepy or crawly insect, pointing out things as I see them, showing an occasional youtube video, choosing appropriate books…

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Of the books we have checked out, some of our favorites have been Stalking the Wild Asparagus, Peterson’s guide to Medicinal Plants, all of the Crinkleroots Guides and The Amateur Naturalist.  These books have kept us entertained indefinitely, especially on these dewy kind of mornings, where a quiet eye can show you so much.


It also happens to be a bonus that this mama gets to drink her morning cup with a tiny bit of peace on the side.  It’s a win, win for sure.