After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Nooks Of Our House.......The Play Porch

I love when my blogger friends share the nooks, rooms, and areas of their houses.  It's so neat to see the cozy places people create.  A bit ago, I shared with you the boys' room and today I'll share with you our play porch.

I think it's funny that I'm sharing this space with you.  Its a very unfinished, usually very dirty, weird kind of area of our house.  But I honestly LOVE it because of its practicality.  The play porch is one of our two covered porches.  Its on the side of our house that doesn't get much sun, so this provides a cool place for the kids to play out of the sun in the Summer, and a dry place for the kids to play out of the rain in the Spring.  Yet, they are still outside in the fresh air.  :)
Here's a view looking down the long porch.  The slider on the left leads into our dinning room.  At the end of the porch you can see the "clubhouse" and to the left of the clubhouse is the way to our backyard.

Standing at the clubhouse looking in the opposite direction, you can see that the play porch overlooks our car port and front yard.

The kids have a train table, crawl tunnel, and rocking toys on the play porch.  I have dreams of a hanging swing, painted porch rails, and maybe a climbing rope.  But.....this funny little area is loved and no one is complaining.

The club house gets the most use out here.  It used to be a strange storage area where I stored all the totes of out grown clothes.  I gave up that storage area, moved it all up to my mom's attic (thanks mom!) and gave this little nook over to the kids.

Its pretty small, but just the right size for lots of kids. 
Zac carpeted it and added a little pull string light, which the kids think is the coolest thing.

And what do they do in there?  Why cover it with stickers of course!  Our kids LOVE stickers.  They are given stickers for Christmas, birthdays, Easter, any particular Tuesday when an Aunt comes get the picture.  I used to wonder what a kid could do with so many stickers.  They'd pile them on papers and were never interested in keeping them in a nicely organized sticker book.  When they one day appeared all over my walls and windows, I was about done with stickers.  Then I thought of the club house.  So now when our kids get stickers, they head to the club house to adorn their walls and add to their collection.  They LOVE it!

Just recently I started letting them add graffiti to their club house.  I'm so glad I did because here, on the ceiling, is one of the first times Logan wrote his name.  Its from a while ago and is fading, but I love it!

Its a fun place for the kids to play.  A little place all their own to decorate the way they'd like.....with stickers and graffiti.  :)


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our First Harvest...........

..........was on Saturday!!!!

I made some dough and while it sat.....

...we went outside and picked cilantro, greens,



and squash!

Then, while they were still warm from the sun, we took them inside and added them to our dough.

We all ate A LOT that night for dinner, which is saying A LOT when it comes to my kids.
It honestly makes my heart swell to see them enjoy food.
ESPECIALLY food from our yard!

And of course the bunny girls (yes, girls....Bumble Bee a.k.a. Houdini is back) happily feasted on the left overs and discarded bits of garden goodness.

We LOVED eating our first harvest!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pumpkin Planting Time

We just got around to planting our pumpkin seeds.  We really should have done it earlier but my.  

I had some cow pots sitting around and had saved one cardboard egg carton so we planted our seeds in those.  Since these are for the kids garden, I just let them fill their pots with as many seeds as they wanted.  I figure it'll be very gratifying for them to see lots of sprouts in their little pots.  Logan has LOVED white pumpkins since I can remember.  I mean he was a TINY guy when he saw them for the first time, and he has picked a white pumpkin over traditional orange ones each year at the pumpkin patch.  He was thrilled to find a packet of white pumpkin seeds at the store for our first home grown pumpkin patch.  We also planted traditional jack o lanterns (which I hope to use for cooking), assorted gourds, sunflowers, and holly hock.  It may be too late for the sunflowers but Felicity fell in love with the seed pack at the store because it had a princess on it.  So we're growing late sunflowers.  :)  And Zac loves holly hock and always wants to grow them but for some reason we've never had luck so we're trying again for him.  We're very excited about the gourds!  We grew wonderful ones last year and the kids were so excited and then I accidentally broke the vine at its base while weeding so we never got to enjoy them.  I can't wait for all these kid centered garden fascinations to sprout and grow!

And I have a quick request.  I'm sitting at home these days, too nervous to venture out too far as I await what is to come, so I thought I'd get started on some crafting goals I've put off.  My main one is Felicity's Waldorf doll for her 4th birthday in September.  I have a book, Making Waldorf Dolls by Maricristin Sealey, and have been reading it.  Now I need to buy my wool and other needed materials.  I will purchase all online, I assume, as I don't think anything I need is sold locally.  If you make Waldorf dolls, I'd appreciate any links to where you buy your materials online, and any tips.

Friday, June 24, 2011

An Update

After having a horrible night earlier this week filled with panic attacks and fear, I decided to call my midwife and talk to her about what was going on.  I hadn't seen my midwives yet because they don't work on Fridays and it just so happened that my labs from last week were received on a Friday and the OB who oversees the midwives was the one to read them and have me come in.  I don't know much about this man and he was very nice, but everything he said sounded scary to me as I sat at home and pondered it more.  Everything sounded like a problem.  The fears overwhelmed me and I was having legitimate panic attacks the morning after that long night so I decided to call my midwife and speak to her about her take on all this.  I'm SO glad I did. 

She explained to me what was going on.  Basically, the pregnancy is ending (I know that sounds horrible....there's no nice way to say it.....I've tried to think of a better way) but until it finally does, my hCG levels will slowly rise.  Once everything is over, my hCG levels will drop.  That drop in hormones is what will trigger my body to miscarry.  And until then......I wait.

The waiting is horrible.  It feels weird to look at a calendar and know how many weeks I'm pregnant.  The weeks keep going......and I'm still pregnant.....but those weeks don't measure anything except strung out loss now.

Knowing to expect a miscarriage is unexplainable.  Its like preparing for a nightmare.  But its the preparing part that feels so weird.  I have an urgent need to clean my house and keep it clean knowing that at some point, my family will be in and out, caring for my children when I will be physically unavailable to them and my husband will be supporting me.  I think of things such as the need to get some disposable diapers for Kian so that my family doesn't have to deal with cloth.  I want to wash and fold laundry so my mom won't have to if she's taking care of the kids.  Sadly, these feelings are nesting.  In no way do they feel different from when I nested before the births of our other 3 children.  I wanted the house ready for people to be coming in and out.  I wanted things organized and easy to find because I knew other people would be caring for our kids.  Its very sad to feel this nesting feeling....a feeling I know VERY well.....but know that this time around, it comes because we're preparing for a loss and not an addition. 

You may wonder why I write these things....why I am fine about being open with this intimate state of life we are in right now.  For one, I am not ashamed one bit about this.  I am honored to carry this baby, even knowing what the outcome will be.  Knowing I will never see it or touch it.  It has left a mark on my heart that will never leave, and for that I am proud and honored.  I want to tell people of that mark on my heart because I love it.  Another reason is that I want this journaled.  This is my life, recorded for my children.  This is their sibling.  This is part of their story and I want them to know it.  And lastly, if anyone gains from my writings, I'll be happy.  I hate how miscarriage is perceived a lot of the time.  Early miscarriages are often considered a "medical problem" and this view makes women suffering this great loss feel as if they shouldn't be feeling loss at all.  An early loss IS a true loss.  Its a loss of dreams.  Its a loss of a child.  And no one should feel that their loss isn't significant or valid. 
The Lord knew this child's name before he or she entered my womb, and a child named by God is certainly NOT a medical problem.

Isaiah 49:1 Before I was born the LORD called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Around The Urban Homestead

Sara over at one of my FAVORITE blogs, Farmama, does a weekly post every Thursday about what's growing on her farm.  She invites readers to join her weekly and do their own Around the Garden/Farm/Homestead posts as well.  I've been wanting to join in lately my.  But today, I'm glad to join.

Let me first say thank you for your sweet comments (and FaceBook messages) on my last post.  I am still sitting in limbo.  After waking one morning after a terrible night full of fears of hemorrhaging, I called my midwife in a panic.  She was able to calm my fears, explained to me most likely what was going on (way better than the OB did), and tell me what to expect when I do start to miscarry.  That helped, though I still feel very I'm sitting here awaiting a nightmare and not knowing when it will come.  So that's my little update.  I wanted to join in Farmama's post today because working on our little urban homestead has really brought me a lot of peace, healing, and time to just breathe.  It is hard to distract myself from the loss and fear I'm feeling right now.  Its hard to keep it at bay so it doesn't consume me.  And honestly, I am not always successful.  But whenever I work in my garden, everything goes away.  I don't know why but I don't question it.  The garden MUST be watered every night.  We do it mostly by hand.  And we do it after the kids go down, when it's dusk, so that the plants have all night to soak everything up.  So I go out and I water, and pluck weeds, and admire the growth, and make future plans for next years garden.....and in the quiet of my cul de sac, things seem to melt away. honor of my therapeutic it is.

These are the two of the three areas we have planted in the front yard.  Obviously, we didn't plant enough seeds this year.  But its our first year going from a small kitchen garden in the back to a full planted yard with an urban homesteading vision.  Next year we will pack more in.  The trees have created shade issues so we have been cutting them way back, which is helping.   In some cases it was too late but again, we'll know better for next year and we actually plan on taking one of them out completely soon. 

LOTS of tomatoes.  They grow well around here.  The big plant was a store bought one.  We have a few of those because I gave up on my seedlings.  But that bottom picture is one of my seedlings and it grows inches each week so I may have given up on them too early.

The nasturtium and peas, though ready to harvest, have never made it to the dinner table.  The kids graze on them while we play outside.  They have tried to entice the neighborhood kids to eat nasturtium flowers but the kids look at them like they are crazy.  :)  Next year, we need to grow more peas and put them in a different location because they're having a hard time.  Not enough sun. 

Garlic, onions, corn, squash, and lavender are all doing great.
This is our new baby apple tree that we plan to train as an espalier on the beautiful trellis my husband made me.
And one of our apple trees in the back is exploding.  If no more branches break from the sheer weight of their harvest, this may be my first apple sauce year!
Also in the back, our baby grape is now as tall as I am.  I swear you could probably watch it grow if you sat a while.

And our sweet girls keep making us loads of super fertilizer.  Trying to keep them cool in our extreme heat is a chore, but they continue to supply us with lots of love and comic relief.  Bumble Bee is again currently living under our house.  I swear I'm going to change her name to Houdini.  She'll come out for water soon and join her sister and in the mean time, we continue to try to figure out how she's escaping.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Life Now crazy.   Bottom line.   Period.

I have started a post about our "news" 2 other times now.  First it was a pregnancy announcement post.  Then is was a post on loss as I started to miscarry.  Now, I don't know WHAT it is.

We found out I was expecting our fourth baby near the end of May.  We were beyond thrilled.  The kids were beyond thrilled.  But by mid June, problems started.  I was loosing the baby.  The grief was horrible.  We spent a weekend holed up in our house...just us....just dealing.  It was really good and by the beginning of the next week, I was feeling like I was coming up for air.  Things moved forward, the physical pains went away, I helped work on plans for my Nana's memorial.  The loss was still quite near, but I could function.   But by the end of the week, things went wrong again.  The Dr. called to tell me I was still pregnant, but something was very wrong.  My HCG levels (which measure the pregnancy hormones in women) were not declining as is normal in a miscarriage.  But they were also not doubling as in a normal pregnancy.  They were consistently rising, but painfully slowly.  Dr. feared an ectopic pregnancy and wanted me in for an ultrasound.  He told me it could be "life threatening".  Of course, I got off the phone with him in shear panic.  My husband was on the road somewhere about 3 hours away from us.  I was just leaving for the church as it was the day before my Nana's memorial.  And there stood my 3 sweet kids.  One with a fever.  

"Life threatening" rang in my head like an alarm that I couldn't stop.  I called Zac, who was stuck in construction traffic.  I called my mom.  She dropped everything, told me to drop the kids with the family at the church and she'd go to the ultrasound with me.  How would I ever drop the kids?  I didn't know.  "Life threatening" was still ringing in my ears and I was more scared than I may have ever been before.

Not knowing what to expect I threw diapers, lovies, clothes, and jammies into a bag for the kids.  I somehow said goodbye to them at the church.  It helped that my pastor's wife whisked them away for ice cream and toys.  We are a good drive from the hospital, which was followed by a good wait for the ultrasound.  Of course the tech isn't allowed to say anything so that was followed by a long wait at my midwives' office at closing time.  Thankfully, because of all that waiting, Zac arrived minutes before the Dr. walked in with the news.

And what was the news?   .......  He didn't know.  He felt comfortable to send me home thinking that I wasn't in danger.  It did not look ectopic though he couldn't rule that out completely.  I was told to return with any abnormal pain on one side.  Technically, I'm still pregnant, with what the Dr. thinks is an "abnormal pregnancy" based on my HCG levels.  He thinks I will most likely miscarry.  He believes my body has been trying to already, which is why I thought I already had.  Could there be a chance the pregnancy will survive?  Yes....slightly..... but he really doesn't think so.

That happened the day before my Nana's memorial service....on our 11th wedding anniversary.

So here I sit.   I feel like a ticking bomb.  Without going into too much personal nitty gritty info, every symptom, or every end of a symptom, is confusing.  I heard miscarriages are painful and initially thought I had been lucky with minor symptoms.  Now, knowing it hasn't even really started yet, I fear the worst is yet to come.  I keep bracing myself.  I also fear my body won't do what it needs to and intervention will be needed.  I also wonder what will happen if my HCG levels continue to slowly creep up at my next draw later this week.  I try to not get my hopes up that a miracle will happen and against most odds my HCG levels will suddenly double.  But its hard to not get hope when I also can't yet mourn.   Or mourn again....since we already went through all those emotions once.  I feel like I'm sitting in limbo.

We so wanted this child.  And whatever the outcome, we feel blessed to have had this child, even if for a short time.  We don't question what God's doing.  We feel our children are really His.  We have faith and peace with His plan.  We know He knows this child's name already, and that brings me more comfort than anything.  And while in this limbo time, I pray He gives me strength and prepares me for the end of this journey.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Forgot A Link

Angie, over at Wonderfully Crazy, asked if the outfit I made for my nephew was my own design, which made me realize I forgot to mention how I made it, and give you a link. 

The pants are my own design.  Kian and his 8 months younger cousin wear the same size pants.  :)  Alakai's are just a bit smaller in the waist with no needed cloth booty room.  :)  So I found a pair of Kian's pants that I knew my sister in law would like the fit of, and traced them to make my pattern.  I also added a simple oval pocket.  I call it an oval pocket because I basically cut an oval, fold it in half right sides together leaving room to turn it, then flip it inside out and close up the hole for a simple U shaped pocket.
The teething smock top is a collaborated design between Melanie and Jules.  Both have tutorials on their BEAUTIFUL blogs.  Go back to this post on the smock I made for Kian a while back for links to their tutorials and blogs.  They also have much better pictures on their blogs as they have perfected these smocks.
I wish I'd taken pics of this outfit before we put it on Alakai as it was very hard to get a good picture of the pants ON his busy little body, and I really loved those pants.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


My sister in law and I wanted to get a group picture of the four cousins together.
They are all under 6.
Yes, we are crazy.

Take one
None of them are thrilled, but no tears yet.

Take two
Cue waterworks

Take three
Cue limp body mode and implement use of Aunt Rachel as a child wrangler

Take four
Give up

So we let the kids run around a bit and I took pics of my nephew in the birthday outfit I made him.

Here's the whole outfit.  It was WAY too big for him.  But he lives in Alaska so no worries, he can wear pants and a flannel lined teething smock all year round and he'll grow into them one day.

Cute cousins.
I love this picture.  :)

Then, miracles upon miracles, the ice cream truck came by, playing its ding dong chime songs.  All the kids were entranced so we quickly scooped them up, lined them up, and snapped away as they smiled and clapped for the truck playing music (they don't know its an ice cream truck).

The ice cream truck driver saw the kids lined up and stopped and waved.  He seemed a bit confused by the scene of smiling kids waiting for him, 2 mom's snapping a million pictures, and no one approaching the truck to buy ice cream.
Hey, whatever works.  :)