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.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Garden Time is in the Air

Blogger again has been giving me troubles and I have SOOOOO missed this space.  I really hope that's the last bit of trouble I have for a while!

We are getting ready to plant around here!  We've spent some time tidying up the garden and it sure does look nice.  I hope this will be the year we have a jungle of plenty out there!  This year, I think we may combine permaculture, with a loose approach to the square foot gardening method. I'm hoping these two gardening methods together will benefit the soil in our raised beds and help us learn how to maximize yield on our small plot. 

Last year, my gardening goal was to grow Calendula and learn how to make salve from the flowers.  I was excited to meet that goal!  We in this house have terribly dry skin.  Even poor Arrow.  His baby soft skin only lasted 2 months before he started getting the same dry patches my Mom, Lissy, and I get.  The salve has worked great and we are all enjoying it, and I love knowing where most of the ingredients came from, but I have a quick question for you salve/oil making Mamas.  Coconut oil has worked wonders on all our skin and I use it on Arrow's sensitive booty at each diaper change since its cloth safe.  This year, could I just steep my calendula in coconut oil for a few weeks, strain, and just use like that instead of turning it into a salve with beeswax? 

 Harvesting her Calendula yesterday.  This bush was FULL!

I don't have a major gardening goal this year, but I'd love to give our backyard a bit of TLC and plant flowers back there that I'd like to experiment with.

This is how Arrow enjoyed the garden yesterday while Felicity harvested Calendula, I pruned, and the boys filled Jiffy trays with compost for our seeds.  He enjoyed this very much!

We have new bunny girls.  Hopefully these girls won't be diggers like our last ones, who finally all escaped.  Our friends needed to re house these bunny girls and we were anxious to have rabbit fertilizer, and bunny friends again.  Meet Loppy and Skippy.

I wrote a whole handmade holiday post weeks ago but Blogger wouldn't let me post it.  It seems too late now but I'd love to leave you with this picture of my four in their Mama made Christmas jammies because I was so happy to get a decent pic of the four of them together.

** Pants upcycled from our favorite old sheet set. **

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Our Sanctuary (and a space for Arrow)

Zac and I have longed to turn our room into a "sanctuary" for years.  A place to go at the end of long days to relax.   A calming place.  I am very bad, apparently, at taking "before" pictures so I can't show you the sunshine yellow our room used to be.  But trust me, it was a bit overpowering.  While I layed on bed rest, my amazing husband worked circles around me (literally....he pulled the bed to the middle of the room and painted around me).  It was fun to watch the progress each day.  By the time Arrow was born, our room was repainted and redecorated.  A sweet little sanctuary with cozy spaces for Arrow too.  Here it is.

 Zac made our bed a few years back.  When I was a little girl, I had a friend down the street who's parents had a tall bed.  It was so tall they had a step stool for the kids to use to get up into the bed.  I loved it and ever since then, I wanted to have a TALL bed when I was married.  That was my one request when Zac made this bed.  And he met that request.  It is so tall it was hard to get up into during the last months of each pregnancy.
 The lights above our night stands were made by Zac too.  They're hard to see and for the life of me I can't get a good photo of them.  But he raided my Pinterest boards and made me mason jar "chandeliers" that I had pinned.  They are on dimmers and I love them! 
Those pillows were one of my partial bed rest sewing projects.  Quick and simple.
The crib is a special hand me down.  My wonderful friend's daughter, Olivia, used this crib.  Olivia went to be with our Lord a few days before she turned one.  My friend handed down her crib to us and every one of my babes, other than Logan, has used it.  I think of Olivia VERY often, having her crib in our house.

We don't cosleep because it freaks us both out and then no one gets good sleep.  But we have always had our babes in our room right next to our bed for the better part of their first year of life.  I love hearing Arrow snore and sigh in the night.
Towards the end of Arrow's pregnancy, Zac spent a lot of evenings out at his work bench crafting with wine barrels.  Here's one of his creations that hangs near our closet.  The photos are double sided and any slight movement of air makes them spin.  When I sit rocking Arrow, I stare at these pics of my sweet babes.

Opposite the wall our bed is on, is Arrow's changing station and my rocking chair.  I made the twig art above his changing table while I was on bed rest.  The "Arrow" sign was made by my dear friends for Arrow's henna belly party.  He LOVES to stare at his sign and the red mushrooms hanging from the twigs.  That little rocker sits on four legs and only the seat part of the chair rocks, on springs.  It was my Grandnana's.  A few years back my mom and Papa refinished it for me.  It isn't the most practical rocker, but I love it because of the love and history in it.  I have sang Arrow to sleep many a time already rocking here.  The main reason it isn't the most practical is because I can't lay my head back and fall asleep rocking with him myself.  :)

On Grandnana's rocker sits a baby afghan that my Nana made when I was pregnant with Logan.  I specifically asked for a mint green afghan, and I love it.  But when Logan was born, Nana wanted to make him a more boyish afghan (we hadn't known his gender while I was pregnant with him).  Logan's boyish afghan is a bit wonky and shows Nana's first signs of Parkinsons affecting her work.  When I was pregnant with Felicity, she started an afghan for her but by then was unable to finish it because of the Parkinsons.  Her sweet friend helped her finish the rest, so Felicity has an afghan started by Nana, and finished with the love of Nana's dear friend.  I feel like that little mint afghan was Nana's last bit of knitted perfection before Parkinsons stole her talent from her.  It has wrapped all my babes in warmth. 
That little table was also my Grandnana's.  My iPod sits here so that Arrow and I can listen to my relaxing "labor and delivery" playlist while we rock.  I also have burp cloths at the ready for nursing, and in that basket under the rocker is my Moby, and taggies for when he's older.  The quilt hanging here was Zac's and my wedding gift to each other.  I was hoping it would become a family heirloom but sadly, it is already worn so much that we decided to take it off the bed.  Maybe it just wasn't made to last.  I don't know.  But here it can hang, on the twig hanging branch Zac made for it using branches from my mom's property.
So there you have it.  Simple with a lot of hand made love thrown in.  Just how we like it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

While I was gone....

......this boy grew!!!!

While I was gone, I also learned I had more blog followers than I thought!  I really thought only my mom really read my blog.  HI MOM!!!  But it was kinda nice to feel missed and told so.  Anyways, I thought my devoted, never leave a comment, blog stalkers may want to see how big our boy has gotten since I've been away.  He was a newborn when I took my forced break, and now he is two and a half months old....a newborn no longer.  So here's some stats on our big guy...

* At 2 1/2 months he's closing in on 15 pounds, staying put at that 90% status he's held since day one.

* He loves to sleep.  Let me tell you, I'm one blessed Mama!  He slept through the night (6 hours) at only 4 weeks old and since he was about 6 weeks old, he's been sleeping 8+ hours a night, waking up in the morning to nurse in bed with me, and then sleeping on for another hour or so.  I'll tell you, its HARD to pull myself away from this warm snoozing sweet piece of heaven after I nurse him in the morning.  And honestly, some days I don't.  Some days I doze next to him and listen to the older three read books, and play with their Leapsters and castle.  I was feeling guilty about this, but then I remembered how fleeting these days are and I literally feel like I'm soaking up these wonderful moments when I snooze with him next to me in the morning.  I know these lazy mornings won't last forever.

* Like his older siblings did, he LOVES his changing table.  He's laying there talking to the decorative mushrooms hanging on the wall as I type. 

* He's a homebody, especially in the evenings.  Dates with baby in tow haven't been too successful because of this.  But that's ok.  If I were a baby, I'd rather stay home and nurse and nap on Mama all evening too.  Can't blame the kid.

* He is a dream baby.  VERY easy.  But man is he a Mama's boy!  Its only recently that others can hold him for any length of time.  And he still won't let the kids hold him.  He slept on them a lot as a newborn but once he figured out he was in a child's arms, he wanted none of it.  We keep trying.  Our poor baby vultures want to hold him so bad.  He also hates when they "pet" his cheeks, which they just can't help but do.  He does, however, like it when they lay next to him and talk to him.  I guess he has a personal space bubble.  I can relate.  :)

* He hates fast movement.  If we're holding him and bend down too quickly, his whole body tenses up and he screams.

* He loves being "worn" in the Moby.

* He likes to stare at things with light/dark contrast on it.

* He wears 9 month clothes.

* Since day one, he has been a grunter, and makes loud nursing noises.  Sometimes he also hums in his sleep.

* He sweats.

* He likes to suck on his fist.

* He hates tummy time.

* He loves to be swaddled.

* He has Mama's eyes, disappearing with the slightest grin. 

* He is adored!