Monday, March 30, 2009

Talyn's Weekly Food For Thought....

Talyn decided to have his hair cut yesterday. He went from a thick shoulder length mop to a buzz cut (He calls it a military cut, but it isn't quite that short). 
I will try to post pictures by Wednesday. We are off to the Philly Zoo for the day with Aunt Angel and Mr. Jim. 
For now, here is a before from about a month ago.  :) 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ariya Is One!

Last year at this time I was in labor. I spent 15 hours at home in labor before going in at noon. Heather got to the hospital before Jesse and I! The room was filled with laughter, love and light. I knew then that it would be the last time I gave birth and I tried to be in each moment. With Jesse and Heather by my side we welcomed Ariya in to the world. Talyn, Sylver and Trinity arrived with Gramma very shortly after and we all marveled at her beautiful dark hair, giggled at her big feet and smiled in to those huge eyes drinking us all in. 

It's been a year but I can still reach back in to my memory and feel her silken hair, stroke her chubby cheek and remember how awestruck I was that, yes, I really could love someone that I just met. Again. 

This year has stretched me to the limits of what I believed I was capable of, brought me to the knee of our Heavenly Father daily, and forced me to not only accept my limitations, but reminded me time and again that I am not capable of perfection. Not even close. And that's ok. More than OK, actually. Liberating.  I CAN'T do it all and That's OK. Really, truly, ok. Wow. 

I know, now, that even though I don't have a choice any more, if I did have a choice I would choose no more children. Ariya has truly completed our family. She filled the empty space at our dinner table and that empty place in our hearts that we didn't even know we had. 

I can't wait to watch her grow and see who she becomes ... just not too fast, my beautiful little daughter, not too fast. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kitten Korner

Just a small update on Luca's babies. I stayed up last night trying to save the little one I was worried about, but we lost her this morning. This is the hard part of breeding. Kitten mortality in breeding programs is about 30%. So far, we have been well below that. It still really sucks though and I doubt I will ever get used to it. I kept Sylver far away from this litter. The rest of the babies are thriving and doing well, despite Luca's milk only coming in today. We are still going to supplement for a couple more days, but not around the clock anymore. The babies are starting to reject the formula which is excellent. 
And Anna's babies, two little blue bicolor boys, are about 5 weeks now. They are litter training and being socialized... not that they need it. Whenever I come out of my bedroom they run over and kiss my toes. They cry to be picked up and are just the sweetest little guys. That's the fun, rewarding part of breeding.
The picture above is "Beautiful Gorgeous" from Sammy's first litter. These babies will be going home at the end of the month. This is the litter that the little survivor runt is from. . She taught me not to give up on the little ones. She is a really special little baby- I call her a Tea Cup Ragdoll because she is a perfect minature Ragdoll. We have taken to calling her Tea'. She will be going to live with my mom in Florida this summer and I know they will be as enchanted by Tea' as we all are. 
edited on Wednesday Chloe had 6 babies this morning! It's a Spring Time Baby BOOM here! Gotta go return some kitten inquiries :) 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ariya's Area

Sylver taught Ari "soft touches" on Quinny this week. She calls all the cats "Popeye", BTW. She is really learning to communicate with words lately. When she was petting Quin she said, Niiiiiice. When I call her brother or sisters she hollers for them too (Bub Bub and EEEYaw!) You have to pay attention, but she says a whole lot of words! She is also quite strong willed. At dinner she tries to climb out of the high chair and on to the table or my lap. If she doesn't respond to gentle correction or distraction I put her on the floor. Most babies this age are easily swayed by distraction, but she gets something in her head and WILL. NOT. LET. IT. GO. She comes by that honest. She sleeps through the night finally! 12 hours! She won't take more than a 45 minute nap twice a day and only if I lay with her. But, honestly, I'll take it!

She was playing in the dry cat food tonight and Jesse said, Ari No, No, No... Ari looked up and nodded her head YES and put her hand back in the bowl. 

I went to Target today with Ari and Angel while Jesse took the older children to see Race to Witch Mountain. Ari was sing songing every word she knows in the Target and people where just falling all over themselves for her! It was so sweet! A teenage stock boy actually giggled at her, LOL. 

And in Kitten News, Luca had a litter of SEVEN last night! WOW! We have never had a litter this big before! She did awesome and we didn't loose any... one is worrying me a little, so we will see about him, but the rest all look really good. 

The Creation Station...

Sylver got a Featherweight 221 that Daddy painted a luscious lavender for her! We are putting it back together and applying new decals, so pictures will likely be a week or more. We took her Christmas machine back to Sears because I was tired of it making her cry and stopping every 30 seconds to rethread it for her. We decided to get her a Featherweight because it is practically indestructible and she can hand it down to her children. No computer, all metal, does straight stitch and reverse and does it perfectly. Anything fancier that she needs can be accomplished with an attachment or by using my machine. 

I have been working on the above projects for the last week. I used fabrics that I wouldn't cry about if I messed up too badly. I am glad I did! I got halfway through the patchwork ball before I realized that my High School Geometry class left me poorly equipped for life, LOL, so I started over. I am super happy with it now! My sister is visiting and will be taking this with her. Then I started on the dress. It is a super stretchy rib... ie a VERY good learning experience for working with knits. I ripped out the neckline twice before nailing it the 3rd time. This dress is going to live with Adrian next door... I took it to her tonight and she was SO sweet! "OH, Ms. Jennie, THANK YOU!" I can't wait to take some modeling pictures of her when the weather warms up! 

It's not perfect, but I really learn so much just by DOING that I am really building my confidence. I am really raring to go now! I am going to make a few more patchwork balls for gifts this week and then tackle a new dress pattern for a certain little one's 2 year Birthday ;) 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Who Would Have Thought...

... that Lacrosse isn't just a game for preppy middle school girls?! 

We went to a Wings (Philly)/Swarm (Minnesota) Lacrosse Game at the Wachovia Center tonight because my 12 year old cousin, Jackie, was cheering in the half-time show. The kids where luke-warm about going, very concerned about it being "boring"... honestly, so was I. I told them to bring their iPods just in case. I REALLY would have preferred to stay home and sew, but I said yes because I do try to force myself outside of my comfort zone once a year or so, LOL. 

Well, let me just say, my throat is RAW from screaming, the kids had a rockin' good time and we are all Lacrosse fans now! DUDE, that was a fast paced, edge of your seat, screaming at the top of your lungs, fist fight RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! game!  We had awesome seats so when the helmets came off it was ring side seats! Sylver said, Mommy WHY are they hitting each other? I thought about it for a second and said, Well, honey, they are boys with sticks playing a game and that's just what they do .... She smiled and said, Oh, OK. The two guys got a penalty and after they where done hitting each other they patted each other on the shoulder and head and moved on. I know there is a metaphor for life somewhere in there, but I am too tired to put my finger on it. I have to say, it was more exciting than the Ice Hockey game Jesse and I went to (which was mortal enemies New Jersey v/s New York and they where throwing the helmets and gloves off in the first thirty seconds!) . WOW! What a really cool game! And I don't like sports, really. The baby was really good, enjoyed the lights and noise and when she did scream no one could hear her (BONUS!). Sylver and Talyn where standing on their seats screaming along with me, Jesse, and everyone else. They chattered about how awesome it was all the way home and the iPods never made it out of my bag :) 

The half time show was adorable, BTW. Jackie goes to a conservative Catholic School, so it wasn't inappropriate, which is my big beef with public school squads. There where two 4/5 year old boys that where part of the cheering squad and they had the whole place charmed! SO cute!

Talk about Family Fun!
Woot! Woot! Woot!

.... and we lost by ONE point in the last 4.4 seconds AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGG!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Winter Hibernating...

Is coming to an end. We are starting to see signs of spring. I raked out the flower beds today while Sylver and Trin swung with Ari in the hammock. It looked like rain all day long, but it held off. The air was heavy and slightly warm, in clean spring rain kind of way. The ground is still mushy from the melted snow of last week, but when I raked out the flower beds I was pleasantly surprised to see my daffodils coming up already!!! My roses and strawberries are starting to wake up as well! That was such a beautiful surprise. My poor gardens have been sorely neglected in the last 19 months, between being pregnant (i.e. laying on the bathroom floor praying for death or at the very least a 9 month long coma) and Ari's first year (i.e. stumbling through life in a crisis management/survival mode praying for hearing loss, sleep and sanity, LOL). I am really looking forward to being outside and getting my hands dirty! And if today was any indication, Ari is looking forward to being outside, as well! I am dreaming of warm afternoons in the garden with all the children-gardening, learning, swinging :)  

Hurry Hurry Spring! I can't wait to throw open the windows, air out the house and dig in the dirt! I feel optimistic and energetic, both a sure sign that Ari is going to be one very shortly and spring is coming! 

Thank You Heavenly Father for carrying us all through the last two years, for protecting us, nurturing  us, teaching us, and for growing our faith and love for You and Your Son. Thank You for the loving blessings you have rained down upon our undeserving heads.... our health, our home, every beat of our hearts. Thank You for hearing us and the quiet assurance you placed in our hearts that YOUR Plan is Perfect. Thank You for Your Promise of Plans to Prosper and Not Harm Us. Thank You For Your Grace. 


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trin and Ariya

Here is a disastrous attempted photo shoot of Trin and Ari in matching outfits. Aw well, at least I can always count on Trin to pose for me! We had better luck with Ari the day she wore her first pigtails, though! Isn't she the cutest when she isn't screaming her head off!?
FYI, you can see the full size pictures by clicking on them.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Around the House This Week

It's been an extremely chaotic/ busy couple of weeks. We have all been fighting a nasty virus that is still lingering. We moved Ari in to Trin's room and moved Sylver in to her own room. That involved the dismantling and re-assembling of 3 rooms  (aka complete and utter MAYHEM for about 5 days solid). We said goodbye to my Gram who will be living in Georgia with one of my aunts. I miss her terribly and so do the children. 
Sylver had her first experience with death. We lost another one of Anna's babies about 3 days after the litter was born. Sylver brought her to me and we tried to help her, but she was just too little and under-developed, so we thought it would be kinder to let her cuddle with her momma in her last moments.  Sylver found her a little while later and really took it hard. My poor baby. Jesse says if we lived on a farm the way people used to she would be used to it already.... and we would be eating many of her "pets".  I think that was supposed to make me feel better.... it didn't quite hit the mark, LOL. 
Ari has an ear infection and is cutting teeth-making her a real JOY to be around. That's sarcasm. She is killing me. Really. My saving grace is that now that she is sleeping in another room so I can generally get about 4-6 hours uninterrupted at night... It makes my 4:30-6:30 wake up call almost bearable. almost. Ari had her first pig tails this week as well-pictures are coming! You all remember the e-mails with Sylver's first pigtails at almost 3 years old, right?! Ari marches to her OWN beat. She is an amazingly powerful little force of nature. She will be a year at the end of this month and I just can't believe it!
Talyn is off for a weekend slumber party with  Tommy, Tyler, and Danny. I am sure they are still awake as I type this. 
Trin had a little TOO much fun yesterday with Adrian (her BFF), and her siblings. We got a pretty good snowstorm Monday (a foot?). It's melting now, and the weather is really nice. Makes for MUDDY messes. She came in yesterday with mud water In. Her. Hair. HER HAIR, for crying out loud! Needless to say, she went right in to the shower. 
Trin isn't quite at the age where we do formal homeschooling with her but when I homeschool the older two she INSISTS on working right along with them. She is doing GREAT too! Sylver has taken it upon herself to teach Trin beginning reading skills. That is one of the most rewarding things about teaching my children-watching them turn around and teach each other! 
I think that's all the major happenings. 

Weeks like this fly by and the small moments and details that make life so full seem to get lost in the blur. 

Trinity's World

Trinity wore blue jeans today-you haven't seen adorable till you have seen Trin in a pair of bootcut blue jeans! She and Sylver where playing on the floor and Trin did a split... sort of. The jeans made it impossible to do a full blown split. 

Sylver had her Grover stuffed animal on the floor in front of her. It went something like this...

Sylver-"Look, Mommy, Trinity can do a split in jeans! Almost..."

Me-"Cool, Trin."

Sylver-"Look, Trin,  Grover can do a FULL split..."

Trin -insert a VERY indignant tone of voice here- 

"Well, Grover isn't wearing PANTS, Sylver!"