Wednesday, February 25, 2009


today the season of epiphany ends and lent begins. the feast of epiphany celebrates the revelation of god becoming incarnate through the baby jesus, and this fact being made known to the world. but we also think of epiphanies as those lightbulb ideas when we realize something that maybe we should have known all along. i've been thinking about what those lightbulbs are for me, and how to take those epiphanies with me through this year's lenten journey.

epiphany #1: i love my family. why don't i always act like i do? why am i often impatient with my children or critical of my husband? why do i want them to be other than they are? this lent i want my love for them to be clear to them every day, and to greatly overshadow my frustrations.

epiphany #2: i have so so much. so much stuff. so much money. so much food. so many people who love and support me. why do i always want more? why do i read catalogs? browse craigslist? compare myself and my life to others? this lent i want to minimize the input that makes me feel lustful, and minimize my role in a consumerist society. i want to buy less and want less. i want to share. i want to surround myself with words, images and people who affirm my real beliefs--that i have an abundance.

epiphany #3: blogs aren't always what they seem. i love having this blog as a medium to process and chronicle our lives, and as a way to share our little world with you, our dear friends and family. but it's also a strange thing to write honestly and with humility for a sort-of faceless readership. it's easy for me to share the best parts of my family, of my words and images. but how does that make you feel? i know that we all have this general understanding of how blogs work, that they are just a window and not the whole story, that it's okay to share beauty and inspiration, to toot our own horns a bit... but still, how does that make you feel?

i'm realizing that i often come away from the computer feeling pretty down, after i've spent some time scanning blogs belonging to people whose lives seem so much better than mine. in these blogs the women are supermamas, nurturing to their many children, creating gorgeous art and craft and food, living in lovely, well-organized, clean homes, reading challenging literature... and while this may not be the whole story, it doesn't really matter. because i come away feeling inadequate, jealous, frustrated, lustful. i do not come away feeling energized and inspired. likely this is more a critique of me than of the blogosphere in general--which means that i have some important work to do within myself in dealing with those bad feelings and nurturing some positive ones. which i don't think i can do very well with a computer on my lap. which is a roundabout way of saying that for this epiphany, my resolution is to keep my computer in a hard-to-reach place, and use it only minimally. i think our whole family will benefit from this.

epiphany #4: i am happy when i am creative. i feel frustrated when i don't have the time or space to be so. this lent i want to begin working on some projects i've thought about for a while, including posting some things on etsy, putting together another zine, documenting my babies in their journals and baby books, making my yard pretty, writing lots of letters and breaking in my new sewing machine. for a long time i've felt like i can't begin being creative until my space is perfectly organized, but if i wait for that, i'll never do anything!

epiphany #5: meditation. i'm not good at extended prayer or meditation. my mind wanders so easily. but i appreciate having a short phrase or prayer to repeat when i find myself with a few minutes of quiet--falling asleep at night, nursing isla, drinking coffee. so i was very excited to receive a postcard this week from my friend dale, who left me with these wise words:

fear not! pray always!

an invitation to a holy lent.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

these days

isla spends a lot of her time munching her feet.

aaron recently made this bathroom stool for noah. noah loves it. he spends a lot of time "washing" in the sink now.

aaron installed a pull-down attic ladder a few weeks ago, which got noah very excited about the attic. he says he's going to build a fort up there. i'm not very supportive of this idea.

a fun new activity: eskimo kisses.

two in the tub is pretty fun. isla kick-kick-kicks and splashes noah, and he cracks her up.

her cheeks are something else, aren't they?

noah is no longer afraid of masks. he embraced his animal side with this one recently and actually wore it around town!

more interest in animals: here's my old teddy norman cozy in the wrap. please also note the hawaiian shorts layered over his pants. high fashion.

isla is nearing sitting up on her own. she has two teeth. she has licked avocado, pear and banana (but not swallowed, i don't think). she steals noah's toys when she can reach them. she laughs heartily at her brother.

we caved and acquired another big plastic yard toy. noah loves this car. he named it arthur. and he will spend big chunks of time driving it around the yard or just hanging out in it, parked. he especially loves to tow things with it. and he likes the cargo space for his water bottle.


isla in noah's clothes. found when i got up this morning.

a carrot sandwich, found in the kitchen.

a mess. found after i came home from a meeting the other night.

a pie-plate lineup.

cars in a mason jar, found on the tupperware shelf.

cars at lunch.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

how not to wear your baby

aaron was so proud of the new wrapping method he invented with the moby. "it doubles as a touque!"

note: do not try this at home.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


found around the house. i love how the "workers" keep showing up in different ways.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

my girl

when isla smiles, all is right with the world. she is (almost always) a very sweet, very calm, bright and happy little girl. she loves her brother a lot, and laughs at him when he's silly. she also tries to munch his nose when he gets close enough.
actually, these days she tries to munch everything: my finger, my shoulder, my cheek, her finger, her toes, her socks, her booties, the straps on the ergo carrier, the straps on her hat, any toy or toy-like item within reach, spoons, paper, books... you name it, she munches it. which i'm pretty sure means she's teething. which i'm pretty sure is the reason we've had a rough little while.since the weekend, isla has not been herself. she's been extra needy and fussy, not nursing well, wanting to be held constantly, sleeping a lot less, and crying a lot. the crying is the hardest thing. i'm just not used to it! we've been spoiled with how sweet and mild she's been so far, and i feel totally undone by her vigorous little cry. i pray that this issue really is a very sensitive girl getting teeth...and not a total and permanent personality change. i know that there are a billion phases we'll go through and that surely this is just one of them, but it's hard to remember that in the moment. i always think, "oh lord, this is how it's going to be now. how will i manage this forever?" this time around, though, it's definitely helpful to be able to look at noah and see a very real example of the fact that nothing lasts forever. and that someday instead of clinging to me, isla will be running off away from me, and i will be calling to her to return.

isla is on the verge of so many things: teeth, eating real food, sitting up, scooting around, going after and getting what she wants...

noah sometimes asks me, "is isla big yet?" he is pretty eager to have a playmate. (though i don't think he's thought this through enough to see the potential threat she'll pose to his train set-ups!)isla started out big and strong, and continues that way. often on her changing table she will maintain a stomach crunch at a 45 degree angle for a minute or more! she doesn't love being on her belly but is able to lift her head really high and even lift her legs off the ground at the same time. (this is boat pose in yoga, i think. noah tried to imitate her and failed.) she arches in attempts to escape the confines of the bumbo seat and prefers to stand up in the exersaucer.

nursing isla has not been a cinch. we have periods of ease and then periods of fits and starts, and i still don't really know why. noah often fell asleep nursing, and isla rarely does. maybe she just has more important things to do. but she is still topping the growth charts, so she must be getting what she needs.

my little redhead is still pretty much bald, but i have high hopes for giving her cute ponytails and braids sometime in the future. as it is, i'm definitely enjoying dressing her. i'm really not making any attempts to tone down the feminine in her clothing. i think she looks lovely in pink and i'm having fun with layered dresses and leg warmers. i can't wait for summertime sundresses and sandals!
isla is my teammate now. she is a very fun little friend. and a great big rosy-cheeked blessing.