Gratitude Journal

1. Our friends celebrating our dear Quail’s big day!

2. confetti in the shape of the girl’s names!

3. a garden of flower balloons rooting to the ceiling

4. Nice weather for the big day

5. Party girls in matching green party dresses and tiaras!

6. Thoughtful gifts for our dear Quail!

7. All of our IRL and OL community of friends well-wishes

8. Zuzu sweetly singing and whispering little loves to her sister

9. Her sister hollering back her approval

10. the ability to provide breastmilk to a baby unable to nurse for over a year

11.a sister’s amazing gift of continuing to nurse to help keep up the supply

12. an amazing hubby who knows where and what kind of spare pump parts to buy online without my help

13. Happy Birthday phone calls from all the relatives!

14. Kathy adding swinging to our OT repertoire

15. a new OT/PT schedule

16. a beautiful sunny day

17. a picnic in the part with the girls

18. an unexpected lunch with Lovey

19. an unexpected gift of green amethyst earrings

20. Italian creme cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and little purple violets sweetly frosted on

21. a new Lenten Rose to get to know and photograph

Fave-O-Lit Friday

Beach Attitudes

by Robert Dana

Blessed is the beach, survivor of tides.

And blessed the litter of crown conchs and pen shells, the dead
blue crab in all its electric raiment.

Blessed the nunneries of skimmers,
scuttering and rising, wheeling and falling and settling, ruffling
their red and black-and-white habits.

And blessed be the pacemakers and the peacemakers,

the slow striders, the arthritic joggers, scarred and bent under
their histories, for they’re here at last by the sunlit sea.

Blessed Peoria and Manhattan, Ottowa and Green Bay, Pittsburgh,

And blessed their children.

And blessed the lovers for they shall have one perfect day.

Blessed be the dolphin out beyond the furthest buoy,
slaughtering the bright leapers,
for they shall have full bellies.

Blessed, too, the cormorant and the osprey and the pelican
for they are the cherubim and seraphim and archangel.

And blessed be the gull, open throated, screeching, scolding
me to my face,

for he shall have his own place returned to him.
And the glossy lip of the long wave shall have the last kiss.

“Beach Attitudes” by Robert Dana, from The Other. © Anhinga Press, 2008.

Quail Day

I’m just a little bit in love with this girl and her party dress. I am still ruminating over the lost tiny tiara though. Maybe it will turn up one day. In the meantime she is enjoying her status as a 1 yr old. During therapy she is already acting so much more mature! Well at least she is now talking to her speech therapist and pleased as punch that swinging has been added into her OT’s repertoire. She also in the last few weeks has apparently decided what the world needs now is more love and thus has started doling out hugs left and right. To her classmates, to her therapists and most adorably to her sister. She will holler and holler until she gets Zuzu’s attention, at which point Zuzu will lean in for a hug and proudly pronounce, “Momma, she just needed a hug!”; as the Quail grips on to her with all her might and drools happily into her sister’s hair. The acoustics in the bathroom are especially pleasing for this ongoing reenactment and I managed to capture a bit of the filibuster on film last night. Right now they are about as in love with each other as two sisters can be. On the morning of the Quail’s actual birthday I started softly singing Happy Birthday to her when I saw she was awake. Zuzu broke in and silenced me insisting she needed to do the honors. She finished the song off with, “I love you my sweet sister, you are the best baby ever!” It brought tears to my eyes, as the last time she insisted on serenading her sister with Happy Birthday was the weekend after we brought her home from the hospital. She would alternate Happy Birthday with the Barney theme- I love you, you love me, firmly insisting we all sit in a circle and hold hands while she finish out the concert. I tried to capture it on film then, and it was hormonally deleted. So I’m pleased as punch to have a chance to recapture the sentiment- still as lovely and true as a year ago. I wish this joy and delight in each other for them throughout their lives.

corner view: street photography

Happy 1st Birthday Quail!

Saturday we had the Quail’s first birthday party at our home! It was lovely and sweet and a good showing of our dear local friends joined in the festivities. The day was not without it’s follies: the tiny tiara was lost before it could even be worn, the cupcakes were turned upside down  by a certain 3 year old in her eagerness to share, about half of the invitees were unable to attend. The birthday girl was at her refluxy-prime from the beginning and asleep when her guests arrived and that certain 3 year old later “helped” her sister unwrap her gifts before a certain Momma could write down who the giftees came from. But all-in-all it was a lovely day. The weather was beautiful, the house was clean, the children were chipper, our dear Justine was engaging, the pizza’s were on time, the balloons and singing and frosted-Italian-creme-violet-topped-masterpieces all made the Birthday girl smile and chirp with joy! And the girls in their matching green party dresses were as lovely as the early spring day itself!

Thanks to everyone who helped out! We love you all and feel so blessed to be part of such a rich communityof friends and family!

Gratitude Journal: In honor of a year with the Quail

1. Making Zuzu into an awesome sister

2. Being an awesome sister yourself

3. the little hands sweeping behind you gesture you make when you are excited

4. the way your arms go up and you get all wiggly in anticipation when one of us put a receiving blanket over our shoulders

5. the courage you gave me as a mother

6. making us into a family

7. bringing me back to the kind of person I’ve always been

8. your confidence in your rightful belonging in our hearts, our family, our lives and on my hip

9. showing me the beauty in your unique face and way of being

10. your giggles, grins and gripping little hands

11. the community you bonded us too

12. your Buddha belly

13. your calm wise gaze

14. the way you follow your sister and cat around the room

15. your ability to have your cake and eat it too (you insist on being held by one of us and then immediately focus on the other)

16. for showing me there is more than one way to parent a child

17.  the reminder that we all have abilities and gifts

18. your joy and exuberance as you accomplish each developmental milestone

19.  the way you nuzzle into our necks when we hold you

20. the soft cooing sounds of you telling us what’s on your mind

21. our future- I can’t imagine our lives with anyone other then you, exactly how you are. I can’t wait to see and be with the person you are becoming and already are.

I can’t believe a year has flown by already dear girl. We all love you to itty bitty pieces and know that you are perfect exactly as you are. You make us so proud and we look forward to many, many family days together in our lives. We have so much to show you and do with you. We have learned so much about life, love and humanity already in this brief time together. This world is getting better every day- and we promise to continue to make it a happy, safe place for you to be able to spread your wings in. You are such a beauty. Thank you for gracing and blessing our lives.