corner view: …

I wasn’t really sure what to do with … so…..I thought I’d share a few little blossoms from our early spring! We’ve been exploring the yard to see who is popping up early. For the last month there have been little pink,yellow, white and purple delights! I worry that a heavy wind, rain or snow will knock their delicate loveliness out, but who am I to question Mother Nature…

 

Corner view is a weekly Wednesday date hosted originally hosted by Jane, currently by Francesca. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it in photographic or poetic in form from around the world: Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine

Zuzu & Quailday: When your cyber-world steps out of the computer….

I am a lucky girl to have a cyber-sisterhood of supportive friends who share in the miracle of trying to conceive with me. I’ve known this group since 2005 when Lovey and I first started trying to grow our family in earnest. Early on it wasn’t easy. We had 2 early miscarriages that year. As I searched for answers on the internet I came across a group on a Babycenter message board of women who shared our struggles and amazingly offered up a whole new world of advice, love and support. They helped me to know what questions to ask and of whom. Many of them had met years before and had been through the stages of the process that we were just starting. Some had their miracles already and others were still working their way through the process. Most of all we cheered each other through this difficult time. Since then we have been there with each each other through more losses, emergency surgeries, fertility treatments, lengthy bedrests, genetic testing and diagnoses, failed adoptions, medical and personal worries, and thankfully more miracles. While none of us are strangers to loss, the loss we all have experienced is our own unique and yet combined story.

Many of my cyber sisters are stepping up together this spring to walk for all babies in the March of Dimes “March for Babies”. A team has been formed to raise money for MOD in the name of one of the most recent and tragic losses of our dear cyber-sister whose precious baby girl Danielle was born sleeping last September, just weeks shy of her due date. The outpouring of love and support and help to her during this sad period from a group that met online is simply amazing to me. We should all be so blessed to know hearts as kind as these in our lives.

If you would like to donate to the March of Dimes March for Babies in Danielle’s dear name, join us here.

I’ve only had the good fortune to meet one of this group of 27 women in real life. Yet I don’t know what I would do without their support and love. They are family now- they are my cyber-sisters, their children, my children’s cyber-cousins.People that I hope to know the rest of my life- and one day in real life.

This winter since a number of our children are no longer babies and are well entrenched in childhood. We decided collectively to do a round of Flat Stanley and send paper versions of our little loves around the country visiting each other. I first mentioned it here with a picture of Flat Zuzu & Flat Quail.

Being a bit more homebound these days growing the newest little miracle it was fun to spend some one on one time with each girl crafting. Zuzu loved to pick the patterns for her flat’s clothes and remained true to her fashionista self. I was impressed with her scissor skills as was she as she kept saying, ” I can’t believe a cut a leotard!!!”.

When Zuzu was ready for a nap that day, her sister woke up full of craftiness. She practiced with her new scissors and took on the clothes pattern picking and gluing like an ole pro.

As life often imitates art, there was a slight unfortunate event involving Flat Zuzu’s hair that resembled 3D Quail’s love of hair-pulling a bit too closely.  It required a bit more cutting and gluing before mailing. And there was much debate with Zuzu over all the extras that she wanted to send along: Flat Sugarplum, Flat Chulacat, a Flat Suitcase, Flat Stuffed animals, Flat Momma, Flat Daddy… in the end the Flat Sistred were sent off solo and together on their adventures around the country.

Some of my cyber-sisters have started blogs devoted to them with the intention of making their own paper books for the kids once their Flats have returned home. I love this idea and we decided we would just categorize our Flat adventures for future reference here.

Meet a few of our Flat Cyber-cousins:

Flat Nathan

Flat Roman

Flat Vincent

Flat Zuzu & Flat Quail are currently in Kentucky with 3D Daniel & Katie and enjoying themselves quite thoroughly. Stay tuned for more on their adventures…

sunday still life

Sunday Still Life is an evolving photography project; a weekly invitation to pause the busy of our days, to re-center and celebrate the beauty and depth of life. If you are inspired to join in, please leave a link in Erin’s comments

Just breathe Momma…at least that’s what I tried to tell myself as I sat on a wooden bridge watching Zuzu frolic in the creek. Sounds simple enough. I never thought I would be a hoverer. But sadly, I was *that* parent at the party we went to last weekend. It was a fabulous party. The kind I want to give my sweet girls. The kind of outdoor adventure that I want the girls to think of as ordinary happiness…in theory. But there is this little nagging, worry-filled voice that sits in my head. Maybe it comes from a history of multiple miscarriages or the illness filled early months of my girls babyhoods. Maybe it comes from reading other people’s medical records and very sad outcomes from banal events every day. Maybe it comes from being 30+ weeks pregnant and continually worried about the fragility of life both within and around me. I don’t know the sole source. And I’m guessing it’s not just one thing.

But I had to walk away and let her dad keep an eye on her. I don’t want Zuzu to absorb my continual worry. As a toddler she was fearless and it charmed me because for the most part I could hover and expect her to leap and trust she’ll be caught by me. Now that she’s older those leaps are generally into the world rather than my arms. I still see that adventuring side of her. Notice how she’s walking on th slippery rocks in her cow wellies rather than the soft creek bottom where the mud and muck could keep her upright? I did. And from there my brain and heart leapt to images of her sliding off and her dear head taking their spot on those wicked wet rocks. And her name would be hollared out in a warning tone before I could stop myself.

So I watched as long as I could and then I stepped back to give her some space to breathe and run and play and let the calmer grown-up with less imagery haunting him take over. We will go back. It was a lovely spot, a good and refreshing spot to practice letting go.

Maybe next time I’ll join her in the creek…maybe…or maybe I’ll just practice being still.

gratitude

1. Pappa’s carry-out

2. awesome outdoor birthday parties in February

3. lil miss Zuzu splashing around a creek happy as a lark

4. acorn cookies

5. camera time at gym class with good light and the Quail

6. lunch with Lovey

7. pregnant belly photos

8. birthday cupcakes

9. sisters fairing well on a birthday for one of them but not the other

10. matching furreal pets

11. brisket

12. Lovey getting time with old friends

13. making it through single momma days

14. the crampy feeling going away

15. figuring out a mystery that’s been plaguing me

16. early spring flowers

17. photographing early spring flowers

18. reading an actual paper book!

19. enjoying monday mornings

20. birthday party preparations

21. giving input

Happy Birthday Dear Quail-ee-Oh! Oh how we love you!

Happy Birthday Quailee! Today is your 3rd birthday. We are so blessed to be your family. What a phenomenal little one you are. Your birthday party is coming up next month and we’ll share our gratitude for you soon. But for now I’d like to note some of your favorite things right now and throughout this past year as you have blossomed into such a, well, such a YOU of a person. Much love…

The Quail’s Favorite Things:

Favorite TV Show: Dora the Explorer (With Barney running a close second)

Favorite Breakfast: apple/prune smoothie, kefir and a bowl of Tastee-O’s

Favorite Lunch: pancakes with zzzzzzzzz (that’s her word for whipped cream)

Favorite Dinner: Chicken nuggets with ketchup

Favorite Fruit: Bananas & Raisins (I’d be hard pressed to say which is number 1)

Favorite Veggie: none if she can help it, but she willing drinks a green-bean smoothie with dinner each night

Favorite Dessert: yes. Just be sure to offer her one, I will say in a mixed batch of Holiday treats she did go for the brownies routinely, and at one of our favorite bakeries she picks the gingerbread man each and everytime inspite of the soft swirls of frosting on every cookie around them.

Favorite Drink: Kefir

Favorite Color: yellow

Favorite Restaurant: McDonalds- and please be sure to get her the Cheeseburger happy meal, hold the fries. If you don’t she’ll swipe yours.

Favorite Sport: gymnastics and rascalin’ with her Stister

Favorite Toy: her duck-ducks that she sleeps with, pretend food and dishes and baby dolls

Favorite Song: “We Did it!” from Dora the Explorer, although turn on a peppy or sweet tune and you are almost guaranteed a dance partner.

Favorite Book: yes. Girlfriend loves to look through books and be read to.

Best Friend: Mariah & Zuzu

Favorite Day of the week: I think every day. Monday is gym class, tuesday is happy meal night, wednesday she sees her buddies Monique and Amy, thursday she sees Jodie and Suzy and friday she sees Melissa, Karen and Ashley and weekends are homedays with her familial peeps. She goes to school Monday through Friday and loves her teachers Miss Christil and Miss Shaina. Yes alot of those are therapists, but the Quail loves to go to school and is pretty territorial over her personal one-on-one time when her favorite grown-ups come to play

Favorite Time of the day: playing peek-a-boo through the crib rails with Daddy, when she sees Momma (or Daddy) picking her up from school- (love the greeting like it’s been months since she last saw us!) and night-night time when she snuggles into your shoulder and then asks you to kiss her duck-ducks before she snoozes off

Favorite Outfit: her coat- it mean’s we’re headed out on an adventure!

Favorite place to go: school and home- I’d say there is an equal level of excitement for both arrivals

corner view: market

To market, to market! It’s been a good while since I’ve taken photos at the market. This is dear little Zuzu at about 11 months old out on a shopping trip with Momma.

Generally speaking getting the weekly groceries is a family affair here.  Before children came along Lovey and I enjoyed our weekly trips and made the most out of the free coffee and donut holes on our happy little trips. Ever since Zuzu was itty-bitty, and I mean only weeks old, she has loved to be on the go and out and among people as well. Honestly the market is usually when she is best behaved. There is nothing that acts as a salve to her temper like seeing another little kid lose theirs. It has not been uncommon for us to trail shopping carts teeming with wailing children at a respectable distance. They cry, she stops and looks at them confused. Then goes back to merrily pointing out which pack of gummies on the shelf she’s most interested in for the week. She’s a funny kid, she most certainly holds a primarily “toddler food” appetite, but thanks to her overly linquistic parents she is often known to spout of rationales for her treats as in, “But I just ate some protein Momma and I finished my kefir!” So yes, she can now have her pack of beloved gummies.

I will say this as well: the.girl.stays.in.the.cart. For years now she has had no expectation of being allowed to walk through the market. She rides. When her sister came along we switched to the big blue car carts routinely or if all four of us were along, two regular carts.

Since Sugarplum’s arrival in my belly though, my ability to lift the small giants we grow has been hindered. So she’s been in market-walking training. As in no touch, no ask for it, only grab what Momma/Daddy says. For the most part she enjoys it enough that we don’t get much of a fuss.

I will say with Sugarplum’s impending arrival though I’m wondering if our habits will change. I’m a baby-wearer though, so I think we’ll be fine for a litle while with Zuzu walking, the Quail riding and Sugarplum being worn. At least until the Quail gets ideas in her head about market-walking training….

Corner view is a weekly Wednesday date hosted originally hosted by Jane, currently by Francesca. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it in photographic or poetic in form from around the world: Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine