Beautiful pink rose
with a sweet Heavenly scent–
as I cannot kiss your face
I’ll kiss it instead
Beautiful pink rose
with a sweet Heavenly scent–
as I cannot kiss your face
I’ll kiss it instead
It’s been so long since I’ve written on my blog! I miss the way I can untangle all the thoughts in my head by letting them out onto the page. When I don’t write for a long time, my head feels ready to burst. I also miss all of you!
So what’s been keeping me so busy? A few extra writing assignments, decluttering my house (ha, I know, again/still!), prepping for homeschool, organizing fall activities for the kids, and generally trying to get anything done while holding my giant, jolly baby!
After a super busy Saturday, we settled down to watch an inspiring movie, based on a true story, called “We Bought a Zoo.” After losing his wife to illness, a man (played by Matt Damon) moves with his two children to the countryside to start over. The catch: the beautiful property they want to buy is a zoo and must be kept a zoo. So with great effort and a ton of work, they get it up and running again. They find the courage to keep viewing life as a adventure after loss. It’s a real testament to the power of hope.
I liked the message was that adventures await you “if you can only have 20 seconds of real courage.” Sometimes it just takes a moment of bravery and openness to new possibilities to make great things happen. And this fits well with my homeschool theme for the year, which is to explore without fear. It’s too easy to get stalled by overanalyzing everything and worrying about what might go wrong. What about what might go right?
I loved this saying which I saw on a ballet bracelet at the Dance Box store:
But Mother, what if I fall?
Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?
So in the spirit of adventure, two of my daughters are trying ballet and another one just had her first horseback riding lesson! They are all very happy. I’m so glad we decided to try new things in a spirit of hope, rather than holding back out of fear. Hope opens the door to possibility. As the hobbit says, you never know what adventure awaits you when you step outside your door.
Some days are crazy
but flowers bloom, stars shine
and the baby smiles.
Father, will you forgive me
for being crushed under this weight?
No, My daughter,
there is nothing to forgive.
It is no sin to stagger
under such a heavy burden.
Did I rebuke my Son when He fell three times?
No, there was nothing to rebuke.
But I could hear the entire creation rejoicing with Me–
mountains echoing with thunder
and seas roaring with triumph–
every time He got up again
to give Himself completely
in the full freedom of love.
Therefore be still, my daughter.
Calm your wildly beating heart–
I never asked you to do this alone.
You’re being held up by angels,
but you must close your eyes to see them.
When things are heavy,
rest in their embrace.
and you’re working round the clock
like a donkey round the threshing mill–
sacrifice in each step.
Working like your dad,
but long hours away instead of long weeks at camp.
we celebrate our eldest daughter’s 12th birthday–
a dozen years of parenthood–
building a life together bit by bit.
I think of the early days of motherhood,
pregnancy and giving birth for the first time,
and those inexpressibly precious baby snuggles.
Remembering I rejoice
and celebrate having made it thus far.
The day, says my classy and clever friend Laura,
calls for champagne.
And although it takes two,
often moms get all the credit
for building their children’s bodies,
knitting them together in their wombs.
But I think of you, honey
working away in the office each day
so I can order in groceries–
paying for each apple, cake and curry I prepare.
And I realize our children’s cells
are built upon your sacrifice.
They are nourished by your love,
strengthened by your resolve,
encouraged by your perseverance
to believe that anything is possible.
So thank you…for working so hard
so I can be with our little ones
and celebrate with them
all the mess and glory
of being alive.
Today my new nursing chemise arrived from Cake Maternity. I was so excited to try it but I thought I’d wait for a special occasion and put on my regular bedtime attire…and old t-shirt and plaid pyjama pants.
This outfit lasted less than an hour as Miss Baby decided to decorate it with a rather generous helping of milk. This may not have been been the special occasion I was hoping for, being far too frequent to be deemed special in any way, but it was reason enough to change, so I decided to try my new nightie on.
I carefully snipped the Cake Maternity label off and put in on my bathroom shelf. I liked the motto: Love The Body You’re In. It was symbolic for me as a mom…love the body you’re in now, as it is, with all its changes, and similarly, love the life you’re in, now, as it is…embrace it and appreciate it…this time with tiny people running about and a chubby baby smiling on my hip or snuggling into my neck with her fuzzy peach head.
This also means embracing and appreciating myself. Not waiting for later to wear the smooth, comfortable chemise that had arrived wrapped so prettily in tissue paper as if it was a gift from a friend earlier that day. Saying, today is special enough, because everyone deserves to be treated with gentleness and love every day, even me, a mom…and perhaps, for mothers, who dedicate their lives to making others feel special, it is even more important that we fill our well and do things that make us feel special also...that we love the body that we are in…that we honour it as a place of generous creativity, a place of love and of life.
Yes, this is all a fancy way of saying that we moms deserve pretty pjs! But it’s because they symbolize something much greater…self-respect, feminine dignity, comfort…and the humility to know we are merely human and need to take care of ourselves in order to be able to serve our families.
While I pondered these things the baby began to squawk a bit and needed a snuggle dance to settle down. I discovered that the skirt flits about nicely just above the knees as I rocked the baby to sleep…and feels elegant and cheerful…as opposed to the tired old plaid pj pants which drag on the floor, in great danger of picking up stray Cheerios, dust bunnies or stickers.
With a sweet empire waist and easily adjustable shoulder straps, you can make it fit just right…whether you’re expecting a baby or already nursing one. And what makes this a nursing chemise is the fact that the straps have little hooks that open, just like a nursing bra, so you can nurse properly without having to stretch your pajamas out of shape…the sad fate of other non-nursing nighties.
The sporty back gives it a nice “I can do this!” feeling, which helps for night wakings or those endurance “please, go to sleep, baby” dances. Also, the straps can’t slide off your shoulders, so you never need extra hands to pull them back up, risking waking baby in the process.
It so helps that I could order the chemise online, rather than trying to buy clothes with my 7 kids in tow. Last time I bought pjs it was after about 2 hours of chasing kids through Value Village and another hour of waiting while they tried stuff on in the limited change rooms (my four eldest are girls!).
When it was “my turn” to find pajamas I just grabbed the first thing I thought could work and hurried to the cash, with my overflowing cart and procession of tired hungry kids. What I grabbed off the reject rack were soft orange and white striped capris joggers…or as the kids call them, my pirate pants. I usually wear them to bed with my black t-shirt that says, “Sarcasm loading…please wait.”
Charming right? So given that my options are looking like a sarcastic, washed up pirate or a sweet, elegant mother, I’m so glad to have my new chemise from Cake Maternity! Bed is my favourite place at the end of a long day–may as well dress up for it! 🙂
This lovely chemise was given to me in exchange for my honest review of it.
Thanks, Cake Maternity!
A baby is the best decoration for any room…and makes even a pile of clean laundry into a throne from which to beam at the world!
I’ve been in bed with a sore throat reading Jennifer Fulwiler’s hilarious, inspirational book “One Beautiful Dream: The rollicking tale of family chaos, personal passions, and saying yes to them both.” It’s amazing…I can so relate the struggle and beauty of a writer mom with a large young family trying to be present to her kids while digging deep to pursue her “blue flame”…her passion for writing. I love how she’s integrates them both with such honesty and humour…and leads you along her journey of discovering that perhaps a loud house full of little people is a place of inspiration and growth, rather than just distraction from her craft. If you ever wonder if only your house with kids is a little crazy…I highly recommend it!! I laughed and cried and shouted…you might, too! 😉
Anyway, she inspired me to share this moment from our own beautiful chaos…
Tonight I had a mom’s night out with other mom bloggers in a beautiful venue. We all dressed up and chatted and had fun. Besides the sweet baby whom I brought along to charm everyone, the kids stayed home and had banana splits and played games and did crafts with their babysitter and had a great time instead of just watching a “boring movie.” Then they even went to bed for her nicely! Glorious!
It felt like a double miracle: one, that we busy moms made time to get out and be together (looking quite fabulous with not one pair of pjs or yoga pants in sight) and two, that many of us are writers…that we find that time to nourish our creative spirits and connect with other people…to reach out and share our stories and do good by supporting each other.
Of course the number of children people have came up in small talk, and I’m happy to report that while queries of my family size (8 kids) did cause several near heart attacks, there were no fatalities! 😉
Rock on moms, it’s an amazing full time job to give someone else life, whether it’s one kid or ten…may you be showered with blessings for all the generous, sweet things you do to serve your family and by extension your community each day!
We went to the Dosa Factory restaurant
with a very good old friend
and our seven kids.
They were very good:
one napped quietly and the others played card games like “Go Fish”
and set up their Littlest Pet Shops on the lazy Susan
to show our sweet friend
who expressed genuine delight.
They sat in their seats and were very good indeed…
except the toddler
who played musical chairs
and repeatedly catapulted himself off his high chair,
grinning delightedly under his cropped golden mop:
“Wheee! Whahoo! Wheee!”
Of course the encouraging smiles of the surrounding people
just added fuel to the fire
and when he hid under the table
it wasn’t in shame but in jest…
he was playing house!
It was all well and good until he spilled water all over his pants
and decide to strip down, then and there, in the high chair….
and then bolt–laughing!–
as Daddy followed in hot pursuit.
After being bribed with “Coffey” (sweet milky chai tea)
he temporarily settled back into his high chair
(now in his pants again…which were only pjs…but still)
and sipped his drink off a spoon with relish:
“It’s yummy, Mama; it tastes GOOD!”
And while all this went on
we ate mutter paneer dosa, and chicken korma and naan
and talked faith and philosophy,
the importance of being yourself
and why the little things matter,
and I nursed the baby
and bounced her as she cooed and giggled
those new little laughs
that are like spring flowers
meeting with the world for the first time
to share their loveliness.
And once the kids escaped their seats
and scampered about eating fennel seed candy,
we settled up and walked home in the slight rain
to the scent of June roses
perfuming the grey evening with hope
and splashes of colour.
I sit here at East is East
almost alone (the baby is sleeping on my lap)
but feeling the opposite of lonely
a perfectly satisfied fulness
an openness to everything:
the heat of the spices in my mouth,
the cool kiss of my iced Turkish Chill,
the spring breeze in the elegant drapes,
the warm orange glow of the lamps.
The vibrant aquamarine wall behind the stage
is filled with memories of musicians
from date nights past…
when that skinny little girl
with her starry-eyed dreams
met that philosopher boy:
tall, brown-bearded, bespectacled.
They met and fell in love
talking their heads off
over so many meals
from all over the world:
Ethiopian, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Irish, Mongolian and more…
walking the town
in search of truth, meaning,
They married and filled the restaurants
with tiny people who like spicy Thai food
loud, gorgeous, long-lashed children–
and one gone ahead to the heavenly banquet.
And now instead of that teenaged aching emptiness
–that lonely longing–
there is hustle and bustle,
a thunderstorm of pitter patters
and never a moment alone.
Today that skinny girl
still red-headed and freckled,
but a little more wobbly around the middle,
has escaped for a moment alone with her dreams
in the same café where,
sitting with her bosom buddies
she discovered the presence
of her latest warm bundle–
a blue-eyed moon baby
whose smile bursts her chubby face open
And the girl
now a mom of 8
(how did that happen??)
is learning to dig deeper
underneath the choas
into the quiet space inside
where her spirit resides
and speaks poetry in whispers
(if you’re quiet you can hear…).
The Spirit speaks to her
in dappled sunshine through tender new leaves
and the scent of lilacs.
She buries her face in them
and is transported back to highschool–
to the village where nature spoke to her so clearly
and she filled her notebooks with passionate scribbles,
longings for the fulness she now has