Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer and Bellies

Mostly I capture our life on Instagram.
I read a few days ago that children are more confident and have higher self esteem when they are exposed to visuals of themselves as they grow and develop and age. As I was driving to my midwife appointment yesterday, e asked me a question and I remembered our family blog. I pulled it up and handed the phone to her. She had so much to say as she looked through the last 7 years of her life. 
Then I looked through the blog and was reminded of the power of journaling (yet again). 
Summer has begun and we are soaking it up. Swimming, going to the reservoir, reading, playing together, day trips, and play dates with friends. Lots of watermelon and late evenings. 
My belly is 40 weeks old.
Mr. J secured a part-time job at the children's school teaching Spanish, dance, and administratively supporting the director. He is also the unofficial get things done man on campus. The plan is to ease into a full-time administrative and teaching position in a year. 
I am still a technical writer for an international bank. I finished a year of being the Parent Community Council President (our version of PTA) and will be serving one more year. 
E finished 2nd grade and was baptized this year.
H finished kindergarten. 
Z will start all-day Montessori preschool/kindergarten in the fall.
M will stay at home with me and we'll figure out how to balance her needs and my work schedule.
Zeke and Lees are more properly trained and able to roam more freely on their shock collars (thanks uncle n8).
The bunnies re-homed.
We continue to simplify life and keep our limited resources focused on our top priorities.
I have to look back at the last year and a half as we transition and adjust to mr. j's disability and feel gratitude and pride. Our marriage has become our pillar in life. Our faith remains in tact and supportive. Our children are learning and growing and pitching in. And bit by bit we are building a new life look. 
I still have ambitions and desires of grandeur. I still want to do and be everything all the time. I also honor my limits and have more patience for results.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Phoenix -- from the Ashes, not AZ

Little wolf is now 2.

Big E is almost finished with her 1st grade year.

H-nut starts kindergarten in the fall.
Today Mr. J and I have been married 8 years, which means a decade together.

We still live at the dacha.

We added another little dog: Lees (fox in Russian) is a miniature pincher and more hassle than he's worth most days.
We adopted rabbits, and gained their baby bunnies.
We buried the chickens.
We harvested a turkey raised from a poult. 
Nemo our cat disappeared about 2 months ago, leaving a hole in our hearts.
I work full-time as a technical writer for a large international banking company--most days from home.
Mr. J works as a project manager at the same company, but right now he is healing from a back injury on medical leave.
The biggest thing we have gained in the last two years is gratitude. Challenges strip us down and give us the chance to change in ways we don't seek out, but are essential.

I am grateful for a fresh start every day.
I am grateful for days of health.
I am grateful for BIG FAT laughs.
I am grateful for a belief system that has stood the test of time and life experience and increases in strength, giving me insight and truth, opportunities to improve, and love for others.
I am grateful to share life with other people that are doing their best.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mighty Wolf

5 weeks?!?!
Little man is already 5 weeks.
The time has clique-like flown by.
Every moment has been full of love and appreciation for the gift and miracle of life.
The love was transforming--one moment my soul was as it was and then the next it was inhabited by an additional tenant, filling every unknown empty space and creating even more love. And it occurred in a moment--I saw z enter this world and I transformed.
He entered this mortality 'floppy' (the technical term the doc used). His color was not good, the umbilical cord--a gentle noose, no breath and not responding. The NICU team was called and within 5 minutes all was well.
During my pregnancy we learned that my placenta was low-lying and I was a candidate for ER c-section during delivery. The edge of the placenta was too close to the cervix and rupturing a placenta can be a fatal bleed out.
So, I was heavily monitored during labor in case it ruptured. Well, it did rupture but z swallowed/inhaled the result of that rupture, damming my life-blood loss with his body.
When I saw him, I knew he would Phoenix-like survive.
There was love.
Instantaneous transformation--a soul filled and enlarged.
The NICU worked on him a bit and his tiny cries offered proof.
His aunt k envisioned him coming into life howling at the moon, and, ultimately, he did put his nose in the air, and howled a gentle, yet assuring, cry of prolonged mortality.
I received him with joy and happiness, holding his tiny, naked body until protocol interrupted.
He is strong, but not fierce.
Intense, but not demanding.
And prefers me above all else.
My wolf.
My Zev.
Our tiny little man.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Helpful little girls

yesterday I tried something a little different to get the girls to clean up their toys. they wanted to watch a movie in the afternoon and i was amenable to the idea; however, their toys had not been picked up from the previous and current day's play. i calmly explained that when the toys were picked up, they would be free to choose and watch a movie of their choice. they spent about 20 minutes arguing with me and justifying why they shouldn't have to. i ignored their comments and busied myself with sewing...reminding them from time to time that once they cleaned up THEIR toys, they could watch what THEY wanted.
finally, they decided to clean up and it took them 6 minutes. they called for me to come check on their work. i shocked them by replying that i trusted them to have done the job correctly and they were free to choose and watch their movie. e paused and repeated her request. i encouraged her to look around and let me know if there was anything left to do...then they spent another 2 minutes finishing up and then confidently announced they were NOW finished.
it was such a good feeling to see the job they did and to see them understand that just doing the job is less work than arguing for an alternative.
this may never happen again, so i'll just relish in the moment and remind them about it at a later date...

impromptu clarinet serenade during a previous clean-up session

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bias tape race track

h is at an age where she is learning and developing faster than i can provide stimuli. since I seem to be a nesting maniac and unable to physically move too much these days, i have resorted to a lot of hand-work (sewing, crocheting, etc). the good news is the pile of projects I have stacked up for that last three years is literally down under ten items. i do get the girls out at least twice a day for an activity--playdate, library activity, museum program, nanna's house, etc. sooooo, anyway! today when we got home from using nannna's serger, the girls raced into the front room to play while i worked on baby z's blanket and my hospital gowns. h always requests my fabric pieces and 'makes' things with them. today was no exception.

i love her ingenuity and resourcefulness!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RIT dyeing

my very talented and creative homemaking momma friend, amy found at Freestylehomemaking, gave me some RIT dye 3+ years ago. i have been gathering items around the house since then that incurred stain casualties, but otherwise were in excellent shape.
one of these items is a sweater from anthropologie that I bought and wore for a family wedding 7 years ago. it started out cream and with a little aqua RIT love (all done in my washing machine), the final result is beautiful!

using the brown dye gave new life to our swaddler, infant head support pillow and numerous pink items. happily, the green dye transformed pink leggings so little z will be oh so ready for st patty's day!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


mr j rescued a puppy, zeke. he's a sweet dog and very kind. we have only lost a minimal amount of toys to his curiosity and no damage to furniture or house! the girls and I have zeke time when mr j comes to visit. he is learning to protect the girls (our main reason for having another animal to care for) and obey commands.

this weekend was a special mr j and zeke weekend. i realized yesterday as mr j was loading up to leave that I had not taken pictures all weekend! i guess i was just focused living every single second so fully i simply detached from my phone.

The next time we see these guys, we will be actively adding another little man to the family. And someone else better be taking pictures! :)