Sunday, December 15, 2013

Welcoming Baby to our Yuletide Burrow

yesterday i had my little new baby celebration. at first i wondered if i should even have a "shower" for a second baby, but it seemed like a nice way to honor and celebrate this particular birth and child. i have been planning it for a while now, even had to postpone it one week due to the ice and snow last weekend. i'd had a wintry vision in mind for my little midwinter newborn on her way, and the cozy scene turned out delightful and pretty much just like i'd planned. 

feeling pretty crafty these last few weeks, i made the simple burlap and felt banner and strung it along some fallen branches from my front yard. i was hoping for a kind of earthy wintry vibe, originating from the idea of winter's forest creatures. not too straight-up christmassy but with a welcoming, soft feeling of a cozy midwinter den, filled with warmth and light. i also made a little burlap and lace forest, but next year i want to learn to hand felt so i can create a little snowy menagerie among the trees.

i made animal sugar cookies for the kids to frost. with all the baked goodies and sugary treats that ended up showing up, the cookie-frosting was a low priority, but some of the kids enjoyed it, and i liked having the critters around.

the only problem was that lucy woke up with a terrible cough that i think is the croup, but she was such a good sport and it seems most of the other kids are fighting or have already dealt with the same virus that's going around. so hoping this goes away soon, it's heartbreaking! it is only her second real time being sick and i can barely stand it.

i wore a lovely cotton dress i got from becky a couple years back. i had tried it on three weeks or so ago and it fit wonderfully over my blossoming bod. well lo and behold, morning of the party, it barely zips over the chest, haha! welcome cleavage.

darin built a little bonfire so we even spent some of the afternoon out playing in the last of our snow. 

no matter how you set up seating areas around the house, everyone ends up in the crowded, fluorescently lit kitchen!

i am so glad to have so many amazing kids in our community these days.
dolly's smart boy teddy shows off his rad fungus book.

and of course glorious ladies bringing more wondrous little souls to grow up together. this time of year, surrounded by so many pregnancies among my nearest and dearest, i cannot help but conceptualize the miracle of a baby's birth even more keenly. surrounded by the mythology of the first noel, that little babe in the manger, you can't help but think of every birth as an event of great possibility, magical elements, the stuff of legend:

"a ray of hope flickers in the sky
a tiny star lights up way up high
all across the land dawns a brand new morn
this comes to pass when a child is born." 

 the birth of new light and love on our earth.
 check out emmy in her vintage 60's dress, just perfectly hugging her adorably round belly. 

it is most heartwarming to gather together with friends you don't see as often as you'd like and marvel at the growth of their babes and the fullness of their lives.
here's becky greeting mary, with her adorable newly one year old Alder.

becca, milo, elsie and aesop.


babies, lights, happy faces. my heart is content.

my mom always makes her grandbabies a special blanket. this new one gets a vintage holly hobbie one,  tie quilted, trimmed with yellow satin and embroidered with her name.

babies! whether sneaking cookies off the treat table by the handfuls, opening christmas presents under our tree, or any other type of mischief making, these babes kept everyone amused. and busy.

mary and her big boy Yarrow, who turned five the day before yesterday!

Addie and her sturdy handsome little Utah.

our group of younguns couldn't ask for a better ringleader. sylvan plays with all ages of kids and treats them as equals, teaching them things, chasing them, making them shriek with laughter. every one of the younger kids admires him and tries to emulate him. and he is just caring and sweet enough to take it all in perfect stride.

we could not resist the attempt to get all the babes together on the couch for a group photo. pure chaos ensued! 

this is the best we could do. their puzzed faces are them watching the adults sing a frantically gleeful rendition of rudolph the rednosed reindeer to attempt to keep them in place.

teddy, penelope, joey: deep conversation.

the little mingles who will soon have a new littlest!

alder being a perfect bundle, don't you just want to scoop him up?!

no matter how crummy she feels, my girl maintains a cheery attitude. that's what makes it so heart breaking. she has a hoarse voice, a belting cough, and a slight fever, but she still wants to laugh and play. just with lots of cuddle breaks in between. 

so very grateful to everyone who came, to my friends and family, from my dad buying all the foodstuffs for the party, to my mom concocting my very favorite craving: moist cranberry orange glazed holiday bread, and rocking toot to sleep for her nap, to the mama friends who brought cloth diapers, hand made trinkets, stories, and contributions to my birth altar preparation. to the dads playing so memorably with the kids and keeping the fire going in the stove and laughing and drumming up dance beats in the music room. to joey and em's beautiful card that made me cry today, to everyone creating a pure celebration of merrymaking that represents exactly what i always want for my little home and family!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter Wonderland

It snowed! It snowed!

And it made everything so much more wintry and spectral and delightful and vast. As Milla so perfectly puts it: our holidays were just bumped up a notch by "a genuine winter experience." Hailing from Finland where the ice and snow are so pervasive, she writes "there is something totally magical and childlike about cold weather here in these latitudes," and I couldn't agree more!

Darin and I watched it come down that night, so excited for Lucy to discover the wonders in the morning.

i made hot cocoa (in my little prince mug from missa just to make it extra special)......

brought in the succulents...

and walked around admiring some of my favorite festive decorations, like the three wisemen of the fiction section...

lucy's growing snowmen collection (mostly thanks to my mom of course.)

and other cheery trinkets, accumulated from so many sweet sources, gifts and thrifts, work parties and most of all, my own childhood.

our backyard...

snowballs for breakfast. 

up the street:

yeah, her hand me down boots are three sizes too big, but she joyously tromped around anyway! 

having recently become so obsessed with snowmen and christmas books, stories and songs, she now has a frame of reference for "snow." it was so fun to see her get it, and she really did, right away. "snow" and "cold" are her favorite new words now that she truly understands their meaning. she likes to go up to the glass window, or even place her hands on the tile of the bathroom floor and say "doh." (cold)

our house, nestled in:

 we've been sleeping in the living room for extra warmth and coziness. lucy sleeps well out here, between us. so soon another little tiny bundle will join this bed with us. this sweet december will ring in my heart.