Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mother's Blessing

Ahhh, I'm feeling so blessed today. Yesterday was my Mother's Blessing and I must apologize in advance for all the photos. I had a hard time weeding them down. A Mother's Blessing is a baby shower alternative based off of a Navajo tradition in a nut shell.. With each new child the level of commitment and love changes, grows, and mothers are born anew. I chose a Mother's Blessing instead of a shower because this is my second child, we really don't need baby items right now, but what I DO need most right now is support.
The invitations were simple yet elegant. My sister patiently cut each one for me. Inside was the standard invitation information, a short message about Mother's Blessings and a request to embellish a small piece of fabric that was provided and to also bring a small bead in lieu of baby gifts. More on those items later. 
The weather held! It was a tad hot and humid, but we were able to hold the Blessing out in the garden. I had my heart set on this and am so happy we were able to make it happen. Thank you everyone for sending  prayers and happy vibes our way. 
The trees were hung with white and yellow paper lanterns and all the decorations were in beautiful yellows and bumblebee type colors. My sister made a bazillion large paper flowers to hang from the tent.
The treats were oh so yummy with a strong lemony ambiance. Anyone who knows me knows that if there is tea at my house, there are yummy treats present. Tiny bumblebees made out of chocolate covered cherries were used as garnish on top of the lemon bars and lemon cupcakes.
And there was tea.. Four different types of tea, and a gallon and a half of lemonade infused with fresh lemon and mint leaves from the garden. Because of the heat we skipped  hot tea and opted for iced. It was served in jelly jars with yellow paper straws. 
To help fight the heat, everyone was given a cool mint Epson salt foot bath with rose petals (thanks to my brother in law who kindly poured them all). There were pairs of new flip flops  for everyone and a waiting towel at every seat. That way if someone wanted to go get more to nibble or sip they didn't have to put their shoes back on wet feet or walk across the lawn barefoot.
The fabric squares that were in the invitations (see, I told you I would get back to them), were strung up as prayer flags so the wind could catch the love and good wishes in each flag and send it out into the universe. Instead of letting them unravel in the wind however, I intend on preserving them in Badger's baby book.
A table was set up to make more flags, or help embellish a "bed rest" tray for now, when I go into the hospital, and in case I have to remain on bed rest again after the baby is born like I did with Panda. I intend to save the tray for my children to use when they are feeling under the weather in the future.
The beads they brought are to represent the women who came. My beloved inner circle of friends and family. I made a braided bracelet that they will be sewn on to and when I go into labor I will carry this with me. I loved the idea of a "Blessingway" necklace, but  the idea of anything around my neck in labor irritated me. Such lovely beads they all brought. I know who brought each and every single bead. They fit the women who chose them so well. I want to list them all, but there are so many and such deep personal reasons for each bead. This is truly a treasure of love.
As a parting gift to my friends, they all received a small lemon verbena soap in the shape of a bumblebee. These smell so heavenly that Panda actually tried to take a bite out of one. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. I could not have dreamed up  a more perfect way to help celebrate this new chapter in our lives. There was one last beautiful symbol the day brought to us...
Flitting in and out  of the overabundance of blooming flowers the spirit of my Mother came for a special visit on the backs of Monarch Butterflies. She so loved Monarchs and was deeply involved with their conservation. They have become a symbol of her for my sisters and I. The Monarchs have been strangely absent this summer. How beautiful and appropriate for them to show up on this most special day.  A 'Mother's Blessing' indeed. One came to rest beside me during the ceremony. I'm sure I felt my mother's hands on my shoulders as it flitted away. She knew we were trying for another child and was so excited. I wish she could have lived to meet Badger. It has been very difficult going through this pregnancy without her; however, I know she walks with me still.
Be well, and Shine On.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Missing in Action

    I'm sorry I keep disappearing. Things have been kind of busy around here. Lets catch up. Mostly my time has been spent in therapy with Panda, or at any number of medical visits. I'm back on bed rest. We lost our home birth again and are now considered extremely high risk. Without going into to many details I am now facing 4 very real, very life threatening issues, but that's depressing. Lets talk about more fun things. 
My gardens are blooming and quite beautiful. They are my bright spot, I mostly only get to view them from my upstairs windows these days.  Mum used to say that flowers are food for the soul.... My soul is very hungry right now, so it's a good thing my wildflower garden is so lovely.
It's been a battle of the thistles around here, and I tried to sneak away when I could.. But we may be at a point where the thistles just get to take over. See that behemoth in the back? That thistle was over 15 feet tall when I finally chopped it down the other day. I wanted to see how tall it would grow, but Bear wanted it cut down before it could go to seed (that party pooper). 
As for my veggie garden...... The thistles are thriving there as well. This is a before picture. I've since weeded and poured vinegar on the walking paths to help prevent any new growth. I don't think I will be able to weed again this summer so hopefully that will be enough.
 This is what it looked like after the weeding. It is about two weeks old, so things have grown up a bit since then. This year we are growing lettuce, basil, cantaloupe, tomatoes, snap peas, and acorn squash.
 As for the adorable picture at the start of this post? Well in two weeks Panda's best friend's Mommy is getting married and Panda was asked to be the ring bearer. I dyed the shirt because I could not find a purple toddler shirt anywhere for the wedding. I will be hacking off the bottom of a onesie to Frankenstein graft it on the bottom of the shirt to help it stay tucked in. I made the suspenders out of some fabric I had around the house using THIS pattern
And the hat I made using THIS pattern. Doesn't he look dapper? I'm hoping the wedding goes off without a hitch. Crossing my fingers that he doesn't try to jump out of the wagon they are planning on pulling the flower girl and him down the isle in (or have a melt down), but at least he is well dressed. I might be skipping Toddler Thursday next week as well, but hopefully I will have a different post to put up. This coming weekend is my Mother's Blessing (our baby shower alternative). I'm crossing my fingers that the weather will be kind and we can have it in the back yard. Actually, I have my heart set on having it in the garden, so please cross your fingers for us. It should be a lovely time and I hope to have many beautiful pictures to share then. Till next time, shine on. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Toddler Thursday: Ocean

Our bin this week only was played with a few times. I submerged small ocean life animals into a bottle of cheep (blue) shampoo from the dollar store. This was a win because Panda hates slimy things but loves these little animals. In order to get the animals out he had to reach into the goo. Win for a new texture.
This week most of our plans were pushed off to the side in favor of things I could do while on bed rest. I spent most days leaning over the side of the couch while Panda worked on the floor next to me. We also blew a lot of bubbles. A good weapon of choice for a mamma on bed rest.
Next we washed the animals off and played a sorting game. We've been working on a lot of counting games lately.
 I pulled out the fishing game I made last year for Panda and we named the colors as he caught the fish.
 I made homemade edible play dough again using the recipe from our frog week. This time I added some crumbled graham crackers for a sandy texture. We explored a few smaller shells and pressed them into the dough to make imprints.  Panda really Really loves this play dough. 
I also brought his kiddie pool inside and filled it up with balls to make a ball pit. My sister loaned me several sea life stuffed animals that I also tossed in. The plan was to have a huge full body sensory play set up for him to work out some wiggles. After three days we had to take the ball pit away. It was sensory overload and I just could not keep chasing down the balls that were all over the house. So we just ended up counting these stuffed animals, talking about their colors, and quietly playing with them. Not a super spectacular week for us, but we made it through. 
 Soon we will be starting little lessons from Before Five in a Row, but more on that later.
Till next week, shine on.