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Beds and Binkies

After all the crazy shook down with Ryan's speech evaluations we were told that the pacis had to go. Now, truth be told, we had planned on getting rid of pacis a long time ago. Like when they were one. And then again when they were 18 months. Once Lola was 6 months old and past the SIDS risk. And then when she started sleeping regularly we decided we'd just wait until the twins were 2. That came and went and we thought we'd just let them agree to give them away at some undecided point in the future.



My kids are the amazing sleeper (12 hours overnight, 2-4 hour naps daily), terrible eater variety. So we weren't about to mess with the one thing we had going for us. Except now we had to. So the night of his final evaluation we drove to a farm near our house and threw our pacis to the baby cows. You can tell Ryan was thrilled to be giving his away.















By default Lola had to give up her paci too, because the big kids definitely would not have understood why she got to keep hers but they couldn't keep theirs. The first night was horrific. Our kids have never put up a fight when it comes to going to sleep. We literally put them in bed, close the door and leave. Reese asked for her paci and we said we gave it to the baby cows and she was over it. Ryan, on the other hand, pitched a holy fit for 90 minutes. Lola, the no pun intended sleeper in this situation, cried for three hours and ended up sleeping on the boob most of the night. You're welcome for that visual.



For naps the next day, Reese again just needed a reminder about who we gave the pacis to. Ryan cried for 45 minutes. The baby was a hot mess. By bedtime that night Lola was the only one still putting up a fight. And just like that our paci days were over.



Driving to the field and tossing the pacis seemed a bit superfluous at the time, but it was the best thing we could have done. The kids will tell us, "I gave my paci to the cows, remember?" Reese has also decided that the baby horses are using her unwanted pacis now too.



Lola turned into a finger sucker, which we were afraid would happen. So this week we snuck the paci back to her at bedtime. It's been interesting hiding her pacifier from the twins. I feel like I'm playing a game of toddler roulette. But we've decided that it's easier to take away a pacifier than it is to cut off her fingers. So that's that.









This week we're in Nantucket and usually we travel with pack and plays, but I decided that I didn't want to have to buy or borrow a third PNP for the trip and I was too cheap to rent them on the island this week. So I made the executive decision to buy bed rails and pack those instead. (Lola, of course, has a PNP we brought from home.) I figured if things got really zoo-y we could always call the rental place and get a set of cribs.



Again, my kids just rolled with it and rocked it out completely. I have to say, we were both shocked. The first night I just had to lie with Reese and snuggle for a few minutes. We talked about going to the beach and building sandcastles and I told her that she just needed to get some sleep before we could go. She was content with that as a promise. Ryan couldn't have been happier to be in a big bed. No fussing at all.







And even though it is only a guard rail on a bed, they don't get out on their own. They ask us to help them down. It's like some sort of imaginary barrier for them, which is an unexpected added bonus.







You know, as parents we built up these bedtime routine things to be so much bigger than they were. I feel bad that we've sold our kids so short. Or maybe we're just really lucky that they're so agreeable. Either way, I am so proud of my big kids for being so freaking awesome.

Thank you

Thank you for the emails, text messages, facebook messages, blog comments, silent thoughts and prayers. For even stopping to read this little section of the internet world that is my life. Thank you.



We're in Nantucket this week. I am catching up on work, catching up on life and catching up on rest. My kids are beyond happy. They love the beach. Love. The. Beach. It's in their DNA. This is my favorite place on Earth.  I am thinking about finding permanent shelter with my babies on this island and just not leaving this time. I'm only half kidding.



I've adopted a new mantra for life.







For reals, people. I mean, that's some perspective. I'll let you know if I am on the verge of shaving my head. And you know I will, because I am a chronic oversharer. Thanks for being my virtual BFF. Enjoy your Sunday.



p.s. that print can be found here.

Oh, hi

Do you know how with some friends you can go a few months without talking to them and then pick right up where you left off? I hope that's what we're like.



I had to put blogging on the back burner for a little bit while I got some schtuff figured out. I think I will probably update in detail on all the things. Until then here's the highlight reel.



Lola is nine months old. I am not sure when or how that happened. She has two teeth but is completely immobile. I thought there was an issue with her development. Turns out she's just really lazy. Good for her. Speaking of lazy. She has a lazy eye. We have to figure out what to do about that. There's an appointment coming up with a pediatric opthamologist. I was relieved to hear that they've done away with patches. Puff likes to talk like a pirate ("arghhhhh....") so I am sure the lack of a patch will be a disappointment to her.



Ryan has had several appointments all related to his speech. Through that process we have been told that he might be on the spectrum. They've thrown around PDD-NOS and verbal apraxia. Verbal apraxia was later ruled out. In the meantime, I made an appointment to see a developmental pediatrician and raised a stink to have a more thorough speech evaluation through our state-run early intervention program. That happened yesterday and I'm happy to say that my son failed every single category, qualifying him for EI. Starting in August he will be working with several new therapists. I have a team meeting at the end of July to put his development plan into action. This is the best news we've gotten in a long time. It's funny how your perspective on good news changes.



Joe and I have separated. This has probably been the hardest thing to put into words. I think if for no other reason than it lends to some sort of finality. We are seeing counselors separately and seeing a different counselor together. Right now I would say we are just holding the space. Which I guess is a nice way of saying that we live together and we are doing our best while we figure this all out. Our marriage, as it was, is over. Now the question is whether we can start a new marriage, a better marriage. Or not.



We hired an au pair who arrives with our family at the end of August. I have a lot I would like to share about her, but I want her permission before I do so. For now, suffice it to say that I am counting down the days until her arrival. I cannot wait. For so many reasons.



I started my own company. More to come on this at another time, but a hint is my blog redesign. I am in the process of building out my own website and shop, which is a tremendous undertaking. But it is also thrilling to be taking control of my life. The impetus to strike out on my own stemmed from the dissolution of my marriage and the potential for needing to both parent and support my children on my own. From this necessity, I have tapped into a strength and a part of myself I had forgotten existed. What's that saying? From the ashes a fire will rise...



So I hope my hiatus is over. I think I am ready to rejoin the land of the living. Or something like that.













things to note... {again}

thing one:

last week i went a little yarn nutso and ordered some lovelies from here... i threw in some variegated goodness alongside of greens, turquoises and good old granny knicker peachy pink. i am now giddy with the anticipation of a box filled with yarn winging its way to me as i tippity type. i have a cunning plan to make a blanket of thee utmost kind (ummm, nothing new there then, Tif). in my head it looks tres spiffy, i can only have high hopes, in my hands it will look the same

thing two:

 my girls, (photo courtesy of pride of mice)
i did not think i would be seeing my girls for the longest time. its been 7 long months and i thought it would be longer, but nope! someone up above smiled down on me, for in just a few days, my clan will be together again and i in turn, will be whole for a short while

thing three:

my little garden keeps on, keeping on, it would appear from being completely pants at keeping little green things alive all my life, i now not only can keep them alive, but they are thriving and taking over the whole of my world. as my adopted auntie said to me whilst i told my tale of my every waking hour being spent tending to my little green friends. "you have created a monster, Tif" and yes, i have... 



i am beyond proud of my one little dahlia which bloomed this week, i fought hard on the side of my little green friends against the pesty pests and this little yellow sweetie, tells me it was worth the battle. i am hopeful she will have friends joining her shortly




and my sunflowers, oh, my sunflowers... my sweet, innocent trusting sunflowers, i have sadly, let them down. woe is me. they have run out of room, now over 8 or 9 ft and still growing. short of cutting a hole in our roof, i am at a loss as to know how to help them.

thing four:

out and about on a pottle recently, i found a little paper lantern in a thrift store. it was $2 and it spoke to me.



 at the moment i have hung it above the alcove where our table was recently shifted to. 



i am planning to make something nicely dingly dangly to hang from it below. i am pondering what that dingly dangly thing will be so for now, as i pass by, i pause and i ponder and wait for the 'bling' moment to happen

thing five:

our bathroom remodel is officially done! its been nearly 5 weeks and i am beyond delighted with the results. 


i have to do some top coat painting and because of this reason, i have yet to unleash my inner 'dottie angel' upon the space, 


but for now a few knick knacks are doing a peachy job of  keeping things going...

thing six:

there is a heat wave going on in old blighty... well of course there is! just as i predicted. first june/july not to head back across the pond in umpteen years and they have sunshine. it was guaranteed. also guaranteed will be a wet dreary september because that is when i will be flying home

thing seven:

with my clan back intact, i am going to take a few weeks off, actually that does sound kind of silly because i have hardly been online in the past month with school out, my mother in law staying and all that other jazz going on each and every day. summer this year has me completely out of routine for some reason and i just need to go with the flow rather than fight it. so i will... i am off but i will be back, some time, some day, some how

over and out for now
Tif 

an easy peasy 'little string of happy'...

last week if you recall i had the urge to make a grand sized 'little string of happy'. nothing complicated, nor fancy, a quick crafty fix. having seen nor hide nor hair of Mr Pesky Squirrel all spring, i felt confident this was the year if ever there was a year, to hang a grand sized 'little string of happy' between my grand sized trees and have it stay there.


i spent a happy ten minutes cutting out rectangles of fabric, i did not measure, nor do anything precise in the least, i just eyeballed and cut, placing my little rectangles in a little pile which steadily grew. i also chose to make them different sizes to each other which greatly aids things if you are eyeballing.


after which i 'ummm and ahhhed'. to leave a gap, or not to leave a gap? i decided to 'not leave a gap' and go with a prayer flag look for this little particular string, similar to the ones i sold in my store a few summers back.

quite simply, i placed them one after another in a random way, along the twill tape and fed them through Miss Ethel's mighty fine foot


here i might point out, most sensible thing would be to measure the space where you are hanging your string, i did not, i just went with a wing and prayer as i could not be bothered to go downstairs and find a tape measure long enough to measure between the trees.

after all my little rectangles were sewn in place, i folded them neatly so that i did not get in a big old twisted pickle



after which i pottled outside, spent a few moments getting in a big old twisted pickle despite having folded things nicely and attached my grand sized 'little string of happy' to one of the trees. i then proceeded to take the other end of my string and went about attaching it to the other tree, and just as i stepped back to admire the little bit of crafty goodness hanging from my trees, 




that very moment, from way way up high, higher then i dare look for fear of a vertigo moment... came a squeak, a squeak that was undeniable... a squeak that could only belong to one critter, and one critter alone.
 Mr Pesky Squirrel himself

footynote:
if you too would like to make a grand sized 'little string of happy' to scratch a crafty itch, you will only need a smidgen of ingredients
* twill tape (or any other length of tape, ribbon, lace etc)
* various leftovers of fabby fav fabrics
* a handy dandy sewing machine
* thread for your handy dandy friend
* scissors for snippity snipping
and then follow the ramblings up above
:)

Lola's Christening

Little lovebug was baptized last month and it was a sweet little ceremony. Afterwards we had a reception at the house with our closest friends and family. The festivities were small, for us, and it was so nice to just be able to relax and enjoy the day.






{ big girl on her big day }





{ the reception spread }



The church was hot as hell (no pun intended) and the baby was quite sweaty by the time it was our turn to go up to the pulpit. I almost dropped her into the bowl of holy water, which surely would have qualified me as mother of the year. At least I'd know the baptism really took.









{ with her godparents }





{ four generations of my husband's family }




 
{ best picture we could muster of the five of us, good enough }





Lola's godmother got her a beautiful jewelery box engraved with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson -- her namesake. I know it is something she'll always treasure. Her godparents were each of our best friends and it means so much to me that we have friends that have become like our family. I have visions of Lola calling her godmother up in years to come to bail her out of things "without telling mom". I couldn't think of a better person to have in her life forever.

things to note...

thing one:

our staycation was most marvelous and magical... in amongst it, we rebelled and went on a mini 2 day vacation across the border. i am wondering if that is breaking all the rules of staycationing? if indeed, one goes on a vacation whilst staycationing, technically you are no longer staycationing and therefore you are on vacation and can no longer claim to be a staycationer. its a tricky dicky thing, because right after we returned from our mini vacation we went back to staycation mode, but is it then a bit like one saying 'i don't eat dairy' and then conveniently ignoring the cheese on top of your Italian thin crust pizza and thinking it doesn't count because you asked for 'light cheese' and after all, it was only a sprinkling, a mere dusting, and thus isn't really dairy after all. "ummmm Tif?"

thing two:

i am surrounded by green friends, inside and outside... i cannot but marvel at how a little itty bitty seed can grow so big and so mighty. i have yet to see them actually grow with my own eyes, but grow they must, when i turn my back, and look again, voila! they are taller than 10 minutes before. thus, i marvel at the wonderment of each and everyone of my little green friends. we have tasted our first crop of peppers and our strawberries i liken to 'truffles' as they are tres rare but oh so magical its okay to only have enough for one each of my clan every few days. in the evening when i have finished watering outside the overhang 'indoor outdoor' area 



and turned my attention to the front patch outside our Mossy Shed. i spend quality time with each and every little new greenie trying its very besty best to root deep down and survive the summer heat. 



 i then pop away my watering-can and feel a little sad because our time together has come to an end for another day. yet, i'm a little giddy inside knowing when i awake the following morn i will get to see what magical magic-ness has gone on whilst i slumbered

thing three:

tomorrow morn i have my first job interview in over 22 years. i am mustering up all my snoopy courage and hoping my crafty soul will shine on through despite my lack of experience with working out in the big old world. my qualifications within my little world are many fold i tell myself and its just a matter of believing in myself and what i have to offer. i will read Mr Wintle's wise words several times before i go to bed tonight and then i will do what i did with my pitiful revision notes when at school, i will place Mr Wintle under my pillow and hope that his wisdom will seep into my cogs whilst i slumber so i awake, fresh as a daisy, filled with thinking big and believing i can. (nope, sorry, no questions taken at this point on if this process worked for my school exams, alas, not enough time)

thing four:

today to distract me from my up and coming interview and to take me back to my happy place, actually, my two happy places. happy place number one is crafting, happy place number two is gardening, i am combining them to make doubly sure i find a happy place today. so i will be making a grand sized 'little string of happy' for the large fir trees out front. of course, there are those who may point and say "fool Tif, surely you have learnt from times before" but i say, 'foolish maybe or ah ha! maybe not, maybe an optimist instead'. yes i am fully aware every single spring when i pop out a garland or two around those large beasties of trees, the pesky squirrel who lives up high above thinks i have done so, just to a) drive him/her batty and b) provide him/her with peachy nesting material. however this year, i have not seen hide nor hair of a pesky squirrel and therefore i am optimistic this is the year to string up my grand sized 'little string of happy' and best of all, this is the year it has a fighting chance of still being strung for the whole of summer 

fighting talk, that Mr Wintle would be most proud of, i like to think...

New Life on Papa Stronsay

Just over a month ago our goose, Duchess, began sitting on a clutch of eggs.  Yesterday, on the First Saturday of the month, her eggs hatched.  The last of the little goslings to hatch was exiting its shell as these photos were taken.  Of the seventeen eggs that she sat on Duchess hatched thirteen goslings.  One of these died, and the remaining unhatched eggs were unfertilized.


 Duchess sitting on her nest with her little ones gathered under her wings.



This morning, the whole family was out to enjoy the sunshine!



 Duchess takes her little ones...

 ...to be introduced to the water.

Br. Seelos filling up the water.

Thank you Blessed Lady, Mary, for this wonderful First Saturday blessing!

Fr Magdala Maria, F.SS.R. first Solemn Mass

One of the great graces that we received during our ordination-pilgrimage to Rome, was Fr Magdala Maria, F.SS.R. celebrating his first Solemn Mass in the Borghese Chapel of St Mary Major basilica.  This chapel houses the icon of Our Lady titled Salus Populi Romani which holy tradition tells us was painted by St Luke himself.

 The altar with the image Salus Populi Romani enthroned above it.

 Fr Magdala's mother and father eagerly await for their son to ascend the altar steps.

 Crossing from the sacristy on the far side of the basilica, the procession enters the chapel.

 Holy Mass begins.


 We thank God for the grace of seeing two new priests in our Congregation.


 The deacon, Fr Yousef Marie, F.SS.R. chants the gospel.

 Father elevates the host which, by the power so recently given him through the Mercy of God, has now become the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 The elevation of the chalice.


 Preparing to distribute Holy Communion to the faithful.  Thank God for new and holy priests who are to minister to the spiritual needs of the Church.

 The beautiful cupula of the Borghese Chapel.

 Father gives the final blessing:
Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus, Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus. Amen

 At the end of Mass the hymn of thanksgiving, the Te Deum, was sung.


 The procession left the chapel as the tourists looked on.

Re-crossing the basilica and returning to the sacristy.
 

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