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A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014…

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//Reed: snug-as-a-bug…asleep in his toddler bed for the very first time

//Finnlagh: digging with his favourite beach spade; he lost it in the ocean only moments later

//Alina: after the 2nd grade end-of-the-year picnic, she thoughtfully picked up some sweets for her brothers

//Baby #4: airy pregnancy silhouette taken in Week 35 by my dear, sweet Grant

XO,

N&N

Joining in with Jodi of Practising Simplicity

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22 Months **

Reed_22mosReed_22mos.15 Reed_22mos.2 Reed_22mos.1 Reed_22mos.3 Reed_22mos.4 Reed_22mos.5 Reed_22mos.6 Reed_22mos.9 Reed_22mos.10 Reed_22mos.11 Reed_22mos.12There is a fair-haired and very mischievous little elf that wanders around our garden, scouring it for pink and purple wildflowers, stopping now and again to pluck off a perfect bloom. He collects them and offers the posey to me with a resounding “Mamaaaa…Love Flowers. Here go!” Just like that, I could care less about whether not he picks every poppy, daisy or gilia. I should be cringing, but there would be no point. There is something so endearing about a toddler discovering the world around him, and developing a sense of appreciation for those very things that adorn our everyday lives.  “We can add them to our flower press,” I tell him, and then he brings me all the ones he can find. Always purple first — it is, afterall, my favourite colour, and if Reed is anything he is a very astute young man who knows his mama’s daily routine and aesthetic tastes fairly well.

Halfway through his 22nd month, this boy is growing up, and yet still very much our darling baby. Yes, it is true he will cease to be the ‘baby of the family’ in less than 6 weeks, but then again, all of our children are still very much our babies —no matter how old they get. He is quick as a bunny, a budding Picasso who draws and adorns walls/paper/coffee tables with very deliberate and concentrated markings. Reed even requires a notebook and pens in the car, and once he’s done, lets his big sister or brother help him ‘sign’ his name on his finished masterpiece.

If you have something, well he’d like it very much please, especially if they are scissors, batteries or dvd discs he can toss like a frisbee. Is that a tabletop I can clear off with one swipe of my arm? Why yes. Do go ahead and throw absolutely everything you can find on the floor, and then get up on top of a too-high surface, shake your naked tushie, and tap dance. By all means!

We do give in to assuage him to avoid that throwing-back-your-head thing our children have seemed to do as toddlers when things aren’t quite going to plan. Grant and I will choose avoiding injuries over ‘discipline’ and ‘making a point’ any day of the week. As I have touched on previously, we practice attachment-style parenting which lends to a very natural, emotional sense of security for the child, but also develops independence and trust. Luckily, for now he is very easily brought out of his itty-bitty tantrums (thankfully!) and still eats, takes bubble baths and nurses with great gusto. He calls himself “Me Me” most of the time (but will answer to a huge variety of nicknames we’ve got for him, from ‘Pas en tout’ to ‘Toodles’). He’s recently started saying his own name, which is positively the sweetest thing; my heart simply melts.

Reed Anders: you have us constantly in awe of what a dear, dear soul you are. You are a bright light… a shining, wide-eyed, pursed-pouty-lips totally inquisitive boy who wants to do everything we are doing, see everything as we see it, and tell us about it all in an unending stream of delightful toddler banter. Flooding the bathroom and pulling the cat’s tail..? Getting your parents up at 3am so you can eat cereal bars and play? Not exactly your best choices, but we’ve all got a little bluster in us, haven’t we? Let’s roll with it.

XO,

N&N

 

 

19/52

A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014…

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//Reed: the precise moment he learned that he needed to stop hitting the piñata and let someone else have a go at it. Very real emotions indeed.

//Finnlagh: waiting patiently outside the auditorium until it was his sister’s turn to perform in the Spring concert. He was very proud that he “looked sharp.”

//Alina: my first-born posing with one of the many handmade gifts she made me this Mother’s Day. Inside this envelope are beautiful hand-printed notecards, complete with cupcakes and MOM tattooed across them.

//Baby #4: taken at the start of Week 31 several days ago. I was sure to wear my colourful dress for our Cinco de Mayo festivities.20140511-213505.jpgHappy Mother’s Day! I awoke this morning to a toddler latched onto me nursing, my bedside table covered in handmade flowers and cards, and not-so-quiet sounds coming from the kitchen: “SHHH! You’ll wake her up!” The big kids came charging into my room, wished me their best greetings and hurried me outside to the surprise that awaited me on the patio. Chef Grant and the children had gotten up extra early and prepared a lovely and thoughtful breakfast of heirloom tomato salad (complete with edible flowers), smoked sausages, grilled bread cheese, avocado, Ojai pixie tangerines, chocolate croissants, and my very favourite chai tea. The table was adorned with baskets of miniature roses and a generous vase of sunflowers.

This is a very special post for me today, and for all the mommy bloggers who are participating in The 52 Project. For my family, these are the four little blessings we have in our lives brought front and centre— the high-spirited, extraordinary children that have made me a mother and forever given me a greater purpose in life. Although our fourth child is on the way, this is in fact my sixth pregnancy.  On Mother’s Day in particular, I also mourn the two babies that we lost due to unexplained miscarriages and hold them close in my heart. We have always wanted four children and feel now that our lives are brimming with a gentle whirlwind of joy and chaos —there is no greater happiness than today.

ps: This is the Tree of Life necklace from Birth Designs. “Where there is love there is life” is a quote from Mahatma Gandi and it could not be more appropriate. Whenever the older children ask how they came to be in my tummy and birthed, we always explain that they are the products of the love that Grant and I share for eachother (a good cover until we really have to explain the birds and the bees, although Alina is 7.5 years-old and pretty much onto the idea already). Grant had this necklace made for me for Mother’s Day in 2009 (when we still had just Alina and Finnlagh). Since then we’ve added Reed’s name. We had to get a different jeweler to add it, and while it doesn’t exactly match, the important thing is that he is included. If you glance at the upper right of the circle, you can see that there is space for one more name… a name which we have already picked out for the little man who will make his appearance come early July…

XO,

N&N

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Joining in with Jodi of Practising Simplicity

 

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18/52

A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014…

Reed_4May2014 Finnlagh_4May2014 Alina_2May2014//Reed: a tad miserable from the heat and the itchiness of mosquito bites, he found a cool patch in the shade all his own

//Finnlagh: fetching a broken-off branch of meyer lemons to be re-planted in the garden

//Alina: guaranteed to turn any narrow path into a makeshift balance beam

XO,

N&N

Joining in with Jodi of Practising Simplicity

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A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014…

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//Reed: Re-arranging chairs (one of his most favourite activities) … Love how the sun is illuminating that increasingly platinum hair of his

//Finnlagh: aka #9 on The Cubs, playing in his first-ever baseball game

//Alina: We fill our house with daffodils every week, and she just adores the light floral scent

XO,
N&N

Celebrate: 21 Months*

20140408-171329.jpg20140408-171544.jpg20140408-171604.jpg20140408-171619.jpg20140408-172142.jpg20140408-172200.jpg20140408-172206.jpg20140408-172212.jpg20140408-172223.jpg20140408-172235.jpg20140408-172245.jpg20140408-172305.jpg20140408-190001.jpg20140408-172345.jpgA sizzling day in southern California to celebrate 21 months of our little lad! We headed to Arroyo Burro (also known here in Santa Barbara as Hendry’s Beach) and took in some rays at lunchtime, skimming the surface of the waves with our toes, running through the sand, and enjoying frosty milkshakes. Arroyo Burro is barely a 5-minute drive from our house, and yet we always seem to neglect it in favour of other farther-flung destinations — a mistake we are not likely to repeat: it’s pretty much picture-perfect. A scenic drive after lunch, followed by a stop at our local farm (we got fresh organic strawberries, Bacon avocados, Ojai pixie tangerines and limes– prime season), baseball practice and a family swim in the pool before dusk… it seems that life with Reed is always reason enough to celebrate.

XO,

N&N