New tights.
New hair.
Closet purging.
Crafty planning.
What inspires a re-do or makeover in your life?
I usually have a post-pregnancy rebound where I want to purge.all.the.frumpy.clothes, dye my hair (and resist chopping it - since I *may* still be growing it longer) and reclaim all my weird and wacky styles of dressing (insert husband's groan here).

I guess it's part of the creative side wanting to 'vent' out again.
So yes, I got myself some silly funky tights.  Picked a very tame hair colour - reddish brown.  And attacked my closet with a purging fury.

Ok, I actually stink at purging.
Half my clothes wandered over to my 'fabric corner' to be used for future projects... lets keep that secret between us... shhhhhh.

Now clothing - as superficial as it is - is a funny bone of contention around here.
I've mentioned in the past my husband's dry witted attacks of my *style*.
So, while I like to dress as ridiculously as I have since I was five.. I still want to make the attempt to dress in a way that suits my love too.

Which is hard.
My eye seems drawn to every.thing he would find appalling.
"Ohhh... look - military coats!" I say.
He's not sure why I want to join the armed forces.

"Ohhh... lace, doilies... pretty pretty!" I say.
He's again confused why I want to wear a granny's tablecloth.

"Ohhh... denim shirts/chambray tops... me want!" I say.
"Are you a homeschooling frau?" he wonders.
The list goes on... as does his quips and retorts.

When I throw my hands up and say there's no other options left, he says he actually likes most of what I wear!  Huh?  Like I said, it's an endless cycle of amusement and silliness for us.
Anyway, most of what I wear needs an overhaul right about now.
Everything is about two sizes too big, or too small.
I think this third baby hasn't let me 'bounce back' as quickly to my original size (or maybe it's the fistfuls of chocolate I consume?).

And, spring, spring makes me want to purge!
To shake the moths out of my closet.
Maybe I should start some summer sewing.. of skirts.

I'll keep you posted on how that goes over with my man. ;o)

Thinking Spring, thinking fresh starts!
What are you purging or re-doing lately?

Mel ;o)



A.musing.mama! 2.10

Ah yes, the trademark swaying that accompanies most new parents.
They just keep rocking, rocking... rocking.

*Special thanks to my girl Azriel for helping mama colour this week's edition*

You can find all the previous comics I've sketched HERE.

Have a rockin' weekend friends,
Mel ;o)


My biggest regret:

I know, I know... this is no longer a 'crafty/creative/d.i.y' themed blog anymore...
this is all mama - all the time - isn't it?

I'm ok with that.
It's the season of life I'm in, and I'm lovin' it.

Because the crazy thing is... that creative side of me would never have guessed that this 'mama' side of me existed a few years ago.
As an artist - my passion was all consuming, and I couldn't imagine how I would ever have such a thrill from little messy munchkins running around my home.

You may recall that post a long time ago about how my guy and I never ever planned to pursue having kids (though I had visions of a home filled with teenage foster kids).

You may also remember the more recent post about discovering that this latest 'surprise baby' was going to be added to our nest.

And you know what I regret most?
I regret that I thought we would regret having this new baby.
I regret that I ever thought having any kids would be a hassle.

I regret that I was so cynical about the precious value of a soul.


Now I couldn't imagine our family without this sweet new daughter in it.
Now, I don't live with regret... but I rejoice.
I hold these souls with gratitude.
Thankful that God would bless us with them.
Grateful that they fill our home and hearts.

mama Mel ;o)


A.musing.mama! 2.9

Yup, my heart just 'esploded'.
Nothing is more blissful and beautiful as watching a newborn slumber.

Isn't it funny how we can just stare endlessly at a baby sleeping.. it's as entrancing as watching a campfire.  In fact, there's a running joke with our relatives about that.. we all sit in the living room and stare at the baby like it's the fireplace.

Since I've been doing a lot of this lately, I thought I'd whip up this quick sketch.

You can find the previous comics from our 'real life' family HERE.

Happy weekend'ing friends!
Mel ;o)


confessions (of a mama) part.18.

I still remember the fear I had after finding out we were pregnant with our second child.
The fear that I'd somehow lose our special times with our first born - Azi.
Fears that my heart may not be able to 'share' any more love - as if it was supposed to divide itself - for both kids.

Of course, such fears have been completely erased in the faces of these children that miraculously birth new depths of love with each arrival.

The phenomenon of it all reminded me of C.S.Lewis' theory in his book The Four Loves.
He talks about friendship love - and how we actually see more sides of our friend to love when we have other friends around.  You know when you hang out one-on-one with a friend, but then when another friend joins in you see new facets of your first friend's personality come out.
It's as if the second friend has helped show you more layers to your first friend... and thus, you love more about them.  As Lewis says it: "In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out.  By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets".   Make sense?

In the same way... having a new baby in the nest has helped me see new sides to all the other members of our family.  Our older daughter - suddenly the ever-attentive, sensitive, nurturing 'mama in training' to her little baby sister.  Our middle son - now seems big as a teenager of course, and full of zany and hilarious antics... and sweet ones too - as he gently pats the baby on the head like a kitten.  My husband - who once again shines in this department of 'tending the needs of the house' while allowing me to catch up on rest.  Seeing him hold our new daughter is all kinds of crazy sweetness.
Even our community around us has amazed and humbled me with their support and celebration.  I always assume that after you have more than one child, no one really notices or cares anymore.  But I'm always wrong.
We've been buoyed up with blessings here: gifts, meals, cards, visits.
You guys keep teaching me how wonderful friendship is!

So today I celebrate friendship,
and all the facets in between.

Mel ;o)


monster-sized love:

 I've been dusting off the sewing machine lately... (feeling back to my ol' creative self again after 10 months of baby-brewing).  During this 'babymoon' I still wanted the other kids to have some special quality time with mama... so, daughter Azriel and I attempted her first real sewing project:

A monster doll!

She chose the project (because we don't do patterns here), the fabrics, the buttons, the shapes/sizes of each part.
She helped me guide the fabric through the machine, stuffed the parts with fluff, and even did all the hand stitching.

It was pretty special sewing together, seeing her patience and eagerness to stick with this project over a few days.

Then watching with delight as she sweetly declared that she had made it for her new sister, because she 'loves her!'.
The same reason I've created so many things for our kids over the years...
...a monster sized love.

Talia is a mix of shock and awe...

crafting with joy,
Mel ;o)


That moment...

...when you see your four year old daughter sweetly 'reading' a book to your newborn daughter...
...and you realise there's no where else in the world you'd rather be.
Happy weekend'ing friends!
What are you all up to?
If we're really feeling ambitious we may partake of the local Maple syrup festivities... nothing beats twirling hot syrup off the snow into an instant sticky lollipop of sweetness!

Mel ;o)


bliss + blessing...

 curled little fingers
tender little toes
tiny tendrils
unfurling to her new world.

holding each moment
letting them go
each wave of love
deepens this ocean of my heart.


Can you tell I'm feeling a bit blissed out here friends?
I want to savour every second, knowing how quickly they flit and flutter away.
Maybe it's the warmth of the sun.
The doves out the window building their nest.
The delight of our children's giggles.
The support of my Ben's presence.
The ease of this newborn's arrival.
All is good right now.

Real good.

Especially knowing that days will still be crazy.
Still be chaotic.
Still stretch me past my strength.

For now, in this moment, I take these beautiful gifts and hold them with joy.
And, as I see them all pointing to the Giver of all good things... my joy is exponentially deepened to worship.
Thankfulness, gratitude ~ the heart of worship.

In hard days and delightful days, God's beauty shines the same.
 Feasting on that divine presence makes every.thing, all.things glow with wonder.

The laundry.
The suckling babe.
The dirty dishes.
The threading of sewing machine.
Can all become instruments of praise.
 When the heart is tuned right.
Turned right.
To the Light.

Walking on sunshine.
Taking off my shoes,
it's holy ground.

Mel ;o)


Talia's birth story:

Alrighty friends, while I still have a few mama brain cells left firing.. I thought I better write down what I remember of our new Talia's delivery story.

For those of you who recall our oldest daughter Azriel's birth story, and our son's Hudson's delivery... you'll find that this baby was a whole new experience!

I guess every birth is completely unique - much like the soul it delivers to the world.

Unlike her older siblings, she did not have to be induced!  This was my biggest wish/prayer for this time around... I sooo wanted to experience a 'normal' and 'natural' labour.  My midwives were seeking to help me along with that wish by doing a number of 'encouragements' the week before (just imagine being a puppet for someone... yeah, that).

Ok, so last Tuesday afternoon (Mar.4th) I was starting to get some easy, occasional contractions.  Nothing alarming, and I had been experiencing those throughout the past week.
I opted for some delicious Thai food that night for dinner... as a consolation prize for going overdue and all.  By the evening my contractions seemed to be acting more 'legit' (picture your stomach pushing itself out as far across the room as possible).  I still figured it was baby 'crying wolf'... and opted to have a bath to either: make the contractions stop - or, prove this was really beginning for me.
By 9pm I decided to 'sleep it off'... popped a Gravol and a Tylenol (as recommended by the midwives) and attempted to sleep.
No dice.
These contractions were still only lasting ten seconds.. but they were strong enough to keep me awake.

By 9:30pm I discovered that my water was breaking.. "well maybe this actually is happening" I thought!
At 10:30pm I called my second midwife (having already told my primary to 'take the night off I'm likely not going to be in labour'!) and asked if I should meet her at the hospital.  Being 'strep B' means they want to monitor you if your water has broken... so I figured I may as well head there while labour still seemed manageable.
 The drive to hospital suddenly had me contracting every five minutes.
I waddled into the Emergency room and was ushered up to the birthing floor, still in good spirits.

11pm My husband Ben and I got settled in to the birthing room, and when my midwife arrived I told her I just wanted to stay in the bathroom!  That desire to 'push' could indicate a baby, not a poop - is their common response.  She examined me and discovered I was already 6-7cm dilated!
What the what?!

Contractions started to build fast and furious, and barely any reprieve between them then.
I felt a bit frantic.. like a headless chicken trying to find the 'sweet spot' to labour in... on my knees on the bed, bouncing on the yoga ball.  I hugged my favourite pillow and stuffed my face in to it to moan through each contraction.
At this point I was thinking "natural contractions shouldn't feel this intense... do I have to do this for hours?!".

I commented to my midwife that I wished I hadn't told my primary to go 'off call' tonight.  She's been at our previous kid's deliveries and has such a calming presence for me.
The midwife smiled and said "I actually paged her, and she's already on her way"... what a kindness - what a delight!
She came in the room around 11:45pm... and I think our baby knew it - I started wanting to push!
Back up on the bed, on my knees, facing the back of the bed... I started into 8 minutes of pushing.
12:13am I felt the head descend - I breathed... and allowed her to slip out as a screaming beauty into the world.  I flipped over and they put her on my chest. She began nursing while the wonderful midwives took care of every thing else - and helped me cut her cord.

After a quick shower I felt energised and ready to go home.. but stayed overnight at the hospital to be monitored.  

Talia Grace was tucked in beside me the entire night.
My heart was bursting with gratitude and delight.
Thanking God for such a fast, safe delivery.
Oh those wrinkly newborn fingers and toes... she must have thought it was a rough night.
Our lil' super baby!
She's such a sweet addition to our nest here.
Her older sister is smothering her in affection, while her brother seems fairly indifferent.
From the get go she's been amazingly alert and attentive to her surroundings.. so, you know, she's likely a genius.

Again, thanks for all your warm celebration with us friends.

Special thanks to my wonderful midwife Care ~ who's gentle voice and reassuring encouragements have helped me deliver all three of our kids.

We are feeling very blessed and thankful for all these wee wonders that God has graced our life with!

mama Mel ;o)


Our growing nest:

Here she is friends!
The freshest, sweetest, new addition to our nest:

Talia Grace.
(Tal'ee'ah - 'heaven's dew/little lamb')

She is all 7lbs 13oz of dark haired cuteness.
Born this wednesday morning at 12:13am - after the fastest (natural) labour I've ever had (more to come on that story).

For now we're just resting and soaking up the love of family time here.
I think I'm suffering from post.partum.delight!

Thanks for all your celebration and affection guys!

Blessed mama,
Mel ;o)


A.musing.mama! 2.8

Now that I'm officially overdue... this is what a normal day feels like.
Pregnancy purgatory phase is in full effect.

Wailing whale'ing mama,
Mel ;o) 

You can catch the previous comics from our 'real life' right HERE!