Tuesday, February 26, 2013

By "Baby Shower", You mean "Cake Shower" ...

My sister, CoCo, had her baby shower this weekend and Bea and I hit the road so we could take part.
As you already know, Bea's a little shy around new people and believe it or not, she hasn't ever met my mother's side of the family. Between quarantine as an infant and rotating holidays with Casey's family, we just haven't had the chance. But this weekend, it all changed.

Knowing she gets a little introspective around newcomers, I tried to set her up for success by putting her down for an early nap. And nap, she did. For the first time in WEEKS! she took a glorious 2.5 hour nap. Then it was game time.

At first, Bea was incredibly overwhelmed by the chaos of The Hen House cooing in equal parts over Courtney's belly and the Busy Bea herself. She was all, "Oh heck no. I don't do crowds":
Save me. Someone. Please.
But after a snack and once she realized there would be cake, she was ready to Par-Tay:
You guys. Did you know they have cake here?!?
Of course, it helped that her Bestie was there for moral support to MiMi:

I really wish this picture below wasn't so blurry, because it TOTALLY sums up these turkeys' relationship:
After the Great Cake Discovery, Bea was wired. And I mean WIRED. I lost track of the number of bites of cake she conned off of unsuspecting female relatives. The scheme went something like this:

Bea: Oh, what's that?
Nana (for example): Cantaloupe and Watermelon.
Bea: And, what else?
Nana: And peanuts.
Bea: And, what else?
Nana: And, celery and carrots and bell pepper
Bea: And... there's something else. What's on that on your plate right there...
Nana: That's cake!
Bea: Oh, you have cake. I love cake. Cake is my favorite. Would you like to share some cake with me?

I'm not even kidding. These ladies were helpless against her cute-filled defenses. By the end of the party, she was literally jumping in circles shouting (SHOUTING!) "Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!"... And you wonder why we limit her sweet consumption.

Anyway, before all that mayhem, Courtney had some gifts to open. Which of course, she could never have managed without her um... assistant:
Ooo. Looky here at these gifts...
Attention. I'm going to open some gifts. I mean, CoCo is going to open some gifts...
Yea, that's pretty good. Not the best, but I'd keep it. For sure.
After a while, she got distracted. Sigh...Toddlers:
And eventually, left the room completely when Grammy got out a giant bin of toys:
Side Note; These two are named after the same great-great-grandmother! Beatrice (Kate), meet Edith!
Don't worry, CoCo managed alone just fine:
And Bea spent the rest of the weekend in the Lap(s) of Luxury. For real:

But she was so incredibly happy to be back at home and see her Daddy. This guy, I'll tell you, melts my heart:


Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Randoms ...

  • Blogger is doing something weird with it's spacing and bullet points today, so let's just start this off with an apology for that...
  • We went to the first in a series of Bea's friends' birthday parties this week. These are friends we haven't seen in a while (because of my hectic schedule, not theirs). So understandably, Bea was a bit shy and kept to herself for most of the party. It didn't help that she looked like a poster child for Durham, in her vintage chicken tunic I picked up at a sale last week:
One Man Wolfpack ...
  • But, never one to pass up a party hat- girlfriend rocked it... Unicorn Style:

    And of course, once on, she hasn't take it off all week:
  • Watching infomercials with a party hat on. She's an animal.
Oh and the party favors didn't go to waste either:
Have you guys seen these in your local stores?

They've changed my life. Seriously. It's herbs already chopped up and frozen in small amounts:

I never use a full clove of garlic or a whole basil plant or cilantro bunch before it goes bad. So, this helps.

I made the most delicious homemade meat sauce ever last night. How do I know it was delicious? Well, my toddler was SHOVELING it into her gullet faster than I could cool it down for her. She is a mess, literally:

That's about it for this week. This weekend I'm traveling home to visit my family, for my sister's baby shower, hosted by my mother's side. It should be ... well, I'll report back on Monday. most likely.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shaken, Not Stirred ...

There are so many reasons I love my husband, but his comedic timing has to be close to the top of the list.



Monday, February 18, 2013

The Blessingway ...

So we've been keeping a secret for oh, about nine months. No, I'm not pregnant... but my sister is:
She will murder me for this photo I'm sure ...
Yep. CoCo is pregnant. It wasn't my secret to tell, and for various reasons, we've been a little hesitant to share the news aloud. But, in less than 4 weeks Court's little guy Paxton will be making his appearance. So in his honor, I felt like our family needed to make a show of our support for Courtney in some form. This show took the form of a Blessingway.

You see, Courtney will be a single mother. And, more than 4,000 new blue onesies or baby shoes that he'll never wear, Courtney deserved to know that generations of mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers in her family will give her support when she needs a little extra. And because I'm a doula, and into touchy-feely-hippy-displays-of-"I am woman hear me roar", I thought it was appropriate to host a Blessingway for Court, and give her gifts of support and wisdom, in lieu of material objects.

Blessingways can come in a variety of forms. For us, it looked like a hybrid between a traditional baby shower and a traditional Blessingway. I took a little of previous events I've been to, to make it unique for Courtney... just like her.

Of course, we had cake- of both the well, cake variety and of the diaper kind:
For a first attempt, and a lot of swear words during the construction process, it turned out pretty good, huh?
Some of us enjoyed the cake more than others... ahem... MOTHER:

And I even brought supplies for a shower game, Create A Custom Onesie:
 Some of us took it a little more serious than others... Aunt Missy:
 You guys, she was hoarding colors and downloading Pinterest faster than a teenager...
Even Bea got in on the game:
Hers was veeeerrry unique. And retro. And drawn by a three year old, so Paxton may not actually ever wear it.
The results were impressive, I have to admit:

But after the fun and games, it was time to get serious. I asked all the guests to bring a bead or a charm for Courtney that reminded them of her or Paxton. As each guest read an inspiring quote or prayer, they added their bead to a string:
That's my momma, ya'll. In case you can't tell, I mean we look NOTHING alike. Said no one ever.

And my other sister, Carson, who has just about the purest heart I've ever known.
For a while, Bea was contempt to play on her own in the corner:
But eventually, her Doula's Daughter heart got the better of her and she wanted in on the stringing action:
After the beads and charms were all strung, the end result was a necklace, which Courtney can wear (if she chooses) or take with her into labor. In essence, she will be bringing along all the prayers and well-wishes from each of us at the Blessingway. It's my hope that she can use the necklace as a token of strength during labor, and during the first few days as a new mother:
Then, I asked each of the women present to pass a ball of yarn to one another, wrapping one wrist in the yarn in a couple of loops:
Once we were all connected by the yarn, meant to symbolize the unity of motherhood and the struggles and blessings that come with it, we snipped ourselves free:
And we're each currently still wearing our red yarn bracelets and will do so until Courtney gives birth. This way, as she looks at her bracelet, she can know that she's supported by all of us, still wearing ours.

I know, I know. This all sounds a little um, granola and hippy and like you expected us to start singing Kumbaya. But you guys, if there's one thing I'm serious about, it's women supporting women and more importantly, mothers supporting mothers. Courtney is about to become a mother, regardless of the circumstances. And during that journey, she'll have my support- in the times I'm there in person or only in spirit.

*Note: I borrowed a lot of these ideas from other Blessingways I've been to, as well as used quotes and "rituals" from the book Mother Blessings: Honoring Women Becoming Mothers, which I borrowed from my doula-sister, Betsy.