Wednesday, January 18, 2012


It finally snowed in Boise. It was thick and soft and crusty. Perfect snow for snowmen and snow angels and knocking drifts off every surface. Luciya, Mila, and I spent a glorious hour outdoors.

Best. Workout. Ever.

The crooked apple tree.

Mila went nuts.

Eventually we just let our hoods fall down and got icy-wet heads.

Then we came in with our pink rosebud cheeks and had a warm bath. And made cookies.

And watched a movie. "The Polar Express" is kind of intense. We had no idea. Safety snuggles were necessary.

The girls and I stayed at home all day today. This is the first time this has happened in one million years, and it was cuddly fun. We made popcorn and colored pictures of flowers and wore our pajamas all day.

Lucky-yummy-mommy me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Two Down

Dear Mirabel,

I think a child's birthday is a chance for its mother to enter a magical and nostalgic time warp. Is there another event so dramatically impactful? Suddenly I find myself awake at 4:30 in the morning this January 15th, and the vivid images of the agony of bringing YOU into this world surround me. My January 15th will forever be assoiciated with the long hospital corridors, the groans echoing off of the bathub walls, the shock of hearing "It's a girl!", the surreality of not being able to hold you once your umbilical ties to your comfortable realm were broken.

My midwife said at the time that babies with Down syndrome often have a longer time figuring the way "out." You decided to flip breach once I was already in labor, effectively tossing my ideas of laboring at home, while watching Golden Girls reruns, while bouncing on the stability ball, out the window.

I was immediately and unexpectedly admitted to the hospital at noon on January 14th, where the doctor on call was able to successfully perform a version and turn you, but as a result my labor had to be stopped. So while the stability ball sat unused in the living room and Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy waited expectantly in the DVD player, I walked the halls with your father, desperately trying to get labor started again. At 5 pm, my acupuncturist came in and got things going a bit, but not enough, and by 10 pm I finally consented to Pitocin. It was so maddening for me to have been in natural labor all morning, wandering through Kohl's to pick out an overnight backpack for Luciya while the secret thrill of the first contractions made me pause in the aisles once or twice, to look forward to spending the bleak winter day waiting for the right time to welcome you, and to then have to spend the actual day indoors, unsure, and no longer in labor.

I helped pull you into the world at 4:53 a.m.

Then everything began, and at the same time everything stopped.

The nurses, the lights, the midwife, the explanations, the white buzz in my ears, the wash of serenity, the ache, the buzzing again, the nurse coming in to punch me in the uterus, the look on John's face, the need to sleep, the need to hold my baby, the rush, and the sink, and oh God why does that nurse have to come punch me in the uterus again?!

Fast forward.

And you're two years old today.

While I can't imagine that today's events will plant themselves with such resolve in my mommy brain, I can tell you that today you were celebrated by a dozen people who love you.

There was cake.

And there were gifts.

And there were songs and toasts.

We were celebrating a remarkable two-year-old, whose short life has already inspired us all to appreciate LIFE in a way we can all admit we did not know before you.

We celebrated your mouthful of teeth, your ability (as of last week!) to crawl on all fours, the signs you can use - Thank You, More, Please, Eat, Mommy, Daddy. We delighted in the way you smashed fistfuls of cake into your face.

We held you and praised you. Inwardly and for all to see.

January 15th, 2010 was a new moon. According to astrology,

"When the Moon is new, the Sun and Moon are aligned in the same sign, and a powerful energy portal is opened. New Moons are a great time to set intentions for things you'd like to create, develop, cultivate, make manifest. ... What matters is that you're committing yourself to your vision, and open to receiving guidance, healing, support from Spirit. ...

The new Moon has a more inward feel, has a void or empty quality, and therefore can be frightening to those not comfortable with uncertainty. Can you learn to trust the dark? It's the moment when the old passes away and the new is not yet here. That's why it's a powerful time for sending out your prayer, wishes, desires to the Universe."

There was certainly a lot of praying, wishing, and desiring that happened that night. You stayed in the hospital for two weeks and came home to us on the full moon. And as we all know, "Full Moons are for taking action and celebrating the fruit of your efforts." Our prayers and wishes and desires are coming true in you, Sweet Mirabel.


I love you, Mirabel!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

2011: Luciya

For vivacious Luciya (who is an AWESOME four-year-old; suck it 2.5 - 3.5), 2011 can best be summed up in her own words. And I quote (from notes I've taken on my phone throughout the year):

"My foot always asks me, 'Luciya, do you want to go on a sailboat?' and I always say, No."

"Mama, sometimes moons blink."

"I know the truth about everything. I know about planets. Planets are good for eagles to sit on."

"Uzana [her doll] doesn't care for California because she might poop on someone's head. Uzana has lots of chicken songs."

{On her birthday}: "You know what I wished for. I wished for all the people to come over to our house and make it bigger and take all the earth home and the rainbows."

"I'm gonna tell Mirabel a joke. Mirabel, why did all of your tooths shrink and you swallowed them?"
Mirabel: "aaaahhhhgge."

"Wouldn't that be funny if Mirabel swallowed a zebra and her tummy got all big and fat and she diarrhead the zebra out and then the toilet sneezed!"

"Mirabel, once upon a time there was a little girl named Lucy May and she laughed so hard, she made the whole world shake, the end."

"I wish there was a fish that turned into a flower what I could take to a fancy dinner party."

"I wasn't asking for it. I was just wondering if I could get it."

"I want to be a pony acrobat girl when I grow up."

"Next year for Halloween I want to be Toot Barbie."

"Good thing you weren't outside, and sitting on that cat, and eating its fur."

"Do gooses have boogers?"

{A poet and she doesn't even know it!} "My name is Create, and we dance around. When we laugh, we fall to the ground."

{After singing one of her endless made-up songs}: "Mama, do you know what that song is called? It's called The Hopefulness of Joy."

"Do you know I have 100 million talents?"

"I like being a person who is able to talk. If I couldn't talk, then I wouldn't be able to say that I love you. And if I was a cow, then I couldn't say Moo!"

"I'm just gonna say one thing. I love you, Mommy. I love you, Daddy. I love you, Sister. I love myself."

Wistfully... "I like being four."

I like it, too.

I love you, Luciya!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Year Before

Here I am! Here it goes. For reals, y'all, I want to document this sweet and shining thing called Life with Lovelies in Idaho. (Should I change the name of the blog?)

So, before I ring in 2012, I need to give 2011 a wee shout-out, like, Hey 2011, I really did appreciate you. Thanks for everything.


January 2011

Mirabel turned one year old.

Great Grammy Leona has the first of many serious tumbles.

February 2011

Valentine cookies. Homemade frosting dyed with berry juice, natch.

March 2011

I attended a Stroller Strides enhanced instructor training in Seattle. John came along for the ride, and we enjoyed a couples' weekend exploring the city, which we really dug. Digged. We liked it.

I turned 34. Apparently not a big deal, since I can't enlarge this picture for the life of me.

April 2011

Sister Eryn came to visit again. John posed with his girls.

Luciya Sunshine celebrated her 4th birthday.

And got to go to the dentist for the first time. On her birthday.

My girlfriend Kelly and I took a weekend roadtrip to Durango, Colorado, which included a magical stop at Arches National Park in Utah.

We named her Muscle.

We adopted 3 chicks: Shybone, Hina, and Pokey. Pokey would later succumb to Mila's insticts on one horribly fateful afternoon (I started a blog post called "A Clucking Nightmare"...).
Hina and Pokey are still big, broad, and beautiful egg-laying family members and pets.

Sir Elton John, I presume.

May 2011

For Mother's Day, Luciya and her preschool classmates gave their moms pedicures.

We spent Labor Day weekend at the cabin with Adam, Danielle, the girls, and Michael and Nancy.

Mirabel has just about had enough of your shenanigans.

Meet the mud pie masta.

June 2011

Ton Ton celebrated the big cuarenta y uno.

Mirabel posed as a fairy.

If you're wondering, all of our sweet family portraits, including these and the one of the girls at the header, are taken by the fabulously talented Lala Harms at Shady Lane Studios. She's been our photographer since we won a shoot for Luciya's first birthday.

The See Jane Run 5K with our Running Club.

July 2011

Boating at Lucky Peak

We had weekly "Crafternoons" with sweet friends.

Christmas (pajamas) in July.

My brother married an awesome chick.

We took a fabulous two-week roadtrip (a family first!) to Southern California. Memories ensued.

August 2011

A spur-of-the-moment afternoon hike outside Idaho City.

The Dirty Dash 10K. Filthy awesomesauce.

September 2011

We spent our fifth Labor Day in a row with dear friends at "The Spread" in Eastern Oregon.

Luciya started her second year of preschool with the delightful Miss Jen.

The Women's Fitness Celebration with the LUNA Moms' Club.

October 2011

John and I spent two nights in Sun Valley for a perfect Fall getaway.

Luciya listened very intensely at a field trip to the fire station.

Team Mirabel raised over $1,000 for the Treasure Valley Down Syndrome Association.

The Barber to Boise 10K, again with the Running Club. 56:20 for me.

Arrrrrr ye surprised we were pirates at a fun Halloween bash? More importantly, arrrre ye surprised John wore eyeliner?

November 2011

"The Sunrise Puppet Theater. Only for cold winter days. With hot chocolate."

Maui. A glorious reunion with Maui. And an introduction for some.

December 2011

Luciya was a saucy Wise Gal for her Christmas program.

Sister Eryn helped us celebrate the season.

We were so excited to watch Luciya experience her first Christmas morning at home, now that she "gets" it. And she didn't disappoint. She was sweet, wide-eyed, slow, and savoring every moment, delighting in the idea that there was another present?? to open.

On New Year's Eve we went for a family walk and attempted a self-portrait.

And now, if possible...

Happy 2012.
Blessed be.