Musical Monday

Music is a pretty important part of our lives here; it’s what brings us together before bed while we sing along to Papa Bear’s guitar playing. It’s how we clean the house. It’s how we measure time (let’s clean your room in just one song okay?). It’s how we handle car rides (6 songs, one news break and a commercial block to dance class). We have songs that mark milestones in our past, and some we’ve tucked away for future events. It’s what makes us smile on the inside.

Here it is, a Monday tradition. One song, something special or something just because.Something we have on repeat, or throw back with a great beat…

Can you pleeease sing me one more song before we say good night mama?

 

Lil Eagle Turns 2

Two years ago, the weather was beautiful; it was everything I had hoped for– a sunny morning on the verge of spring and water dripping from the roof. It’s hard to believe that two years have gone by since Lil Eagle first swooped into our lives at close to ten pounds, slow to pink up with his resistance to loud noises, which included that first cry. Today, he’s carrying forward that similar outlook with his decision to be very quiet until the moment he chooses not to be. babyboy2

 A timid, inquisitive young man, he has added something fresh to our family. He’s brought out something kind and gentle in his big brother; he’s reminded his papa of the kind of magic that little boys diffuse. He gave his sister a life-long companion. What did he give me? Well the list of lessons is endless, but for the sake of not boring you, dear reader, I’ll keep it short…ish.

He has taught me that shyness is not a burden, but a skill that allows us to be more selective with whom we bare our souls. The way he snuggles in my lap while visiting our friends reinforces this notion. When he chooses to uncurl himself from my embrace and sneak away to have a few minutes of play, I can see that he’s really dissected what’s going on, enough to be able to spend some time getting to know someone, which in two-year-old terms means, “I like you,or your toys, so let me play with them”.

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He has taught me that raising a baby, requires nothing more than love, milk, and a warm place to sleep. He is our child with the least amount of ‘stuff’, yet he is the calmest little sprout of them all. His ability to amuse himself with a bowl of water and a cup is refreshing. Raised without a crib or stroller, he’s comfortable being carried or walking alongside us, and lucky for me, his wardrobe is much smaller than Wildflower’s babyhood wear, since one mama can only handle so much laundry. Less laundry= more time to play.

riding tractor

 He’s taught me that little boys are different from little girls….

tractorThere is one other gift he has given me. It doesn’t belong on the usual list of unconditional-love type topics. His birth allowed me to feel proud of my body. The way he was brought into this world says a lot about who he is becoming, and it has helped me to become this kind of mama and woman, the kind that hopefully teaches him to see all shapes and sizes as beautiful. My first birth left me feeling disappointed in my body, since after twenty-seven hours of labour, I finally gave in and went to the hospital. Now, it wasn’t a horror story. I’ve heard many of those, and ours was nothing like it, but there was something that I didn’t get on an emotional level from that experience. It was beautiful. It was awesome, but I felt letdown. Lil Eagle changed that for me. His birth was calm and gentle… until it wasn’t, just like him. He was born here, in the same house where my grandfather was born, and that alone warms my heart and ignites my spiritual connection to our home. But the core of it is this: I did it. My body. It may not be slim. It may not be shaped with curves in all the right places. It may not be sleek and sexy, but it’s mine, and it brought two incredible, creative, and complex children into this world. When I’m feeling down on myself, I try to remember that amazing morning two years ago.handsonbelly

To our friends and family who came to celebrate his second year around the sun, we are so grateful for your presence in our lives. To our son, who has makes us laugh at his silly tricks and weep with exhaustion, we love watching your adventures unfold. Thank you for all that you’ve taught us.

Now please, oh please, stop peeing on the floor.

xo

Your Mama

Musical Monday

Music is a pretty important part of our lives here; it’s what brings us together before bed while we sing along to Papa Bear’s guitar playing. It’s how we clean the house. It’s how we measure time (let’s clean your room in just one song okay?). It’s how we handle car rides (6 songs, one news break and a commercial block to dance class). We have songs that mark milestones in our past, and some we’ve tucked away for future events. It’s what makes us smile on the inside.

Here it is, a Monday tradition. One song, something special or something just because.Something we have on repeat, or throw back with a great beat…

Two years ago tomorrow, our youngest member was born, so to celebrate his special day, I thought to post the most popular song on the day of his birth. Sometimes life has a sense of humour. Today as Lil E snuck his crisp twenty-dollar bill into his pocket (a gift from his Pa), we had a family giggle as we simultaneously sang that famous “$20 in ma pocket line” from a song we’ve heard too many times, which (insert drumroll) turns out to be the song that was at the top of the charts two years ago! I know right? Some may think there’s a deeper meaning to these kinds of coincidences, but I can’t seem to figure one out, other than the notion that a thrift shop could be in his immediate future (no surprises there).

 
DSCN9782 So, rather than link the tune we’ve all grown a weary of, I went searching for the same thing, only different. This little gem down below was my personal fav; it is the coolest one so far, but it contains the most profanity. Let’s over look it just this once shall we? So pull on your grownup socks, and send the kids to feed the chickens; it’ll probably only get them outta the room long enough for those of you who don’t actually have any chickens, and you may need to deal with their disappointment later, but here goes…

 

 

A heartfelt, little boy post coming soon,

 

 

HayMama

Happy Weekending

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“Do not kiss your children so they will kiss you back,

but so they will kiss their children,

and their children’s children.”

― Noah Ben Shea

 

 

Happy Weekending

Tree Business

I’ve been planning a post about our Solstice tree. You know, that Christmasy shrub that has was hauled out the door to be transitioned into garden mulch come spring? Remember this post about the Hayswold’s Family Christmas?

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Definitely not Big Brother’s proudest moment.
xmastreeSee that right there? That was our tree this weekend, all three small tufts of it. It’s been this year’s measuring stick for snowfall (pervious years were measured by the tiny tot’s climber/slide, and Wildflower herself). Well, I can happily inform you, that as of today, I can see a whole branch of that tree, laying on her side. She really exists under all of that white stuff, and she’s beginning to shine through.

All tree business aside, check out this weather we’ve been having. outsidespring2Alright, so it looks like winter, but it doesn’t feel like winter.outsidespringYou can’t easily sit on the front porch and have lunch during a Canadian winter,teaor leisurely drink tea outside.
snowman1Even the snowmen are cowering.

It’s really happening. Spring is just around the corner….

 

 

HayMama

xo

A New Series: Musical Monday

 

Music is a pretty important part of our lives here; it’s what brings us together before bed while we sing along to Papa Bear’s guitar playing. It’s how we clean the house. It’s how we measure time (let’s clean your room in just one song okay?). It’s how we handle car rides (6 songs, one news break and a commercial block to dance class). We have songs that mark milestones in our past, and some we’ve tucked away for future events. It’s what makes us smile on the inside.

Here it is, a new Monday tradition. One song, something special or something just because.Something we have on repeat, or throw back with a great beat…tadaaa

 


Hold Them Close

From the moment our first baby was born, I felt as though the world was trying to separate us. I struggled with this feeling for a long time, wondering if I was in the wrong, if my deep love and satisfaction with our being together was unhealthy. It felt as though our attachment was something that should be kept secret, that being too gentle, or giving too much attention to our sweet babe would draw attention to my parenting insecurities, but when she was placed on my belly, that moment just before our eyes met for the first time, I felt a connection stronger than any feeling I had ever felt. I was a mama. I remember how she tipped her head just so, searching for an image she had never seen, but a voice she had grown to know over the past nine months. And her sweet scent; oh how glorious it was. It wasn’t until after our eyes met, that Papa Bear and I even realized we hadn’t checked to see that she was, in fact, a she. Together, the three of us celebrated between tears and warm caresses. It’s a feeling that is forever burned into a mama’s memory, and I’ll always tell the story fondly.baby

Not long after, a nurse bustled in and hurriedly uttered “well, I’m going on my break, so if you wanna know how much she weighs, you have to do it now.” Having never had a baby before, I suspected knowing how much she weighed was incredibly important (it’s not, in most cases), so after some coaxing from our midwife, our new bundle was whisked away while I was left, arms and womb bare, and feeling rather vulnerable. There it was, the ‘hurry up, time is wasting, we have to do it now, there’s no time for connection’ ideology that is the basis of our fast paced lives. That was my first encounter with the script of parenting. I didn’t recognize it for what it was at the time. All I knew was I was half bare, laying under a god light, anticipating the return of my husband and our tiny bundle.ezra2

Our experience with our midwives was nothing short of spectacular, but once we left the shelter of their care, I was overwhelmed by the need to ‘hurry up’, get over it, and follow the script. Our first ‘well baby visit’ involved the nurse literally scooping Wildflower from my arms and carrying her out the door, while our nurse practitioner, closing the thick metal door, explained that our brand new baby would be taken to be weighed while we had a chat. My stunned silence was met with confusion, which was then further drawn out by my reciprocated confusion. ‘Is this how it’s done?’ I thought to myself. Will they think I’m strange if I want to be there to help take off her little clothes and speak to her in a calm, soothing voice while they poke at her? After all, she doesn’t have the awareness of what’s going on, but she knows I’m not there and that she is cold and naked in a strange place. That’s enough to scare any person, and that’s just what a baby is, a small person. Of course, I followed my sobbing infant and held her close, the way I knew how. I quickly began to recognize this pattern, that I was just her mother, in some people’s eyes, not her mother, her strength, her voice, her guide.kiss

Why is it that despite the studies on the importance of children being raised with a strong attachment to at least one adult, it is regarded as weak, overbearing, and strange? The majority of my new-mom worries would have melted away if I knew then what I know now. I wish I could wrap that me up with love and support and show her that her instincts were not wrong. We are not supposed to leave our babies; it’s our children who will leave us. Raising our children should mean just that; that they are never crying for their absent parents. Our children should not be unhappily subjected to parental ‘me’ time. Those twenty, thirty, forty years we had before they showed up on the scene? That was it. That was the ‘me’ time. They don’t stop needing us because we need a shower (unfortunately) or because we are headed out for the evening, or the weekend. Mother nature gave us breastfeeding, crying babies, and guilt (oh the guilt) to remind us. These are not things we need to overcome in order to convince ourselves that our lives haven’t changed. They have. And if we are ready to climb aboard, it’s the best thing for everyone. We become softer, gentler, stronger, bolder, wiser. We love deeper. Our lives becomes richer. Our connection with our children becomes everlasting. babies

Our universal need for love and attachment should trump everything else, but it doesn’t. Fear does. What are we so afraid of? Of love, itself? Of happiness and heart-felt emotion? Of sharing kindness and teaching security and reliability to our next generation? There shouldn’t need to be shelves of books explaining that ‘crying it out’ is unhealthy, that rocking your child is not just normal, but encouraged, and that pushing our kids to eat, walk, run, go to school before they are ready, is not beneficial. These experts are cashing in on something that used to be instinctual. If you hold your baby when she’s sad, feed him when he’s hungry, teach her when she’s curious, and love him when he’s hurt, chances are, you are doing a good job. belly2

At the end of the day, I can’t help but feel different. Even though I’ve surrounded myself with like-minded people, I still can remember the condescending tones that I’ve heard. My heart remembers the people who have shown me disbelief when I say that raising our children is the single most valuable thing I can do with my time here on earth. I don’t need to be a doctor or a lawyer, or log numbers on a backlit screen. I don’t want to spend each day leaving my kids to care for other people’s children. Yes, I am just a mom, and no I don’t think I’m better than anyone else for making these choices; however, I am not privileged to be able to stay at home; there are many things that we do without so that I can. We made this happen.together I have let other things, other dreams, other relationships get a bit dusty. It’s a time sensitive ordeal, this parenting thing. The time is now. And so I pour myself into homeschooling, and preparing nourishing meals, trying to be a good listener to the eleventh version of the same story I’ve been hearing all week, playing ‘royal’ AGAIN, counting down the minutes until Papa Bear comes home to join in the chaos, painting with my fingers, cleaning up paint on fingers and various other surfaces and fabrics, exploring all that Mother Earth has to offer us, studying grade nine geography (didn’t I pass this already?), balancing budgets, cleaning bathrooms, folding laundry (always folding laundry), planting gardens, chasing the potty trainee, wrestling chickens, and snuggling children, oooooh the snuggling. It’s really what makes it all worth it.nursing

Hold them close,

HayMama xo