I would like to thank everyone for all of the love, prayers, and well wishes that have flooded in over this last week. To know that our family members created beautiful alters for us, and complete strangers are taking the time to let us know how happy they are for us, and neighbors are making dinners each night, and loved ones are calling and emailing... we just feel encircled with love.

thank you.

I have been asked certain questions a few times and thought I could answer some perhaps.
#1. How do you pronounce Eliseo, and where did the name come from?
The name is pronounced L-E-Say-O and he is named after his biological grandfathers (although he also lucky enough to have two other wonderful grandfathers, Randy and Paul). Alex's Father is Eliseo (he also goes by Alex) and Dane is my Father. We just found out today that Eliseo is the Hispanic version of Elijah.
#2. You had an OB at your home birth?
Yes, I am really lucky and happy to have had a very unique doctor be our care provider(I would guess there are very few doctors who do home births in this country, if at all?). David and his wonderful apprentice Jenn only do home births. We went to his office for all of the prenatals, and then they came to us for the birth and postpartum visits. They were a great team, and I felt supported and safe.
#3. Does Eliseo have the Carmona toe???
Now, I am still unclear as to what the Carmona toe entails, but I have been assured that both my children posses this famous Carmona big toe. I have been told it is more than just the size, but I have yet to understand exactly what requirements you need to fit into this club. And here is a side view of this toe:#4. Who does he look like?
I have no idea. I see a little bit of cousin Gita, and a little bit of my Dad. Everyone always sees something different you know? A lot of the neighbors say he looks like Alex. All I know is he is a peanut, he has my dimples, and he changes every day.
#5. And lastly, everyone wants to know how Lilikoi is taking it all.
She is doing really well all things considered. She LOVES baby brother, and seems to harbor no ill will whatsoever toward him. She has been a tad bit challenging these past few days, but she is also two, and there were challenging days way before the baby came along. We are doing our best to deflect any of the frustrating parts of her day on things other than the baby, so hopefully she will not resent his arrival. Lots of gifts and special attention has been heaped on her by friends and family which is very thoughtful. Aunt Becca took her for an all day date today which was so sweet. I miss her, and can't wait to hear what they did.


day 3

day three.
the day when the colostrum turns to milk, and in turn my breasts swell to unripe grapefruits. the day when the hormones seem to rise as well, and tears can well up for no apparent reason.

there is a let down after months and months of being pregnant and wondering who and what your baby will be like, and the high of the birth. at the same time there is a relief and a thanksgiving that this anticipation is over...
It is all still so new, and yet the newness slipping away feels tangible too.
the nursing becomes more confident.
and the softness becomes more familiar.

and you just stareand stare.you are at the cusp of remembering so clearly how it felt when this little one was curled inside you, and you were bound together so intricately.
the other side ~your mother and son relationship~ stretches before you, daunting and beautiful.and you so clearly feel the pain and joy of your heart expanding yet again.


Eliseo's Birth Story

The Unabridged Birth Story:
My water broke around 7 am when I was on the toilet. I called out to Alex in the next room. I remember saying "Uh Alllllex???... I think my water broke." And he said "Well are you peeing right now?" and I said "I don't think so..." But you could still hear the trickle of water coming out of me. We both just looked at each other wide-eyed. Alex knelt down next to me and told me he loved me.
For that first hour or two we ran around like crazy trying to get the house clean and ready for a home birth. The whole time water was leaking out of me. At times I had to just stand over a towel and watch Alex bustle around me. After a little bit I was able to put a pad in my underwear to catch it~ but when I would laugh or sneeze a gush would come out. It was kind of comical.
We weren't sure how fast labor would descend upon us once it started since last time was relatively fast (7.5 hours from waters breaking to Lili in my arms) so the energy in the house was excited and jittery. We were trying to be as normal as possible for Lili's sake, but she was definitely picking up on it all. So we sent her over to play at the Carmonas. With her gone we finished tidying up the house and Alex blew up the birth pool and took the table outside to give more room. Very light contractions had started around 9. They were about 2-4 mins apart, but felt more like menstrual cramps than anything that signified strong labor. I sat down and wrote a blog post on the computer and the contractions came to a halt. So Alex and I went for a walk to the mailboxes. I wore Alex's work sweatshirt, and he was just in a tee shirt. It was the most beautiful day. Sunny, and windy, and in the 50's. We saw our friends Meredith and Anne on the road and they gave us hugs and well wishes. Along the way we saw the first crocus sprouts growing of the year. We both ran our hands over the green sprouts in awe.When we got back to the house it was around noon and although my contractions had picked up slightly in intensity, I was still able to talk through them easily. Ema came over and She and Alex listened to me as I confessed my anxiety about the fact that everything was ready and all perfect and yet labor was seemingly stalling. And I felt like it was me holding it back. It felt and looked like a birthday party in our house, but it was missing the people. And it was all hinging on my body. I was so nervous to go to fast. I was nervous I wouldn't call the doctor at the appropriate time~ that either he would show up and it would be too soon, or even worse I would wait too late and I would have the baby unassisted. I think all I needed was Alex and Ema's ears listen to my fears. For after that they both left me alone and we decided I would just enjoy this space and do something to take my mind off it all. We turned the TV on to see if the Olympics were on. I stood up and focused my attention on my light contractions. It was 1:00 and only soaps were on TV, so we turned it off and I asked Alex to put some upbeat music on (up until this point we had mellow calming music on). So he put on Michael Franti's album "Yell Fire" and within minutes I was having contractions that I couldn't talk through. Alex called the doctor and he said he was on his way.I was sitting on the edge of our new glider chair gripping the wooden armrests for support. I could rock while I was having a contraction and feel the intensity deepen inside me. After all morning of such light contractions I was doing my best to welcome the pain. I was thinking affirming, opening thoughts as best I could. Things like "I want to open up and let my baby out" and I am getting BIG" and "I want to dilate bigger than a bagel" (a cervix needs to dilate to 10 cm to let the baby out, which is about the size of a bagel). And with each contraction I feel like I could almost feel myself dilating and the heads pressure. And although my bodies initial response was to want to crawl away from the pain, I was working to stay open to this uncomfortable feeling and welcome it as best I could.Jen (the Doctor's apprentice, and who has been present throughout our whole pregnancy) showed up and brought in all of the supplies at about 1:45. She checked the baby's heartbeat which sounded great. After she was all set up she sat on the stairs and let Alex and Ema hold space near to me. I asked about when would be a good time to get in the pool and Jen said anytime I felt like it, and if labor slowed down we could get out. So Alex started filling the tub. I started getting the uncontrollable shakes. I remembered that Ema had this with two of her labors, and that knowledge let it not be so scary for me. I asked for a bowl in case I threw up. I talked on the phone to my friend Christine who called to wish me love in between a few contractions.Doctor David showed up about a half an hour later at about 2:15. He set up camp on the stairs next to Jen. Both were typing notes on their computers, and although there was some talking in the room, it felt like everyone was just being witness to the process and waiting. I don't think anyone but me knew how far along I was. From what I have been told, it didn't seem like I was close because I seemed so calm. I thought I was giving clues, but didn't want to say that I thought the baby was coming out loud, lest I be wrong and jinx it. I said "Well I can't give birth on the chair" (because the chair was in the way) I stood up and took off my underwear because, well, they were in the way too. I said maybe I should pee. They brought Lili's little frog shaped training potty to me and Ema and Alex helped me sit down on it and realized I didn't have to pee. I could feel the baby's head bearing down though. I said sort of jokingly "I can not have the baby on the froggy potty". I stood up and looked around trying to figure out what to do. I flopped down, leaning over the edge of the filling birth pool. Ema placed her hands on my lower back. and I said "I feel like I am going to poop" which I thought would let them know how close it was. I felt my body push and bear down uncontrollably. The pain was intense, and I felt what they call the ring of fire. I felt myself poop. I reached back and felt the baby's wet bulging head. I heard Alex exclaim "There is a head!" Jen rushed over from where she had been putting her gloves on, and David was right behind her. Ema backed away to get our camera. I pushed him out in about 90 seconds, and they scrambled to put pads down underneath. I heard the baby screaming immediately, and everyone laughing and welcoming him. It was 3:06 pm.I heard them say he was perfect as I hung over the edge of the pool and caught my bearings. They helped me turn over, being careful of the cord that was still attaching the baby and myself. I held him for the first time, and he was looking around. He was waterlogged looking and covered in vernex (a white paste) and had hair and long fingernails.He was so tiny and he stuck out his tongue and moved his black eyes back and forth. I was starting to feel uncomfortable in the position I was in, so when the cord stopped pulsing Jen clamped it, and Alex cut us loose of each other. We were waiting for me to deliver the placenta and David kneeled and let me put my weight into him for support while I held Eliseo. Eventually I got up in the glider and they had to massage my uterus and pull the placenta out gently (it hurt a lot) because it had been over an hour. It came out and I lost very little blood. I took a shower and then they all escorted me upstairs to my bed with the baby. They weighed him with a little cloth scale and he looked like the babies do in a storks mouth. 7lbs exactly. almost a full pound less than Lili was. David and Jen held him, then listened to his heart and said their goodbyes.Lili came to meet him. It was so sweet.When the Carmona girls and Lili and Soleil came to meet him, and they all gathered around the bed and sang a very cute off-tune happy birthday to him.
Later Becca came to visit and held the baby downstairs while Alex and I laid down with Lili to put her to bed. Becca brought us Sushi for dinner, and we sat in the soft light of the night and ate sushi and reveled in our new baby.



I will post more tomorrow ♥

birth day

I wanted to write a quick post to let you all know that my water broke this morning, and we are anticipating that baby brother will be born today. I am in a strange place where the contractions are mild (enough to write a blog post for example) and yet I know that shortly I will be in one of the most intense places of my life. Things were pretty jittery this morning as Alex and I tried to get the house ready and clean for the birth. But, now Lili is happily playing next door and Alex is blowing up the birth pool. It is a gorgeous sunny day~ not a blizzard in sight. God's one little joke on me this morning is that one of our goats might also be in labor as well~ and if that happens it could be a little interesting!
I am feeling as ready as one can feel for this sort of adventure.
Please send any loving prayers our way today, and we will see you on the other side!


our weekly storm arrival...

If you don't hear from us for a bit, here is why...



did I just say I wish every winter was like this a few posts ago? Be careful what you ask for.




I have finally added some of my art pendants to my shop!

Yesterday I had a little photo shoot in the living room. It took forever, and 500 photos later I still don't love how the images came out. The combination of my point and shoot camera and my amateur photography skills presented a big challenge when shooting something so small and reflective. Some of them came out looking more washed out or grainy than I was hoping for. But, overall I feel like it is a noble start.
The backs of the new pendants:
And introducing my Valentine pendant design:
In the day to day news:

{I am starting to get a lot more braxton hicks contractions.}
{Lili and I took a walk in the slush today. She talked my ear off.}
{Alex has some exciting and steady work on the horizon.}
{We got Lili a new fuzzy purple blanket for her bed.}
{Tomorrow I am going to put the baby clothes in the dresser.}
{ ♥ }