Archive for the ‘family’ Category

I finally got Soren’s announcements out in the mail!  I had so much fun designing these… when a designer designs for herself is when the fun really begins.  The freedom to do whatever I want is so exhilarating!

To announce the arrival of our sweet Soren, I wanted to emphasize his colorful nature.  I was drawn to wearing so much color during my pregnancy.  It was such a bright and cheery change from my usual white, brown and black kind of palette that I was sure it was the little baby that I was growing influencing me.  I particularly loved wearing aqua and turquoise (colors that I had not worn in at least 15 years!).  So the idea of color evolved into the paint swatch announcement you see here.  Jeff, Eli and I all picked our colors (the paint ID numbers are our initials and birth years) based on colors and things we love… Jeff became Sunset Shiraz, Eli picked Hot Rod Flame and I chose Flaxen Summer.  Soren’s color, Turquoise Thunder, honors the roots of his name related to Thor, the God of Thunder.

I love how all our colors are so different, yet the palette works really well together.  The contrast is really refreshing, just like my evolving life with a house full of boys…

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welcome soren

Almost two weeks past his due date, our little boy made his entrance into the world.  We welcomed Soren August Azano-Brown into the world and into our hearts on August 25, 2010 at 11:17pm after a short and truly lovely birth.  Soren weighed in at 8 lbs 1 oz and surprised us with a full head of red hair and bright blue eyes.  He’s a sweet, sweet little guy with elf-like ears, wrinkly feet and the most delicious cheeks imaginable.  We’re in love….

Just two weeks after Soren’s arrival and we are all transitioning nicely into our little family of four.  There are fragile moments to be sure, but generally life feels particularly precious as we soak up these early and fleeting days of soft baby smells and tiny tiny toes.  All is so well.

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Any birthday is special in my book.  But isn’t it exponentially more special when the numbers match up (okay, we all know I have a thing for matching…)?  Eli is turning the lucky number 7 on August 7th this year and we are prepared to whoop it up for this fabulous, fun-loving little man.  Whether we visit the zoo or partake in more underwater adventures, you can be sure today will be filled with laughter and silliness and okay fine, plenty of sugar.

What good is a birthday without the sugar, anyway?

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Somebody around here lost his first tooth!   More accurately, someone around here knocked his face on a table and then wiggled a little tooth around for a week or so before he yanked it out at breakfast.  This is my first experience dealing with wiggly and fallen teeth since my own baby teeth went their merry way.  Okay, I’ll be honest.   It’s gross.  The whole thing grosses me out.  Those little waggling teeth just hanging there until they come out in a bloody mess.  Eww. It also didn’t help that when Eli proudly showed our neighbor his missing tooth, our neighbor (who apparently was a mad hockey player back in the day)  pulled out his dentures and said, “Look Eli, I LOST MY TEETH TOO!” tooth pillow 002The upside obviously is this.  And the little whistle that Eli makes when he talks now.

tooth pillow 001And this cute tooth pillow.  Eli can safely tuck his little teeth in the pocket and mama fairy can slip in some shiny surprise.  I gave it a little handle so it can easily hang over a doorknob or a bedpost.

tooth pillow 003Eli knows it’s me who plays the role of tooth fairy.  But he also knows that his mama has a touch of fairy swirling around in her somewhere.  Wings and all.

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The thing about me is that really I am such an optimist.  I can almost always find the little ray of hope in an otherwise dreary situation.  I look on the bright side, find the silver lining, give people the benefit of the doubt.  All that stuff.  Except now.  I have really been struggling these past few weeks as the developers strip the land more and more and leave us with less and less.  I wake up at 6:45am with huge vehicles idling outside my window before they can begin the loading and hauling and real racket at 7:00am.  I’ve lost all the trees that I so loved and my little private corner of the world has been opened up and exposed.  And I’m filled with so much disgust and anger at the indecency of it all.  I’ve been so focused on how unjust and unkind this company and this situation has been.  It’s a really uncomfortable place to be eddying when I’m used to finding something, anything to be hopeful about.

The thing about parenting though, is you pass your general view of the world on to your offspring without even trying.  So it’s my sweet little six year old who is soaking with optimism now.  He reminds me about the trees that we can plant, the nice neighbors that might move in, the fun we might have sledding should some of the sand hills remain.  It’s so touching even amidst my own fury and frustration and despair.

And so I sort of get myself reflected back to me.  It’s a reminder to push onward and continue to make the best of what is otherwise a pretty sucky situation.

flying 003jeff jumpflying 013flying 024flying 026jump

I’m giving it my best shot.

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birthday cookies 001One of my secret thrills is being the drive-by birthday faerie.  My brother-in-law had a birthday yesterday and so donning my wings (okay fine, they’re imaginary) and a cute little package of homemade oatmeal cherry chocolate-chip cookies (those were quite real and quite delicious), I sneakily planted the treats from the car window and peeled off in a shrieking cloud of exhaust.  Well, part of that is true anyway.birthday cookies 002 Technically, the drive-by birthday faerie broke a federal law by opening up someone else’s mailbox, although doubtful that the birthday boy will press charges.  The mailman; however, may give me a serious talking to.  Not to worry though, I have extra cookies on hand.

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the tub sessions

tub sessions 001tub sessions 002One little body in the tub quietly (more or less) getting clean while a bigger body quietly (more or less) composes new music…

The tub sessions have been going on for a couple of years now.  Jeff has developed a beautiful collection of mellow, ambient  evening songs while Eli has remained (relatively) clean.  Sometimes the two of them craft songs together, sometimes Eli sings along with Jeff’s lyrics, but always there seems to be an air of creative camaraderie between my two boys.

I have a certain reverence for these evenings.  The soft strumming of guitar, my husband’s gentle voice against a background of drips and swishes and splashes.  I am privy to something so sweet and fleeting.  I get that feeling often during the tub sessions- the one where you know what is happening is so incomparably special and you want to hold onto it so badly, but like water, it slips through your hands.

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