The last time I wrote I was nearing the end of the first trimester.  There are wives tales of sickness ending as you enter your second.  For me, this has never been true.  My mornings are plagued by terrible sickness that lingers throughout the day and then comes on strong again in the afternoon lasting well into the evening.  It is quite defeating.  The times I would most like to be spending with my babes are spent nursing my tummy and splitting headaches.  There are moments and times I cannot ever get back.  I am a go getter and naturally an idealist.  But dreams and art ideas never come to fruition because my physical being tells me no and my mind just doesn't want to go there.  I wait desperately for the Papa to come home, for some sort of release.  He jumps in feet first, without complaint or hesitation.  There is a gratitude that I have but a heavy guilt.  His time is precious with each of us and his is mostly spent picking up my pregnant sick body slack.

Some may be wondering "why subject yourself to a fourth sick pregnancy?"  The sickness is temporary and in fact, is not a sickness at all.  My body is doing what it does naturally to grow a human being.  That's a lot of work.  I am a vessel for this life and will subject myself to the forces of nature.  The end result is beautiful by the way.  There is no love greater than that between mother and babe.  That is what I live for.

So thank you my little big family for doing all that you can to ease my thoughts and sickness at present.  I am so full of gratitude.

GESTATION:  16 Weeks!  The babe is now the size of an avocado which my sister tells me also takes 9 months to reach fruitfulness.  I am sure I felt movement, but I could be crazy.  I am out of the first trimester and the sickness resides.

CRAVINGS:  Food please!  If you mention it I want it, NOW!  Masterchef is my nemesis.  They recently did a seafood challenge and I couldn't stop thinking about a lobster mac and cheese.  Obviously I didn't have any

MANTRAS:  I am determined to have a positive birthing experience. I have been reading the Mongan Method's Hypnobirthing Philosophy and it has been really helpful (will discuss in a later post.)



Birthdays are special but they do not have to be overdone.  Little gestures and handmade gifts go a long way and especially when trying to figure out something for the grandma who has everything or really just wants a gift from her special grand kids.

For grandma's birthday this year, we decided to work on something together to present to her.  I racked my brain for a bit and came up with this:  a collaborative family portrait.  It is very simple.  For our particular portrait we decided to use a drawn picture of our house as a focal point.  You could choose any place you like.  The more familiar and familial the better.  We each took turns drawing our selves.  Vye has very little drawing abilities so I drew her.  But I could have incorporated her using a hand print or thumb print.  The eldest babes took turns writing the letters of Grandma's name and message and embellishing the pictures of themselves.  I completed the project with watercolors and a frame.

There are a multitude of mixed media you could use:  real pictures, collage, fabric, crayons, paint, markers, a piece of wood.

Our goal is to make a family portrait each year and to collaborate together to see how our artistic talents evolve as a family.

(Thinking back I should have put a year on it!)  All in all, grandma was super ecstatic.