Sunning the Moon Belly


after a morning of spelling 
nursery rhymes
and writing practice
I take a moment’s break by myself
to sit on our garden bench in the sun

a tiny homeschool hiatus 
to sit quietly enough to hear 
the birds chirping and twittering
over the background hum
of city busses and summery lawnmowers
on this warm October morning

sun is supposed to be good
for this third trimester liver thing 
that has crept up on me again
so I expose my round belly
to glow like strange moon
blue veins faintly showing
in the bright sun

a small alien planet 
with the occasional surface ripple 
as the life within stretches and grows
just x-filish enough
to make me grin


Sleepless Bluegrass Blues

The kids and I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called “Can You Canoe?” about the Okee-Dokee Brothers, musicians who paddled down the Missisppi River and wrote songs. Here’s the link if you’d like to see a preview on ITunes: Can you canoe?

So read this post as a bluegrass song with plenty of twang and a side of lively banjo…

I’m a stranger to the land of sleep

There are foreigners there, whose company I do not keep

And sometimes it’s enough to make me weep

To see the dawn rise upon my open eyes

I’m a stranger to the land of sleep. 

Now there must be, a secret lock and key

Something secure, but hidden from me

A way inside the sleepy isles,

Of that much desired country of sleep. 

So if you know a trick or two

A special drink, or ‘haps some ruby shoes

A certain way, to sleep before the day

Take me along, I’ll travel with you

As a stranger to the land of sleep. 


Happy 1st Birthday in Heaven, Josephine!

Yesterday, September 30th, we celebrated the one year anniversary of my baby girl’s entrance into Heaven, on the day she was born. I thought it would be better to face the day in a spirit of celebration, as much as possible, rather than letting it pass by us acknowledged, quietly and painfully. 

The kids were totally excited, because a birthday is a birthday, and there will be cake. We had a potluck lunch, after gathering in the graveyard to pray and bring flowers, and my awesome friend Kate made the cake. And Thai Chicken Soup for dinner (so I wouldn’t have to cook), which my kids declared the best soup ever!

My husband James took the morning off so we could go to Mass together…and had the sweet idea of bringing along Josephine’s photo…Daddy’s affectionate heart…I entrusted the day to Our Lady, as I had entrusted her with Josephine, that she could cover her with kisses until I arrive to take over the job. 

A few days before the birthday, my 7 year old daughter was walking home holding hands with her toddler brother when I overheard this:

It’s almost Josephine’s birthday! And you’re invited!

Oh, birthday!

And there will be cake!

Mm, take!

And later, when we all get to Heaven, we will play with Josephine! She’s your little sister, and we will be all together. 

My five year old piped up, “And it’s ok if she is still small, and I’m bigger, because then I’ll be able to hold her better.” 


Just as at her funeral Mass and burial, we had many people come, and I think this meant a lot to the kids, to have their little sister honoured like this, and celebrated by people who only ever knew her while she was still kicking in my belly. A few kids made her cards, to go in her memory folder, and one gave a special rock. Never underestimate the value of a special smooth rock, given by a child. Such things are treasures. 


Once everyone arrived for lunch, we counted 24 kids at her birthday, not including babies, so it was likely closer to 30. Happily it was a gorgeous fall day, perfect for a picnic lunch outside. My friend Tajsha made the kids’ day by bringing hot chocolate mix and mini-marshmallows. Celebrating in style!

We moms enjoyed coffee and sitting chatting outside by the garden while the kids played. I was very happy for all the company and support of my dear and thoughtful friends in this day. I was surrounded by love, food and prayers, and all these things cushioned my heart so I can honestly say it was a beautiful day. Thank you to everyone who made it special. I’m sure Josephine is happy her family has so many good friends, and will sparkle a little stardust your way, if you ask her. 


Happy Archangels’ Feast Day 

Here are the angels my kids had fun making today for the feast day of the three archangels, St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael. We talked about their biblical stories and their special jobs (protection from evil, healing and safe journeys, messages of salvation from God) and read the prayers asking for their intercession.

Then we looked at art of the archangels online, and discovered what their special symbols are (sword and shield, fish and walking staff, lillies and scroll). The variety of styles of angelic art was quite impressive…from stained glass to pastel sketches, metal statues to Eastern Icons, and more. The one that made the girls laugh was the Japanese anime angel Gabriel. “It’s a Pokemon angel!” they declared gleefully.

Finally, we made some angels of our own. St Gabriel was the most popular today!  


Happy Feast Day, and may your own guardian angels watch over you all!


Reality is the greatest mystery

We adults are so easily bored. We think we’ve seen it all and that a fantasy would be much more interesting than our real lives. How shortsighted our vision is…how little we perceive as we fuss about our busy, distracted, task driven days. How much we complain, rather than stop and give thanks, in awe of even being alive….the wonder of existing at all. There could be a million stories written in which we did it exist. A million versions of life on earth without us. And yet here we are. 

Children have more sense of this. Their minds are not so constricted by supposed practicalities. Reality, seen through the eyes of a child, is the greatest mystery there is.

And in honour of the messy realness of children’s vision, the lovely freeness and honesty of it, here are some pictures of my kids, taken by my kids…in this case my 5 year old daughter, who has a fantastic imagination, and for whom the little moments in life are still an adventure. 


Hope you enjoyed this peek into a little moment in her world! May your day be as bright and cheerful as this sunflower, no matter what the weather.



In the dim, dark house

the furnace rumbles and blows

breathy hellos into the corner of each room.

In this airy darkness

I try to lie still

while my toddler—

having made his nocturnal migration

into my bed—

sleeps beside me.

The baby in my belly wiggles 

and flutters, 

hoping for a snack.

Such a boy…

not yet born

and already wanting breakfast before dawn.


Dance with me, daughter


“Little one arise,

get up from your corner;

unfold your sulking arms

and dance with me.

If you don’t know which way to go

stand on my feet

I will guide you.

Give me your arms

see my face

I am with you.

Listen for the music of grace

give in to the mystery of my rhythm 

I will guide you.

Don’t refuse to dance 

because you don’t know all the steps.

The music will guide you,

you will see

when you let go.”

“Father God, forgive me

for being afraid

for refusing to dance

with a light heart

and joyful feet.

I know you are leading me 

and yet I resist—

call out in fear when you dip me,

stiffen my arms when they should be supple 

for a twirl—

Let me instead be responsive to your guidance,

open to your plan,

a joyful partner

in this unexpected 

dance of life.”