0

Clarke Clan: Welcome Cecily Eleanor Clarke

IMG_0770

Cecily 4 days old

Ryan and I want to announce the birth of our Third daughter, Cecily Eleanor Clarke. Born in October, she weighed 7 lbs. 14.81 oz and 21 inches long. Almost the exact same as Rosalyn (who was 20 in). I was only measuring at 34 weeks on my last appointment; when Cecily was born, my midwife asked, ‘where were you hiding an almost 8 lb. baby!” I have skills.

IMG_0768

Cecily 4 days old.

 

When it came to picking out a name for our third girl, we thought that procrastination was the best option. We would wait for inspiration to strike. Unfortunately it never hit me. So the task was left up to Ryan.

When choosing a name for our offspring, we use these criteria for a first name:
1. Not in the top ten most popular names but not weird either.
2. Not the name of a serial killer or well-known celebrity.
3. Significant meaning to the name.

A couple weeks before she was born, Ryan settled on Cecily Eleanor. Cecily hit 2 out of 3 of on our criteria list.

Cecily (SES-i-lee) is the English Medieval form of Cecilia (a Latin name). Back in the day, there was a Roman family named Caecilius. The name Cecilia (f) are derived from this Roman name. Cecilia probably would have never gained popularity if it wasn’t for St. Cecilia who was martyred during the 2nd or 3rd century for refusing to worship Roman gods (there is a lot of myth surrounding her story). Because of this, during the Middle Ages, Cecilia became a popular Christian name. The Normans brought the name to England where it was changed to Cecily. Unfortunately it retained its Latin meaning: Caecus or Blind (1).

Eleanor is an old English name used by a few queens down the ages. It means Shining Light.

Ryan really loves the name Cecily, but I wasn’t crazy about the meaning. So he thought it would work well to juxtapose Cecily with Eleanor. It reminded him of 1 Corinthians 13:12

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (KJV).

We want our little, Cecily Eleanor, to shine brightly in the midst of the darkness and confusion of life. We don’t always understand everything that happens here on earth, but someday we will understand and someday the Lord will make everything right.

IMG_0778

Cecily and Mama 4 days old.

IMG_0914

Cecily one month old.

IMG_0896

Honora, Rosalyn, and Cecily one month old.

 

 

Advertisements
0

Clarke Clan: April Fool’s Day 2015

April Fool’s Day

Last year was the first year that I did anything, and since it was such a success I thought I’d try it again.

In all fairness, I don’t actually play tricks on my kids (I’m waiting till they get a little older and develop a sense of humor) usually I make a silly meal for dinner. Also I don’t always get my April Fool’s prank pulled off right on April 1. My kids have no concept of time, so I can get away with doing it a few days after April 1 if need be.

Silly Egg Breakfast

Honora huffing over her yogurt and peach

Honora huffing over her yogurt and peach “egg” breakfast

If you can’t tell, it’s just a peach in yogurt. Honora was not amused that I called it an egg. Little literalist.

Dinner: Calamari with Broccoli and cauliflower and chocolate chip cookies.

April Fool's dinner: Hot dog octopuses, mashed potato black bean

April Fool’s dinner: Hot dog octopuses, mashed potato black bean “cookies,” peas and carrots Jelly Bellies.

Ok so I wasn’t Calamari; it was spaghetti noodle and hot dog octopuses.

And they weren’t actually chocolate chip cookies; they were mashed potatoes and black beans cooked in a cookie shape. Honora also insisted on calling them hot dogs with noodles instead of octopuses. Way to spoil the fun.

For dessert we had peas and carrots: Jelly Belly peas and carrots that is. The peas and carrots were the best part of the meal, and poor Auntie Anna had her peas and carrots confiscated too.

Rosalyn enjoying her meal

Rosalyn enjoying her meal

The meal was enjoyed by all; especially since Mama and Papa went out for a dinner date afterward.

0

Clarke Clan: Rambling Thoughts on Being Pregnant…Again

The latter part of the winter, I usually find dreary, and being nauseas and fatigued doesn’t make it any cheerier.
This is the third winter wherein I’ve been pregnant, and the first trimester gets reeeeaaaaal old after a while.
Pregnancy is not on my top 10 favorite things to do for just a few reasons:
1. The food aversions: just thinking about chicken, quinoa, fish makes me want to throw up; let’s not even talk about their sight or heaven forbid smell.
2. Heightened sense of smell: while we’re on the subject, let’s talk about smells. Any smell, every smell is either weird or gaggable (especially any artificial scents).
3. The fatigue: I just want to sleep all the time….zzzz….except at night.
4. Nausea: last but most certainly not least, the incessant nausea. Thankfully there is Diclegus for that, but it doesn’t really help with the other three.

Now, I’m not using this as a platform to complain about pregnancy (ok maybe just a tad). My point is it’s hard and not always enjoyable (although some women have wonderful pregnancies). So why do I–why do women in general–go through pregnancy and birth? Is it because I love torturing myself, or I can’t figure out how to use birth control? Ah, no, not at all. As I lay on my couch thinking for the hundredth time is this really worth it? I see my little ladies running around playing their little games, laughing, crying fighting, and I know, from experience, this momentary suffering is worth so much more than I can ever imagine.

Honora and Rosalyn in their parents boots

Honora and Rosalyn in their parents boots

It is because I love my little souls. My goals and ambitions righteous as they may be will not last forever like these little souls will. Their are no other people that I can impact for good like I can impact my girls. Their potential goes beyond mine; they will make the world better and through them, I can touch the future. Through them, I learn to be just a little less selfish and a little more loving.

A mentor of mine once said, “Pregnancy and birth is an awesome gift for it is a tangible way that women can experience ‘laying’ down their lives for another person in the way that Christ did for his family.” He gave up His glory to come to earth to live in obscurity and poverty then die for people who did not love Him or can help Him in any way. So I choose to give up my body, in a sense, to be inhabited by a little person who cannot help or better him or herself (let alone me) in any way. I learn how to selflessly love, the way I am loved by Christ. It is good.

While pregnancy is a momentarily discomfort to my body, its lessons are good for my soul.

3

Clarke Clan: 2015 Addition

May 2014, was the month of my last blog post for 2014; it was also the month that Honora swore off naps forever. I thought it was time for an update and some cute pictures…

Let me start out by saying, basically my girls are crazy.

I tried so hard to get some cute pictures of the cuties. But alas all I got where these (see below).

2015 is the year I am totally getting a real camera and learning how to use it. I promise myself.

Honora and Rosalyn wearing Big Sister Little Sister shirts

Honora and Rosalyn wearing Big Sister Little Sister shirts

Smiling so sweetly

Smiling so sweetly

Board of the picture taking!

Board of the picture taking!

Yes, they are adorable.

In these pictures below, Rosalyn INSITSED on wearing this stupid monkey hat. I tried every trick in the book to get it away from her, but she screamed and hollered until I gave it back.

Yeah, not really the look I was trying to capture.

Are we done with the pictures yet!

Are we done with the pictures yet!

I will now substitute the monkey hat face for my own.

I will now substitute the monkey hat face for my own.

Honora and Rosalyn wearing Big Sister shirts

Honora and Rosalyn wearing Big Sister shirts

Oh and both girls insisted on holding their stuffed animals. We can’t have a cute sister picture without about 1,000 stuffed animals. Thankfully, I talked them into one each.

Suffice it to say, Life with these little girlies is never dull and usually adorable.

That’s why God said, YOU NEED ANOTHER, so Ryan and I are adding another cute kid to the clan sometime around Oct. 1, 2015

0

Clarke Clan: The Legend of Matt Burke

*This is a post I wrote in the Summer of 2013 but forgot to post*

IMG_2535

What you’ve never heard of Matt Burke!? Well, he is a veritable legend around our house. About on par with Santa Clause (if Santa Clause was an organic farmer with a slightly Amish beard).

But if you are 2 year-old Honora Jane, Matt Burke can give you anything not just organic eggs from happy hens who have been tucked into bed each night and sung a lullabies until they fall asleep, but anything your little heart might desire. As per this conversation.

Honora: “Mommy, I need tea.”
Me: “What kind of tea?”
Honora: “Chai tea from Matt Burke.”
Me: Honora, I make my own Chai from scratch. It’s pretty delish, and I do not get it from Matt Burke.

Like I said, even though Matt Burke grows and sells a delicious variety of fruits, veggies, chickens, and eggs, we mainly just get nutritious eggs from him. Sometimes Ryan picks up our eggs before work. How Honora knows this is beyond me, but she does. Here is just one of our morning conversations as I get her out of bed.

Honora: “Papa is gone.”
Me: “Yup, he went to work.”
Honora: “He went to get Eggs from Matt Burke.”
Me: “Yes, Honora, yes he did.”

And so that is how Matt Burke has reached the realm of “legend” (at least in the Clarke home), and I think that’s how it should be because Honora is learning that real food is grown by real people and doesn’t magically appear in a box on a shelf. And let’s all admit it, growing real food (that you can actually sell to other people) does take just a tiny bit of magic.

So if you like tasty food, go hug a farmer or at the very least buy some zucchini or eggs from him.

IMG_2575

2

Clarke Clan: April Fools or Parent’s Day to Pull Tricks on Kids 2014

Today we celebrated April Fool’s Day. Yes, two days late but late is better than never.
I decided to make a fun meal that consisted of cupcakes, fruit salad, and juice.

Honora is a HUGE fan of cupcakes. Nothing gets her more excited than cupcakes. She even enjoys watching Cupcakes Wars with me and runs around says 5 more minutes, Folks.

So for our meal, I decided to serve dessert first and of course those were cupcakes.

Meat and Potato Cupcakes

Meat and Potato Cupcakes

I cut up a cupcake and served it to here. Here is a picture montage of her reaction to my April Fool’s cupcake.

Anticipation

Anticipation

First bite

First bite

Something is wrong

Something is wrong

What is this?

What is this?

Not cupcake

Not cupcake

I have been fooled!

I have been fooled!

I basically died laughing. And after I told her what the cupcakes consisted of, she happily ate them up.

It may not be cupcake, but it is tasty.

It may not be cupcake, but it is tasty.

Second course was fruit salad: Avocado, chocolate pudding

Cupcakes, fruit salad, and juice

Cupcakes, fruit salad, and juice

Avocado and chocolate are fruits.
This was also a success.

Next was a refreshing fruit drink to finish off the meal. Honora loves straws so she instantly started sucking the stuff down.
She decided it was too silly and wanted a spoon instead of a straw.

Eating juice jello

Eating juice jello

April Fool’s Day is way better with kids.

Unfortunately Rosalyn was not impressed.

Rosalyn was not impressed.

Rosalyn was not impressed.

1

Clarke Clan: New Addition of Rosalyn Olivia

For our second kid, we decided to try out a home birth. I had a great pregnancy, the best midwife and team in the area and the perfect house (not to mention a major hospital and a children’s hospital across the street if needed663) all we were waiting for now was the baby.

She came 5 days after her estimated due date. Since Honora was 10 days early, I was convinced I would be pregnant forever. But no, Sunday morning around 8 a.m. the contractions started and Rosalyn was born by 3:18p.m. weighing in at 7 lbs. and 14 oz. It was a great experience, and the best part was getting to go to bed that night in my own bed.
IMG_2468

IMG_2484

We named her Rosalyn Olivia Clarke,
Let me tell you, it took Ryan and a long time to come up with that name. It’s not that we couldn’t think of any names; we both had lots of ideas, so our conversations tended to run like this:

Me: “I love the name Gwyneth Ivey. I know it’s just the perfect name for this baby!”
Hubby: “Gwyneth Ivey Clarke sounds ridiculous. I couldn’t even call my child by her name.”
Me: “What!”
Hubby: “I like the name Cecilia.”
Me “This baby is not a Cecilia.”
Hubby: “How do you know?”
Me: “I just do, besides it means blind. How weird is that.”

So another name was chosen that we both liked: Rosalyn Olivia Clarke

Rosalyn (pronounced Roz-e-lin) is a modern deviant of Rosalind an Old English name literally meaning gentle horse, which gives the connotation of being soft and tender yet strong and powerful. The other meaning usually given to Rosalind is beautiful rose (thanks to Spenser).

Rosalind gained popularity in England during the 16-17th centuries due to its use it literature. Edmund Spenser* used it in his first poetic work The Shepearde’s Calendar and then William Shakespeare* gave the name to his famous heroine from As You Like It.

I actually like to refer to Rosalyn Olivia as my Shakespeare baby because Olivia was not just a name that Shakespeare used in his play Twelfth Night, he actually created the name. Olivia means olive branch with the connotation of peacemaker.

IMG_2494IMG_2504IMG_2518

Whenever I thought of a name for my tiny babe, verse 26 from Proverbs 31 would come to mind.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (ESV).

My blessing on little Rosalyn is for her to be a strong woman who is wise and kind. God has blessed her with such a sweet personality. Her joy and exuberance is a blessing to our family already.
IMG_2625

*Spenser and Shakespeare are two of my favorite English authors.