Saturday, June 11, 2011


There has always been something about our girls' hands that leave me captivated.  They do not look like a typical hand -- not in posturing or shape.  Their palms are especially short, while their fingers are quite long.  They are fine, elegant, and dainty.  The thumbs are perfectly tucked away inside the fist (Lola) or the palm (Claire).  When you touch their hands, they always move... often times floating upward into the air like a butterfly.  Sometimes just the fourth or fifth fingers move... they appear to have the most "purposeful" movement.  They seem less "locked" and more responsive than the other fingers. 

Claire & Lola's hands are unlike ANY other hands I've seen in my life.  They are unique, one-of-a-kind, and BEAUTIFUL.  I love holding their hands in mine... feeling their soft, baby-like skin.  Claire will allow me to interlace my fingers with hers, and I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.  She seems to love it, too, as she usually relaxes and melts into me when I do this. 

Both girls' hands smell like feta cheese, no matter HOW many times you bathe or wash them.  Lola's are the worst... she is constantly rooting on her fists and sucking on them (even right after a feeding!).  She is best known for her entire-fist-in-mouth party trick, which usually pisses her off beyond belief, as it tends to get "stuck" in there & gag her!  The combination of saliva, milk, and "got it & gopple"-ing leads to a ferocious, Greek-cheese-reeking scent like NO OTHER.  I need a full-on HazMat suit just to put on her "sparring gloves" (AKA hand splints!) these days -- NO LIE!

Observe the beauty of Claire's hands:

The ever-popular WSD (West Side Dwarves) gang signs... see the two W's?!?!  Claire's what you call a real OG  ~  Original Gnome.  HA! 

Claire's trademark move... I am *SO* proud!!!  Now, if only I could get her to do this on command!  I think I may rally to make this an Occupational Therapy goal for 2011-2012.  HA!
Behold the the magic of dear Lolita's hands:
Fisticuffs  ~  Our bare-knuckle fighter!  (Ignore the massive reflux stain on the right... lovely!)

As double-jointed as all Billy-Get-Out.  (I love my Dad's terminology!)

Peek-a-boo, Thumbkins!

Lola's modified WSD gang signs... can't quite form her "W" yet.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
So you can imagine my delight a few weeks ago when I encountered Hands Unlimited at an art show.  I had seen kits at Michael's/Hobby Lobby/online which claimed to make a hand casting, but the reviews I read were terrible. (Not to mention I am a bit of an art cluster#$%*!)  I had all but nixed this idea until I met Paul Goddard.  His work was GORGEOUS, and I KNEW I had to cast the girls' hands.  I never want to forget how perfect they are -- EVER.  I am SO glad I did...
It felt wrong to not also cast Cal's hand... I LOVE how it turned out, too!

 Seeing Claire's hand look so true-to-life, so (surprisingly) BIG, and so OPEN melted my heart!

Lola's hand casted looks even tinier than it does in "real life!"  I love how cute her thumb looks hiding inside and how her tightly-closed fist is starting to "bloom!"

THANK YOU, PAUL!!!  Thank you for working with my tricky-to-cast girlies.  Thank you for your patience with them (and me!).  Thank you for creating the most amazing keepsakes for our family.  They now sit on our mantle and captivate more hearts than just ours.

Thank you again... you will NEVER know how much these mean to Scott & me.

"I love the way your hands reach out and hold me near... I believe this is heaven to no one else but me..."  ~ Sarah McLachlan


alison.mcknight said...

Lovely! I have handprints from various ages Henrys birth prints are just miniscule! These are lovely - enjoy! xxx

Anonymous said...

What a moving piece of writing this is. The LOVE jumps off the screen.

Usethebrains Godgiveyou said...

Exquisite post, the last picture being so artistic! I love hands, too. My mother had the most beautiful hands...very small and dainty and warm. :)

Usethebrains Godgiveyou said...

OOPS, although I love the heart hands, the picture of the three castings is beautiful, and the artistic one I was referring to.

Kathryne Foster said...

The song, the pictures and your comments... all together... your family amazes me as always Gwen!

I love you guys!!
xo, K

Katie said...

OMG!!! What a wonderful thing to have done to keep. I am SO inspired by you. Love ya!

DoRe' said...

Hi, mama....thinking of you! Love this post, as well as the no-sleep post; no judgement here--you're just keeping it real. :-D Hugs!

Jen said...

This was so lovely, Gwen, am crying as I type . . . funny/odd/crazy thing is (though perhaps not so funny/odd/crazy ;), I was just going to write a blog entry about Bob's hands, about how they are one of endless things that I miss . . . that, when I see pictures of him, often my eyes find their way to his hands (if they're pictured). Infinite memories and emotions evoked, simply gazing at his beautiful hands . . . hands are a glimpse of one's soul, I am convinced. Your children's hands are infinitely soulful . . .

Loved this post . . . love you all . . . xxoo Jen

Gwen said...

You are so right, Jen - something so very personal and special about hands... So many reminders - such precious memories triggered by seeing them. I cannot imagine how much u must miss Bob's hands. Such a tactile representation of who we love - so many parts of it to remind you of things. Hugs and MUCH love to u, girl. Xoxo

Unknown said...

What a beautiful keepsake! I wish I had done something like that when my kids were babies!

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