:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Itty Bitty Birds

Well, I have to say that my productivity really improved this week. Largely because of this really super fun web project I'm working on, but also because I spent more time making music.

In other news, after what felt like years of waiting, I finally had the ultrasound appointment this week where we found out the baby's gender. IT'S A GIRL!! Yippeeeee!

The experience of the ultrasound was so powerful and moving. Really, such a joy. I wish I could have someone put a glob of goo on my stomach and do it every day so I see my little girl raising her arms over her head, curling up in a ball, stretching out, wiggling her teeny fingers, etc.
We even got a video of the entire event! Man, technology these days is so incredible!! Eric made a little 11 second video where it looks like she's waving and pointing.

So I decided that, in keeping with the theme, I would record a version of a song I wrote last summer.

Itty Bitty Birds was inspired by my newfound fascination with hummingbirds. I lured them onto my front porch (and then to our back patio, too, as my obsession grew) with my pretty red glass hummingbird feeder and then sat in wait and tried not to blink.
Eventually one iridescent green-flecked Hummer, who I named Francis, claimed the feeder as hers and spent lots of time with me - feeding and perching on a Hackberry branch nearby to guard her territory . I spent sooo much time sitting on my porch last summer watching Francis and her interlopers flit and hover and buzz, sometimes just inches away. And every time, it felt like a little mini miracle somehow. I read that Hummingbirds have incredibly high metabolism (lucky suckers) and are always within hours of starvation if they don't find food. They are the smallest bird, but yet they're almost an anomaly considering the fact that they can fly
backwards, up, down, sideways and hover in mid air, all the while supporting their body weight through the sheer force of their own energy. They just struck me as such resilient, determined little creatures.

When I wrote Itty Bitty Birds, I had wee little humans in mind, too... thinking about my newest niece Grace, born a preemie - triumphing and growing so beautifully. And now I have my own Itty Bitty Bird coming soon, so I thought it was a perfect song for this week.


Eric Jans said...

I am so excited about our little girl. And that baby video makes me smile and smile.

Also I have been singing Itty Bitty Birds in my head for two days straight.

Good stuff W


amy said...

Hooray! For girl babies! So. Much. Fun. (Of course, you know, if you'd found out you were having a boy you'd have gotten the same reaction from me--really, when it comes to babies, you just can't go wrong.)

I really love your music, Wendy. So pretty and soul-filling. Did I tell you my students often be-bop to it while working? You are right in there, with Adele, Ingrid Michaelson, Ray LaMontagne, Damien Rice, and sometimes even the late great Michael Jackson. (Last year, you had a huge fan named Erick--every day when I'd get them he'd ask if we were going to listen to you...I wrote your name down for him so he could ask his down to find you on itunes and download his favorite songs, and I didn't even think about them looking you up and finding your website. If he's currently stalking you I deeply apologize. Such is the life of the famous--the paparazzi and 7 year old boys can be pretty intense.)

In addition, I hope Francis is alive and will be back as soon as Spring is well under way, defending her territory. I love the tri-fold backstory to this song--babies and hummingbirds, both small in a big, big world, yet amazingly resilient and full of energy.

Two thumbs up, Wendy Jans. (And Francis and Gracie and growing baby girl.)

amy said...

2 things:

1-Ha! I forgot your husband's an Eric too. Apparently this is an important name on your life path.

2-1st grade Erick had me write your name down so he could ask his DAD (not his "down," what the heck is a "down?" Hi, welcome to my house. This is my mom Janet and my down Bill. So weird.) to download you on itunes.

I don't know if he ever did it though...I also told him my home address (risking so much) so he could write me over the summer and he never did. Though he does give me a big hug occasionally if he sees me in a hallway.

1st grade boys and the papparazzi. So fickle. :-)

Katie said...

Wendy, ohhhhhhh Wendy. You are so many varieties of talented wrapped up in such a pretty package, my friend.

First, BABIES!!!! Oh, so much fun. This has got to be such an exciting time, waiting until you can FEEL her move, and then SEE her move, and then MEET her!! I can't imagine a better present after 9 months of waiting. Congratulations, and thanks for sharing that precious video of her waving at us. Can't wait to hear all about you, peanut! More, please!!

And second, I share your fascination with hummingbirds. Sadly, we have so many outdoor cats that our bird population (and rabbit) is really limited. So, last summer when I saw a hummingbird at our bee balm patch near the butterfly bush I just held my breath until she had her fill and flitted away. She came back one more time, but that was all I saw her during the summer. I'm really hoping she comes back this summer. I may have to take your lead and hang some feeders in addition to the flowers. It was such a treat.

I think your song is a beautiful and thoughtful tribute to all things small, fighting for space in this busy and cluttered world. I am more happy than I can say that you have found your way back to your music. Yours is a voice worth hearing in every sense - and your wisdom, whether it comes through song or in print, needs to be heard.

I also have to say that spending summer vacations in Kentucky sitting around the fire pit in my aunt's backyard, listening to my insanely musically talented cousins and uncles sing and play, gave me some of the happiest and most contented memories I have. I am so thrilled that Baby Girl will have those same experiences. Music feeds the soul, and there's nothing like it for making everyone in the room feel a part of something, and loved. It will be such a gift to her.

Congratulations Wendy-momma, and Eric! I hope all those sisters taught you how to braid hair. It is an essential skill.


Wendy said...

Amy - thanks so much! I had no idea I was in your music mix - that's so rad!! And that's so cute about Erick. That really warms the cockles of my heart hearing that story. No stalking to report yet, but I'll keep my fingers crossed. ;-)

Katie - thanks so much for your kind words about my music. It means a lot to me. Love your Kentucky backyard music experience! Yes, I want a music-filled house for baby!
I actually can feel the baby move - a lot infact. I can even see her moving when I look at my belly. Isn't that crazy!?
You should definitely get a hummingbird feeder! They're especially awesome because you can make your own syrup with just sugar and water!

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Wendy. This all just made me smile so much. I am so very happy for you and Eric!

I also want you to know I was feeling a little bummy before I read and listened to this, and it literally made me get up and dance a little. The dogs loved the vibe too.

CONGRATS so so much!!!

Steph said...

Wendy COFFEE... MOMMA COFFEE!!! What a privilege it was to view your sweet daughter giving us a wave! Such a special experience, those first glimpses of the person who's going to completely alter your universe and is already starting that process! Thank you for sharing these amazing moments!
Oh, how I love "Itty Bitty Birds!!!" It's absolutely perfect - whether those itty bitties are in fact birds or are the precious tidbits we bring into the world! I cannot listen to your music without a smile coming through. I have come to believe it's physically and emotionally impossible for me to do so. I can't wait to share this with everyone I know!
You are a rare and real talent, and I could not be happier for you to be back to using that talent!!! We're blessed! YAY! Keep on keepin' on, Momma COFFEE!