metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (oscar and vivien)

Yesterday, we got the kids outside in and on things with wheels:

Vivien in a wagon
Vivien has sitting more or less down.

two more )

Oscar continues to be kind of mama-centric, wanting Elizabeth specifically to do all sorts of things, from cutting banana bread to taking him to the bathroom. It's kind of a drag to be told "papa go away" a lot, but I hope it's just a phase as opposed to a parenting style thing — I do feel like I'm a little quicker to intervene when he's up to something iffy and a little more skeptical of his rapid-fire requests than Elizabeth is. Maybe my going back to daytime outside-the-house work will change the dynamics a bit. Oscar is also talking up a storm in more complete sentences when he feels like it — more people have names, and the flip-side of the specific requests is that he's using names as subjects more often in speech — things like "Mama carry Oscar" and "Vivien eat that" in addition to "Papa go away". He's also much more skilled at climbing playground equipment than in the fall, even though he had some time off (although we didn't wait for the snow to melt to set him upon the equipment this spring). He's skipping rungs successfully because he's in a hurry on things he couldn't quite hack in the fall.

Vivien is eating all kinds of things and working on a fourth tooth. She can also play while sitting and eat while sitting in the high chair (which has made the high chair cool again for Oscar). She's growing out of many of her hats and six-month clothes, and frequently babbling contentedly. Our days of being able to play a board game with a placid infant are going away again, though: all the bits are very fascinating. If we're lucky, she'll be a bit more amenable to a bedtime before ours sometime soon.

We've bought some seeds and are starting tomatoes inside. If we're lucky, we'll have zucchini, acorn squash, pumpkins, a few sorts of tomatoes, kale, mixed carrots, strawberries, pears, peas and chives. We'll probably manage a subset of that, but we can hope (and trust Gord and his CSA to give us lots of veggies, too). The crocuses are up again in the lawn, and I scattered some globe thistle seeds out front for colour and spikiness. I hope it's a good year for green-thumbiness!

metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
Oscar's default pronoun has shifted from 'it' to 'she' — I think it may be that 'h' sounds are hard, but for now the feminine includes the masculine for him.

Also, the last time I took naproxen was Thursday. My leg is not perfect, but it's manageable. Yay, feeling better and walking it off.
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
It has been forever since I did a good/blah entry. Life is pretty good, really. Way back when, I did these every 20 entries, so that there would always be one on the first page of my entries. Maybe I'll get back up to that pace again.


GoodBlah
  • We're within a payment of being done with the mortgage — we lucked out on interest rates and help and nice stable professional employment, and now we're looking at owning our place outright. It feels good.
  • Everyone here (human and cat) is currently pretty healthy (even my leg is feeling progressively better)!
  • Both kids are learning fun and exciting new skills.
  • I feel like I'm doing pretty well on my year list, including the long-term stuff.
  • Taxes are more or less done, and look to be in good shape: a refund but not a gigantic one.
  • I took my wedding band to the ring shop, and now it fits (my fingers have gotten more slender since 2008) and it got a complimentary shine as well.
  • I'm happily married to one awesome and beautiful person, and happily dating another.
  • Less than two months of parental leave left. Work will be kind of exciting, but the transition back could be rough.
  • World Vision keeps sending increasingly over-the-top fundraising pules. We got a great big envelope containing an bubble envelope containing a spoon and a measuring tape that they would like us to mail back to them (with a donation) for them to ship to Africa. I gave to World Vision in honour of my Christian relatives who are fans of them. Next in-honour donation will be to MSF or the Canadian Red Cross — close enough in the useful stuff they do, and at least their fundraising stuff is flat.
  • Feeling a bit sciatic-y, a little creaky in the knees and occasionally elsewhere, I think due to moving over winter footing with kids and groceries and stuff. I hope it clears up with better conditions.
  • There are always cool things I'd like to do, and don't make time for. Getting one or both kids to sleep and/or securing babysitting makes this one a little harder.
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
I've been recovering slowly from what seems to be a slightly wonked sciatic nerve — my back and left leg have been feeling assorted unpleasant feelings for a while. I'm tapering off the naproxen and relying lots more on just walking it off or switching activities. The hurt seems to be almost draining out of the leg, from the whole length at first down to mid-calf and below now. I'm looking forward to being completely back to normal soon and for me to be able to tell if the floor is cold again (for now, I get a cold sole feeling unrelated to floor temperature from standing sometimes) Bodies work differently as you get older!

I really hope that my stash of naproxen can expire, given that I've only found it necessary for shoulder wonk and now sciatic wonk.

Oscar has been in heavy mama-centric mode lately. Usually, I put him to bed, but the last few nights (except last night, where I was drawing through bedtime), I've given up and passed the torch after getting my hair pulled and knees in bad spots with no visible sleep progress. Elizabeth usually goes in and emerges ten minutes later with Oscar asleep. It was a little comforting to find out last night that his road to sleep was long, so even if it doesn't feel like progress, my starting off bedtime may be doing some good in helping him spin down a bit.

I helped Elizabeth trim the sides of her head today into an undercut. No pictures yet, but now I can meet my fuzzy and fluffy hair-scritching needs in one place.

On Monday, we appeared in our first family photo in a while, courtesy of [personal profile] commodorified. I look stronger than I actually needed to be!

Kids update

Mar. 2nd, 2013 09:38 pm
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (oscar and vivien)
Vivien is seven months old today. She still has just two teeth, but she's made great strides in eating things. From bare cutlery a month ago, she's eaten oatmeal, mashed avocado, pita, pappadam, mashed potato… banana and pear were not so hot, so for now she is savoury baby.

Papa amusement park (bounce, spin, sway, whee!) has gone from merely distracting to fun, with smiles and giggles. This is good for my fitness and both our morale! She's definitely still working on crawling, and also at manipulating objects — we have to eat with our plates and cutlery further and further toward the centre of the table when she's in one of our laps. Fortunately, she is sometimes content to play with stuff on a cushion beside the table.

Oscar is working on language — novel short sentences, using people's names, vocabulary explosion! He's also been going on short bus-and-walk trips without a stroller, and is playing a bit better with others.

Elizabeth, Oscar and Vivien on the couch
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
The past week has been a gastro roller-coaster around here: lots of puke, lots of washing clothes on hot, lots of soda crackers. Last week, Elizabeth had a rough Tuesday and Wednesday, and Oscar had a couple of puking incidents. On Monday, Elizabeth was the only person standing and she stood in the gap, chasing toddler puke and changing sheets and being generally vertical. Our friend-and-neighbour Marc came by with a supply drop of soda crackers, juice and jello to tide us over Monday evening, and by Tuesday morning I was better, Oscar was a little fragile but basically okay, Vivien was better and Elizabeth was not 100% but close.

Today, we're basically back up and running: check-up doctor's appointment for Vivien and supper out with friends this evening. Yay, back in the swing of things!
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (kids)
  • Vivien's first tooth has surfaced! Left central lower incisor, for people keeping score at home. She's still teething-cranky, maybe because it isn't completely in, maybe because there are more coming, or both.
  • I think we almost heard a giggle from her last night. Or a chortle. Or something. Close enough.
  • Oscar has a new, bigger mattress, courtesy of Shawn who organizes Atelier Denu. He needed the space for books, and was giving it away. Oscar finds it bouncy and acceptable, and it fits in his room without too much furniture rearrangement.
  • Oscar's old mattress has been installed in a toddler bed as a "sidecar" beside ours for Vivien. Now we have our bed to ourselves, sort of, and all Elizabeth or Vivien have to do is roll over for baby maintenance.
  • We'll all have our first Rideau Canal experience of the year (and lifetime, for Vivien, and maybe Oscar's first one on skates) today, with my parents, my sister, her boyfriend, her boyfriend's parents, my cousin, my cousin-in-law and their son (whew, need a diagram?).
metawidget: My full geek code.  Too long for DW alt tag, please see profile if interested. (geek)

This week, I'm looking forward to:

  • Having lunch with one of my closest work friends tomorrow. I've seen her a couple of times lately with at least some of each of our kids in tow, and this time we'll have a little less stimulation and be able to talk in full sentences.
  • Modelling in tomorrow's evening drawing workshop. This is also a little scary.
  • This week's Parent and Child in Vanier — making little felt gnomes and hanging out with the parents, children and animators there. Oscar is getting playing with others a little better, and definitely knows how everything works. Even over the semester and a bit I've been doing it, he's grown a lot. The fact that he's only in P&C mode once a week, and that everyone else only sees him for those 2.5 hours a week, makes it easier to spot stuff like "gets the idea of fetching specific toys for specific activities" and "snacktime is soon" and "manages frustrations with peers with somewhat more patience and willingness to hand them something to make peace". It's also fun to be part of the little community of parents and keep my French up for sustained sessions.
  • Hanging out and probable board game with [personal profile] fairestcat.
  • Union-management meeting on Friday. Not always the most uplifting content, but it'll be nice to poke my head in at work and see people, and some people there may be the bearers of bad news but they're all decent people.
  • A friend's housewarming on Saturday, and possible other supper plans.
  • Family skating on the canal on Sunday — Vivien's first time out (probably in a stroller) and we may see how Oscar does on skates.
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (oscar and vivien)
We sent out a picture of the kids with our Christmas cards this year. We do things DIY around here, despite the recommendation of one of my friends who wrangles a family of five into a photo with the help of a trusted Superstore photographer every year with good results. It probably took us a little longer (and two sessions, one of which is lost to the vagaries of a borked camera card), but we got one that definitely captures where the kids were at in late November. Here it is:

Oscar smiling, Vivien looking perturbed

The first thing not visible there is Elizabeth under the blanket holding them relatively still.

The other things not visible are the blooper shots, of which here are two:
cut in case you prefer to leave your illusions intact )
Here are a couple more cute shots of Vivien from around Christmas:
you know you want to reveal these )
I have another picture post from a few drawing workshops in the works, but it does take a while to crank them out these days.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I have a sleepy baby in my lap, and it's nap time (I hope) upstairs for E & O.

Last night, we rang in the mid-Atlantic new year with our neighbour, her kids, her sister and mum, stuffing ourselves with tasty food and letting Oscar feed us innumerable clementines. It was a fun evening, and more or less our speed.

Today has been pretty low-key — in the afternoon, Oscar and I trampled/tobogganed an oval track in the backyard snow.

I'm looking forward (in no particular order) to more drawing in the new year, getting back into the patterns of activities outside the house with Oscar (definitely more parent and child in Vanier, and maybe story time at the library if the sign-up is enough for Mondays to run), to more daylight, to catching up with people missed during holiday social madness, to whatever sort of date Elizabeth and I can manage next, to reaping the benefits of Oscar being done teething and to lots of tasty hot beverages.

2012

Dec. 30th, 2012 05:50 pm
metawidget: My full geek code.  Too long for DW alt tag, please see profile if interested. (geek)
Here's the semi-standardized questionnaire applied to 2012 — it was a pretty intense year in some ways.

What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Filed a police report, juggled two kids out solo.

lots more )




Did I miss any useful questions? I dropped a couple of irrelevant ones, and will be watching the memesphere for stuff to add.
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (oscar and vivien)
Last week, I attended a two-and-a-half-day course on mediation and interest-based negotiation in my steward capacity. It was a good course — lots to think about, a nice mix of people, good anecdotes and interesting role-plays (including some really hard ones).

The most stressful part was knowing that I'd be leaving Elizabeth in charge of two kids for the duration, with only a couple of stretches of drop-in company. The kids are great, but they're still a pretty normal four-month-old who is breastfeeding, and a spirited, clever, athletic toddler who's still kind of adjusting to being a big sibling. She was a bit worried about how that would go, and I felt a bit guilty about leaving her in that situation — I know I'll have to for longer and more regularly when I go back to work (and that many families have to send someone back to full-time work a lot earlier than eight months postpartum), but by then it'll be nice out and the kids will be that little bit more independent.

After the first day, I returned to a very quiet house — she'd managed to get both of them to nap at the same time. I think our place has been that quiet with two awake adults in it about twice since Oscar was born. After the second day, there was not as much napping going on, and there were definitely things that needed doing, but again, everyone was in basically good spirits. The half-day at the end worked out well, too. I know this may not seem like huge news, but two kids simultaneously for a couple of hours has been tricky up 'til now, and we were both a bit anxious about how things were going to turn out.

Yay for my awesome wife and for things going better than feared! I imagine that's the most consecutive workdays I'll be out all leave, and it'll be a whole other kettle of fish when the whole routine has to change (first with evening teaching for Elizabeth, and then the complementary work schedules in late April), but as test experiences go, I'm happy, relieved and proud.
metawidget: Oscar in a diaper, crouching as if to fit into the frame and looking quizzical (oscar ducking into frame)

A week ago, we went up to my parents' place for my brother's birthday and to visit. Here are a few pictures featuring Oscar, my dad, and some dogs from that weekend:

Oscar and a big shaggy dog in the garden
three more )

After long months of teethiness with no teeth, Elizabeth has at last felt and spotted molars coming in for Oscar. He's also extra-teethy, but now there is a light (and an almost-full set of teeth) at the end of the tunnel. Vivien has little incisor tips poking through, so we won't lack for teething kids for some time, of course. I guess we have early-teeth genes.

I had a revelation in Oscar psychology a few days back — when Vivien starts flailing her arms and legs, Oscar sometimes runs in, says "no!" and holds down her limbs. We had no idea why he didn't feel she had a right to move her arms and legs for some time, but then I realized that when Oscar is kicking me while I'm trying to get him to bed, I will respond by saying "no kicking!" and holding his legs to stop him from kicking for a few seconds. Unintended consequences and kids having reasonable logic to their actions strike again.

Vivien looks like she'll have rolling figured out soon. No more always finding here where we put her down; we'll have to be choosier about her resting spots! Also, she's smilier almost every day, it feels like.

We're getting close to hiring someone to put in a nice, solid, hard-to-climb privacy fence to replace the rickety chain-link one we have. Maybe it'll even be done by the end of the year!

Kids update

Nov. 3rd, 2012 03:30 pm
metawidget: Oscar around one month, with Pixel. (oscar and pixel)
Oscar is now big enough, that if he has a drink of water, he's no longer rated for rear-facing car seat travel due to being too heavy. Consequently, I pulled the straps and bits out of their rear-facing position, puzzled through the manual, and put them into front-facing position this week. Oscar seems to like seeing what's coming and keeping an eye on the parents while travelling (since Vivien was born, Elizabeth usually sits up front with me, 'cause it's crowded back there otherwise).

Vivien's first concerted hand-eye coordination seems to be blocking my attempts to trim her nails. I did trim her fingernails in two sittings yesterday, but it was slow going.
metawidget: Oscar in a bucket, smiling (oscar in bucket)

I've been having a pretty good October up to now, seeing people, doing union stuff, taking care of the kids and joining my family for Thanksgiving weekend. Here are a bunch of pictures that mostly show off our photogenic kids.

a close-up of baby Vivien

Vivien from earlier this month: filling out!

a bunch more pictures )
metawidget: Our very fresh baby, backlit in blue with funky goggles, looking spiffy but a little like an alien invader (Vivien raygun)

On Oscar's actual birthday, my parents, my sister and her partner came up to help celebrate and see the bigger, more interacitve Vivien. Here are a couple of pictures of her:

potty-related stuff might need a cut )

When it's not raining, we've been getting in a bunch of walking lately — we being the kids and me when Elizabeth needed time to practice for her Can-Con show, or all four of us when we're going somewhere or just need to get out of the house. I really enjoy family walking — when I'm the lone adult, we interact a lot with the neighbours and random shoppers, and when it's Elizabeth and I and optionally the (often sleepy or distracted) kids, we often have nice, relaxed conversations or don't say much but it feels like more pleasant transit time than just about any other means of getting around. Working a walk into something otherwise stressful can make the difference in keeping my chin up, and the fall weather is the best walking weather of the year as far as I'm concerned.

metawidget: Co-sleeping kid taking up as much space as possible between co-awake parents. (co-sleep)

Vivien is a little over four weeks old now. She's filling out, both visually and weight-wise (almost three kilograms now), and keen to look around and see the world. We've been out and about with her on foot in buses and in cars; she can be a bit fussy at the beginning and end of the trip but she travels pretty well in general. I've been out alone with the two of them successfully, walking and bussing: Elizabeth can practice better for her upcoming gig in an empty house, Vivien mostly naps and Oscar enjoys the moving scenery and interacting with the neighbours. A dad during the day with two under-twos gets a lot of positive attention, too, which is nice :)

Oscar seems a bit fragile and jealous sometimes; he's very keen to claim Vivien-associated things and people: Elizabeth (including breastfeeding), the diaper cream (!), our attention generally (when she fusses, he often fusses). He does also still seem excited and want to help and hold her (he also wants to hold the cat, we have to supervise and intervene in both cases). He's picked up jumping-on-the-bed skills, and his vocabulary is expanding — he picked up “rainbow” just in time for Pride (he had a blast at the parade: lights, music, candy, people smiling at him — he was dancing on my shoulders for the whole thing, more or less), too many food terms to count, “happy” and ”eat” for his internal state. His first (and so far, only) three-word sentence is “I like it!”. He's on track to be my height if the double-your-height-at-two rule is to believed; I looked up his height and weight on the WHO curves and he remains ninety-something on height and median on weight, just like when he was born. I hope he enjoys turning two!

Here are some pictures from the beginning of last month of the two of them, including a cute size comparison:

some pictures from the early days )
metawidget: Oscar in a diaper, crouching as if to fit into the frame and looking quizzical (oscar)

Oscar is a little sick lately — he's been sleeping a lot more, sniffling a bit, a little subdued and a bit feverish. He was pukey for a day or so, but now that seems to be over. We're pretty sure the heat of lately isn't helping. Good thing the rain is coming to clear the air. The fact that he's napping more is sort of nice, if we weren't a little thrown off by his fragility when he's awake and the fact that he's pretty obviously not liking being sick.

Elizabeth is making Father's Day cake, with Oscar supervising :) We've been seeing lots of family lately — one of my cousins is moving into the area with his wife and infant, they crashed here along with another cousin while house-hunting, and then we went over to see their new place yesterday and saw my aunt and uncle, and introduced Oscar to another cousin and her friend. Our newly-local cousins seem to have a similar parenting style and bicycle orientation: they're looking into not owning a car in the capital, too. I think they can pull it off. This summer is going to involve at least two cousin-weddings, both on my paternal side, so we'll be seeing the whole clan quite a bit.

I got the rapidly-becoming-traditional early-morning call from Dad, wishing me a happy Father's Day. He was planning on making hay while the sun shone (literally — that might be a metaphor for golfing for some people, but he actually has hay cut and looking promising in the field that needs to come in), so he called in the morning. If Oscar were his normal self, 9:30ish would have seen us up and fed, so he couldn't have known!

This week, we're saying goodbye to our voluntarily-departing colleague in my section. I don't know if she's part of workforce adjustment or not, but I hope her next stop is a good fit — it sounds like a cool job, almost cloak-and-dagger (so I won't specify what it is). I'm starting to feel like my knowledge-transfer and torch-passing work is rising to the top of the to-do list, as well — I read a pile of semi-annual reports in an attempt to catch up on what everyone is doing and decide which chiefs to try and arrange a chat with about opportunities after I return from parental leave. It does feel like a bit of a risk having told my chief that I'm moving on after leave, but I think it's time before I ossify too much. I want to keep doing linkage and disclosure control, though, maybe just on a sample survey (i.e. the ones where we call or mail stuff to respondents) rather than pure administrative data (like reportable diseases and health usage data).

I accidentally got Beck's regular the other day; it's actually not as nice as Beck's non-alcoholic: more malty and sweet, not as crisp, more like Grolsch and not terribly German-tasting, really. I'll manage to drink the pack, though: it's decent hot-weather beer.

metawidget: Oscar in a diaper, crouching as if to fit into the frame and looking quizzical (oscar)

It's been a while since I've made a picture post. Rather than catch up with photos from various times we (or someone else) remembered to take out the camera, I just took some pictures this weekend, so these are fresh and hot from the kitchen and the garden. We now have a bunch of stuff planted; I still have a few squash hills with 'this space for rent' signs in my mental image of the garden, and we're hoping to adopt someone else's excess tomatoes, but we did our Planting Weekend duty! Under the discouraging top layer of not-rotted, our compost heap seems to be doing what it should, too. Now, on to the pictures:

Actually not all of Oscar! )

For those of you in Dreamwidth-land, the icon on this post is also from this weekend.

metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)

Shortly after she got back from her hockey-filled trip to Texas, [personal profile] commodorified gathered a bunch of us together at a pho place and snapped this picture of Oscar.

He's getting a bit better at staying in his high chair, and at home we can even convince him to stay there as we run around the kitchen, if we give him something interesting to munch on up there.

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