Neither of them really likes getting a helmet put on, Oscar's seatmate manners are still a work in progress (trailering, with faster-moving scenery, they're a little better than strollering) and Oscar was loudly and urgently wondering for a while where Mama was on the way home (she was riding behind us). Despite all that, they were both asleep when we pulled into home. It was Elizabeth's first bike ride out of the season — she went out ahead in the morning to record some additional vocals for her album, and I came later with the kids to add my screaming to one track, get Vivien a snack (soda crackers were only so satisfying during recording), say hi to Sarah at Nicastro's and have tasty sandwiches for lunch at the Wild Oat before heading home together. It was my and Oscar's first ride out post-tune-up (yay, chain grease) and Vivien's first bike trailer ride ever! I was quite happy with how the new trailer handled with two kids and gear in it.
Life is pretty good of late: my leg and cold are mostly better, I still have just under two weeks of leave until I'm back at work (I'm enjoying the leave but looking forward to work, too), it finally feels like spring here (I got to wear short sleeves outside yesterday!) and I'm feeling pretty good about it all.
Yesterday, we got the kids outside in and on things with wheels:( 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!
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.
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!
( then )
( now )
Six years ago today, I proposed, in a horse shelter at my parents' place, to Elizabeth. She said yes.
Also, happy birthday to my cousin Erica, beable and to thebabynancy!
- 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?).
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.
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.
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.
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:( 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!
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.
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 bunch more pictures )
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.
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 )
Here are the official results and supporting numbers for the baby guessing game Elizabeth ran on Facebook (using the names supplied on Facebook). I standardized the three components to have a root mean squared error of one, and summed the standardized differences; lowest sum wins. Congratulations Ada!
|Female?||Weight (oz)||Date diff||Sq. error (sex)||Sq. error (wt)||Sq. error (date)||Score (sex)||Score (weight)||Score (date)||Score (sum)|
|Judith Stockwell Taylor||1||114||25||0||1,521||625||0.00||1.11||1.17||2.28|