metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
2017-07-27 11:52 am

Summer fun

July has been an adventure! We started with a wedding in Cambridge (my cousin Mike got married to his girlfriend Caitlyn — now they will go back to wandering the world teaching). It was a grownups-only wedding (a first for us since having kids). My aunt Anne did a ton of groundwork, recruiting a babysitter and giving us a place to stay, and it was fun for us all! Then we staryed in the GTA as Elizabeth started some Waldorf teacher training — we stayed the first week and I touristed with the kids while she did her daytime studying, and we had family time in the evenings. We were staying with a family in Richmond Hill; their grandfather was unexpectedly there and enjoyed the kids, and various people were coming and going. They have had a nomadic life over the years and it was fun to see how they live. They have tried to give a bland rental house as much character as possible with what looks like barn wood dividers and musical instruments and art everywhere. It was Richmond Hill, so I spend a lot of time driving (but mostly to TTC stations: the kids find the transit almost as much fun as the parks and museums, it seems).

Originally I was steeling myself for a trip from Toronto to Ottawa alone in the car with three kids, but my cousin Mary had a plane to catch in Ottawa (to get to an icebreaker, so she could scoop up Arctic water for Science) so I had adult company on the ride home. I’m getting to know the route and good places to stop! Amazing Coffee in Madoc and The Hungry 7 in Perth are quickly becoming traditions. She crashed with us overnight, which meant she got to meet Heather, and then caught the plane up North (and the weather was merciful, so it only took one try for the airline to get her up there). We came home to a questionable fridge, so the evening was full of coolers and thawing and delivery pizza.

Elizabeth's training was three weeks, so for the last two Heather stayed over. She had to work during the day, so I did home-making and running the kids around: Oscar had day camp with the UQO kinesiology students and I found parks and people and errands to fill the rest of the days. Evenings were good — the kids accepted that bedtimes without Mama could happen for days on end, Ada started sleeping the night, and with a bit of videoconferencing and some cranky moments, we made it through missing her during the week. Sharing the routine and spending time with Heather was really nice. Elizabeth came in for a semi-flying trip on the weekend in between, with a pagan potluck and traditional Sunday pancakes.

Now we’ve got a week and a bit of homebody time before Kaleidoscope Gathering. Elizabeth has found some time to keep working on the back stairs with Oscar's help, and we've been having pretty unstructured days. Oscar has had a cold and ear infection this week, but he seems in better shape today. Elizabeth and I got to go out for supper and a walk last night while Heather fed and did bedtime with tired kids. It was a nice time to catch up on being a couple.

I saved the pictures for the end — here are some of the nicest ones from June and July. We generally unplug in the woods, so you'll have to imagine all the fabulous dress, campfires and various degrees of extravagant camping rather than getting photos…

Ada is such a kid.

Two-year-old Ada with bubbles.

On the grounds at the Slit Barn in Cambridge, for my cousin's wedding.

Elizabeth, Eric and a rusty giant eagle sculpture.

Oscar being adventurous at Edwards Gardens in Toronto.

Oscar balancing on some rocks in a stream.

Viv enjoying being in nature at Edwards Garden.

Viv looking up in front of some trees. six more… )
metawidget: me, Oscar, Elizabeth with Viv in front (family selfie)
2017-06-21 06:34 pm
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Ada quotes

Ada is having a good language month:

"Pizza, here [points to mouth]… Papa, here plate!"

"Castle! Bounce bounce bounce. Whee, slide!"

"More orange juice. More orange juice, mummy. More orange juice, now. All done orange juice."
metawidget: me, Oscar, Elizabeth with Viv in front (family)
2017-05-22 04:20 pm
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Viv is awesome

Viv and Oscar have been out playing at a neighbour's place today, leaving us to be ruled by delightful Ada. But I wanted to record a couple of fun Viv moments.

First, when discussing bugs in the kitchen, she wanted to know if ants have necks. Siri had trouble parsing the question, but a little searching got a yes answer — and those necks are apparently very strong.

Second, she wanted to play Set this morning… and she pretty much figured it out (on the solid-only deck) and was able to pick out sets and explain why (or work out what was wrong with them when she made a mistake).

Smart and delightful kid.
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
2017-05-21 08:50 pm

May flowers

This week has been hard on toothpaste stores as Ada seems to like dumping toothpaste in the toilet — especially my high-end remineralizing stuff.

It was also a week where a bunch of us Positive Space volunteers and senior managers handed out Rockets (rainbow-coloured, everyone can eat them, inexpensive) and flyers on how to contact us for listening and referral or to help out to people coming in to work in honour of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It went well and made me happy.

I also have some pictures!

Ada ready to roll in the fall.

Ada in a go-kart in front of an old Ferguson tractor.

Christmas crowns and big smiles.

Vivien and Elizabeth smiling.  Elizabeth is wearing two paper crowns.

Chairs!

Ada and Vivien with child-sized chairs on their heads. eight more… )
metawidget: Our very fresh baby, backlit in blue with funky goggles, looking spiffy but a little like an alien invader (Vivien raygun)
2016-09-30 11:00 pm

Summer pics

Here are some pictures from the summer in kind of random order. It's been a fun and busy summer, with lots of weddings. And not that many pictures...



The bunch of us at Heather's family's cottage.

Me reading to the family on a chaise longue with a log wall in the background.

Ada looking heroic on a tricycle. With our nascent garden boxes in the background.

Ada on a tricycle on our front lawn.

Lord magus Vivien at the Museum of Civilization.

Vivien with a horned hat in a theatre set. seven more… )
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
2016-06-20 11:37 pm
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Solstice picture grab bag

Posted on the Solstice, not about it (we were rushing the ritual to avoid getting rained on hard and to get the kids home to bed — and we don’t usually take pictures at rituals, anyway). Here are some pictures from late winter and spring. I managed to get back to work and do many fun things, so pictures just kind of accumulated.



These three adorn my office wall:

Oscar on an outdoor portable climbing wall

Viv in a bear hat

Ada on a swing in a snowy park fourteen more… )
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
2015-11-03 04:21 pm
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Fall photo grab bag

Here are some pictures from summer and early fall. Oscar is in school, Viv has had a busy schedule of activities, Ada is growing with great enthusiasm…



Viv in glasses with Grandma in the background

Viv rocking Grandpa’s reading glasses

nineteen more… )
metawidget: (hand points up) "this!" (this)
2015-08-08 08:00 pm

July into August

Ada is now over two months old! She has been camping, is starting to stick her hands in her mouth, babbles a bit and still sleeps pretty well.

lots of entry )

I feel pretty content lately and settled into the new normal of three little ones and parental leave. I hope the next few months continue this!
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
2015-06-22 11:16 am

Pre-partum, post-partum: pictures!

Here are some pictures from March to recently… we made it through the chilly spring, had a baby, discovered Vivien’s career aspirations, and hit the Ormstown Fair.

Viv in a swing

Vivien at the park.

twenty-nine more… )
metawidget: a basket of vegetables: summer and winter squash, zucchini, tomatoes. (food)
2015-06-07 09:30 pm

Shiny and new

Ada is ten days old today. She's 10% heavier than at birth, doing all the infant things, looking around a bunch, and has completely skipped "newborn" as a clothing size. I think I have the transition to parental leave more or less down this time — a few days of leave before the birth were a nice ease-in, and now I'm definitely coffee-powered but I've more or less hit my stride. I've been getting out on errands and park adventures with the kids and look forward to hanging out with lovely people (and their kids where applicable) in local parks. The older kids are having some adjustment pains — Viv is angling for mama cuddles and frustrated when there's a baby in the way, and both of them require a long wind down to sleep at the end of the day.

We have a nice steel roof! We had our moments when we thought we'd get a baby first, but the contractors pulled through and got it done. We had a stressful week or so where work had disrupted electricity to most of the upstairs including our phone and Internet plug — we had a solution involving an extension cord to the kids' room, but we weren't going to leave it plugged in while they slept, so we had greatly reduced communications — in a situation where we might've wanted to round up midwives and child care on short notice, it wasn't the best time for forced simplification, but in the end the contractors' electrician got things working before we really needed them.

The garden delay due to workers was actually a boon to us as the tomato plants weren't in the ground on those chilly nights after Victoria Day. Now we have a nice variety in (thanks for the swaps, [livejournal.com profile] wisewomanjudith!) as well as some fancy peppers and eggplant and some humdrum-but-tasty squash (bought from Sarah's new outfit, Beat Greens Gardens).

One small downer is that my allergies are pretty wild lately, even with desloratadine and drops. Maybe it's time to switch meds. What're people finding good these days? Drowsiness hasn't been a side effect I get; Reactine kept me up.

In general, I'm in a groove — a tired one but a good one — and life is pretty good and full of possibilities.
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
2015-06-01 01:32 pm

Booyah, baby! Also, booyah anniversary!

Baby Ada's birth was the home birth we'd been planning for — kids safely at their grandparents, midwives we knew, intensity and joy and healthy everyone at the end. Elizabeth was very independent for most of labour, as she has been before — I fetched things, let midwives in, helped keep things clean and was just being present up into late pushing. We'd talked about my maybe catching Ada, but in the end I was busy holding Elizabeth and crying a bit as she pushed the last few times. I got to cut the cord, as I have for Oscar and Vivien. At home in our space was a nice place for a birth, and I felt quite involved.

Ada is pretty laid-back so far, and looking around a lot. She has a powerful suck, curious hands and neck and a variety of unconvinced facial expressions. She also sleeps really well in the baby carrier!

Elizabeth and I got a chance to give the baby carrier a whirl yesterday when our friend Seema generously offered to take the older two over to her place for a couple of hours. Thanks to her, we got to walk over to Brasseurs du Temps and have a little anniversary lunch date. Seven years of vaguely sacrilegious matrimony and crazy adventures! Our conversation was more sleep-deprived than deep, but it was really nice to make some time for our little dyad, and Ada helpfully snoozed almost the whole time. Also, BDT has really gotten comfortable in its skin and gotten into a refined and interesting beer groove. There was one unfortunate server comment about "ladies' beer" – La Grande Rivière is a tart, citrusy smacker of a beer that happens to be pink (and delicious to me and not Elizabeth's thing). Silly server. The presence of a tasty 2.4% session IPA (good for easing back into regular beer after 9 months on the pregnancy wagon) was exciting, though.
metawidget: me, Oscar, Elizabeth with Viv in front (family)
2015-05-29 12:30 pm
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Ada Snow Hortop

…was born in the wee hours of the morning yesterday at home with the help of two awesome midwives, Johanne and Éloïse. Ada weighed 4 kilograms at birth and is 58 centimetres long. She and Elizabeth are both healthy and resting at home.

Baby Ada.

two more… )