Summer fun

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:52 am
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)

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

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)

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: a basket of vegetables: summer and winter squash, zucchini, tomatoes. (food)
The allergist's waiting room may be good for my writing, now that I've finished the Persepolis graphic novels (in the original French — my European-style swearing will be greatly improved) — thanks, [livejournal.com profile] spacefem for the impetus! Persepolis got more personal and relatable as I got further along; the voice was funny and poignant and the drawing was always expressive. It is well worth the read.

I'm out on the bicycle for the season, although it looks like I may have a few days of bussing while the coming snow storm hits and melts. It feels good and makes picking up things and getting Viv to her dance class a lot easier, but I will have to be careful of my knees.

Elizabeth and the kids have a bunch of vegetable and flower seeds started in the back — marigolds, broccoli, tomatoes… I am looking forward to really getting the garden going. That and the new, more local, CSA we're signed up for should have us eating well this summer.

Easter was lovely this year — the egg hunt went on into Monday, the feasting was tasty, and soccer in the back field with kids and super-cousins was a blast. I'll leave talk of the bonfire to a picture post. It'll have to wait a couple of days at least, though.
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
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)
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: me, Oscar, Elizabeth with Viv in front (family)
…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… )
metawidget: Sticker saying "you are beautiful" on a black background. (beautiful)
- Bicycling weather. Buses are good for reading, but I miss fast and flexible.

- An upcoming night with Elizabeth… with the kids off with my parents! It has been years since we'll be off-duty together for a whole night.

Yay! Spring! Good things, times and people!
metawidget: me, Oscar, Elizabeth with Viv in front (family)
Here are some selected photos from 2015 so far — we get out, we weave stories, we make trouble and go to things.

Oscar and Vivien looking at each other with the piano and a grownup in the background.

The kids looking at each other... another photo post!

10 more… )
metawidget: me, Oscar, Elizabeth with Viv in front (family)
Here are some pictures from the last few months of 2014. We've been having lots of fun and occasionally remembering to take pictures. Next post, maybe some of them will have Elizabeth and/or me in the frame.

Oscar with a birthday cake standing in front of a Turkish grill with cousin Adam in the background

Oscar at his birthday barbecue (in low light, but you get the idea).

12 more… )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
My last picture post featured kids with pumpkins. I still haven't figured out how to do them easily from a mobile device, so here's a big raft of pictures curated and posted at the big computer. Woodgie away! We start covered in snow.

Oscar and Vivien in the snow

Christmas photo candidate.

26 more! See Viv almost double in age! )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
It's been a busy midwinter for and around me. Everyone in the household
has taken a turn or two being sick -- gastro, conjunctivitis, cold and/or
flu... I took my first sick day in a while and I'm glad I didn't try to go
in that day.

it gets better )

I guess all this entry is missing is a beer review at this point. Maybe
next entry -- I have been drinking enjoyable beer from time to time lately!
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (platypus)
Family photo

This weekend [livejournal.com profile] the_arachne got married to her fiancé (no username :) ), and they had a photographer taking shots of volunteers after dinner. It was a rare opportunity for a family portrait!

It's been kind of insanely busy lately — Elizabeth's album finished, the launch shows performed, the wedding of last weekend (at which Oscar and Elizabeth both got named parts, and I wrecked my pants, first stooping for Vivien and then dancing), a promotion process at work (my interview shirt = my wedding shirt), and a research project that can be describes mostly positively as tilting at windmills, and fun to work on but challenging. I also assembled a team and applied for some research days at work, which would be a cool opportunity to manage something and fix a problem I find cool. Now I still have things to do, but applications are with committees, most of the album-related stuff is done, and Elizabeth and I are casting about for bits of relaxing time for us to celebrate and recuperate.
metawidget: a basket of vegetables: summer and winter squash, zucchini, tomatoes. (food)
Vivien is walking and climbing and generally up to stuff!

Here are a couple of photos of Oscar and Vivien:

indoors and outdoors )

In other news, this week has been insane. Elizabeth has been mixing her album, I did an exam in our promotion process, and Saturday was full of busy with people dropping by and me biking out to Aylmer on a super-secret present-hunting mission. I think the exam went okay (but I'm not dead certain that I'll make it to the interview), the album is over at the mastering company, and I succeeded in getting the birthday present. Elizabeth lost her wallet coming home from finishing mixing, though, so she's not quite out of the woods yet. I've been working on the booklet to go with the album, which feels like it's going well. A few fill-in-the-blanks in the credits and front page, and some swaps of pictures into layouts already done, and it should be ready for the printers!

Our pear tree has been very fruitful:

a modest portion of our bountiful pear harvest )

...but I think it's done for the year. The kids really like pears, so it's contributed to our very limited use of the produce section during the warm months.
metawidget: Oscar and Vivien on a couch (Oscar 2.25 years, Vivien 4 mos) (oscar and vivien)
I was looking back at my recent entries to see what photos I posted last of the kids; Vivien looks so young in her most recent one — from May! Three months later, she's sleeker, more mobile, more defined and more expressive. She's tentatively free-standing, waving at people, laughing at people having fun and working on tooth #9 (about the same pace as Oscar; I hope she's a little kinder to her teeth than he was at one). She'll be one year old next week (already!). Here are some pictures of the family since that last one.

Vivien can balance on things and Oscar can happily cope with her in his personal space (if he's having fun):

Oscar and Vivien on our rocking horse, with Elizabeth looking on.

Three more )

I'm on vacation starting today for a week and a half; we have lots planned: camping, helping friends, seeing people, taking care of kids, vaccinations for Vivien, and if all goes well some relaxation, re-connecting and recharging. I feel like I left work in pretty good shape; they'll survive without me but likely appreciate the things I got done. Life is exhausting and kind of exciting these days, even if it's objectively full of mundane.
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?).

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