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: Oscar in a bucket, smiling (oscar in bucket)
The rest of August went by quickly, but left some evidence behind. With the help of Oscar and the neighbour kid, I built some garden boxes out front. We still need some dirt and then to transplant a few things in, but the boxes look good.

I've been taking the older two out to bang in campaign signs for our local MP, who we'd like to keep. We've ring doorbells and knocked on doors, learned about politeness, chatted with friendly Hullians, been fed and watered, tried a stair elevator and talked nicely with dubious landlords — along with learning how to watch and march in political marches, I feel we're starting their civics lessons early. Oscar and Vivien also like hammering stuff and tightening zip ties, so it's interdisciplinary learning. In other learning activities, Oscar isn't totally reliable on spotting house numbers yet, but he's keen to try.

Elizabeth and I (and Ada) got out on a date to Les Promenades de Gatineau, where we ate food court food and acquired nice underthings at the newly-opened Simons. Shameless fun in getting things is okay sometimes, I hope :)

We had some fun park time with [livejournal.com profile] lady_phi and her family, swapped tomatoes and had tea and scones. She also brought some baby stuff for us to rifle through — yay, less-ratty cloth diapers!

Oscar had his last library story time — Dominique looked a little weepy wishing him well in kindergarten. Oscar has been going since before Vivien was born, so she's seen him grow up quite a bit. The fall is going to see a lot of me getting Viv alone to activities. I think she's ready to graduate to star attraction at kid activities!

Tomorrow Oscar hits Kindergarten — just an hour and with Elizabeth hanging out in the background, but whoa, our firstborn just made it to school! We're grappling with the fact of it, and the list of stuff, all labelled, and the un-Waldorfy discipline and pedagogy, and will he learn French and will he decide to play the game by getting along or with all his rogue skills… well, we made it and he made it and school and Oscar will happen to each other starting tomorrow at nine.
metawidget: (hand points up) "this!" (this)
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)
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: 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)

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!

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 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 basket of vegetables: summer and winter squash, zucchini, tomatoes. (food)

Last week, I took some photos of our bare-looking but largely planted garden.

here they are, with hoverable tool-tip things )
metawidget: A plastic wind-up teeth thing with a googly eye. (chatter)

The holidays went by pretty fast — it felt like we were doing something social nightly for about two weeks. It's a good thing Oscar generally seems to like parties!

Christmas eve, we went over to Elizabeth's parents' place for the traditional nut loaf, cookies, rum balls and gifts. Christmas day, we drove to Ormstown and joined 17 or so family at my parent's place, feasting extensively and helping the new people get names straight. I had been a little sniffly on Christmas eve, but by Christmas day, I was full-blown sick, so a bit subdued. Boxing Day was sort of quiet, but three generations of my parents' next-door neighbours walked over to admire Oscar and say hi. The 27th was the annual Christmas bash with white elephant gift exchange (aka "steal the present") — last year there was one kid there, this year there were three and we were all starting to feel a bit grown-up. We got together at my friend A's parents' place, about 20km past civilization — Enterprise was out of compact cars and gave us something with four-wheel drive, which got some use as we were whacking through snow drifts to get there. On the 28th, we celebrated [personal profile] dagibbs' birthday with food and drink and cheer at his place, and on the 29th we celebrated [personal profile] frenchzie's housewarming and birthday. On the 30th was our mostly-weekly D&D game at our place, and on the 31st we stayed in and rung in the new year with the upstairs people from House of Flail, Ticket to Ride: Europe and Dominion, and some mead from 1999.

The most memorable presents this year were Ticket to Ride: Europe from Elizabeth (a rather addictive little game), a huge jug of Beau's Nightmärzen from my cousin Erica, and a medieval-looking Garden Weasel from my parents.


I've had two tasty gift beers lately. Most recently was Nightmärzen, from my cousin Erica, which is a bright amber beer, Beau's hoppiest beer and fall offering. It reminds me a little of a darker Grolsch — same fresh, sort of pungent hoppiness, with a bit more sweet, and kind of light and easy-drinking. It's got a nice fizz to it and a modest head. I think it would be most excellent on tap when I'm expecting to stay for more than one pint somewhere. A little before that was Fuller's 2010 Vintage Ale, from [livejournal.com profile] the_arachne — it's supposed to be a prime candidate for ageing, and I may get another bottle to stash away. Consumed at a few months old, it was like a light-ish, sweet barleywine (despite a lower alcohol content than most barleywines), with notes of somewhat rough port. It had big malty flavour as well, but definitely tasted kind of young and almost unfinished.
In resolutions and plans for the year, I'd like to build a trellis and get some peas and beans up this year, and maybe even manage to get pumpkins into our squash mix. I also would like to not buy stuff made with water that I could've reconstituted myself — juice from concentrate, any sort of tea in a bottle, and bottled water. This is inspired by seeing chai syrup for sale in our local fancy grocery store. I would also like to bike up into the Pontiac sometime this year, and get out on the bike sometime in every calendar month. To this end, I should really clean and lubricate my chain before I need a new one.

Places I've slept in 2010:

  • Eganville, ON.
  • Gatineau (Hull), QC. A lot.
  • Gatineau (Gatineau), QC.
  • Montreal, QC.
  • Mont-Tremblant, QC.
  • Ormstown, QC.
  • Ottawa, ON.
  • Quebec, QC.


In a little bit of rantiness, I've been fuming slightly over Google's ranking of restaurant pages. When I search for a restaurant, I probably want the official page (with menu, hours and phone) somewhere in the first hits, and failing that (or to help me decide), a review written by a real human with as much of that information as possible. The last thing I want is a listing scraped from the yellow pages, with Bing's best guess at where it is located, in which I can be the first to write a review or add information.

metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Fathered a child (well, I guess some salient bits were done in 2009), grew peas, built a hardwood floor, drafted a will, published a statistics paper, took a train in business class, drove a pickup truck.
thirty-seven more )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)

It's been a little while since I've summarized what's up in point form.

goodblah
  • Healthy
  • Getting the hang of caring for Oscar and being domestic
  • Put down flagstones in the back yard
  • Gathered a bunch of kale seeds for next year
  • Oscar's first overnight trip to my parents' place went well
  • Pretty prints from [livejournal.com profile] visioluxus arrived in the mail on Tuesday
  • Somehow managed to have seven kinds of cake last weekend, over three fun birthday parties
  • Small bits of preparation for Christmas achieved
  • Visiting J&K (and now R) is always nice — and they always shower us with tasty food.
  • Kind of tired and spacey
  • Missing work a little bit
  • Fussy o'clock seems to be a regular occurrence
  • Rapid-fire wet diapers
  • Joints a little achey

[personal profile] commodorified is already jonesing for Oscar pictures, so here is a new one my mum sent me (from our visit this weekend):
Oscar and his grandpa )

metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
A meeting ate my afternoon at work today, but I think I planted some seeds of good ideas and solid methodology.

We planted a couple of potted basil plants on the weekend. Alas, something seems to be nibbling on their leaves that isn't us. The peas and leafy greens are doing very well, and both irises are in bloom!

I think we now have a plan for the floor upstairs — there will be ripping-out in our future followed by levelling, sub-flooring and a nice hardwood floor.


Some questions from [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyila:
  1. What is your favourite vegetable? To grow, kale. To eat, asparagus.
  2. What do you believe will be the most rewarding part of fatherhood? I'm sure my understanding of fatherhood will change drastically once I'm there, but from where I am now, watching our kid get good at things I've taught them, and branch off in new directions, will be pretty incredible.
  3. When you're sick, do you prefer to be left alone or do you want company and babying? I prefer to be stoic and cocoon for the most part.
  4. If you were in a museum and it caught fire, and you have the choice to save either a Van Gogh painting or a small yipping poodle with an overbite, which do you choose? I think I can run faster from the flames carrying a small poodle.
  5. Have you ever stolen an object larger than your hand? What was it? When I've stolen things, they've been small, intangible and/or debatable.

These question memes traditionally have an offer of contagiousness; if you want questions then comment and say so!

New Year

Jan. 1st, 2010 06:01 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Did New Year's with friends in Montreal this year; ate, drank, talked, played with cute baby of K&S, had a white-elephant gift exchange (yay, we got wine and chocolate, and our gifts found good homes) played Scruples, watched Dick Clark and that other host for a bit, slept, played another game in the morning (a dungeon delve game which we bailed on to catch our train but that might be nice to try again), and came back here.

Potential do-able New Year's resolutions mulled over last night:

  • I like my current weight; I'd like to stay there.

  • Peas and beans (snap and string, respectively — I'm a lazy eater) and nifty trellises in the garden this year.

metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Lately, we've been digging up the garden; the latest news is that tiny little beginnings of lettuce are coming up.

Last month, I sang Handel's Messiah in front of lots of people.

I almost changed positions at work, but decided to stay where I am for a while longer. The destination position was really cool and they seemed interested, though, so maybe later in my career they'll have another opening. I'm enjoying my current project enough (and needing to concentrate enough) to stay late some days.

I've been bicycling to work for a few weeks; today was the first time there was real congestion on the trail in the morning. It must be spring!

Elizabeth and I went to a highly entertaining wine tasting party on Saturday. We should do that again (and will)!

Our new favourite board game is Carcassonne… it helps that it's a very pretty game, plays fairly quickly (under one CD) and we're roughly evenly matched (I got thumped tonight).

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metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
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