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)
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: 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: 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: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
Last night, with the kids in the care of my parents-in-law, Elizabeth and I went to Atelier Denu at UQO. She brought her drawing supplies and I brought a bathrobe and sandals (for the break, so I wouldn't get cold).

There were about half a dozen people drawing, which is a small crowd for Denu, probably due to the brutally cold weather. The platform had chairs on all sides, but people clustered up at and near the tables, putting them in something like a 120° arc. Shawn had given me a quick training on Monday and I'd tried a couple of timed poses to see what my legs were willing to do for me ahead of time, but I was planning on mostly making things up as I went along. In addition to the platform with its mat, pillows and sheet, there were easels, a ball, a broomstick and a little promotional beer pail at my disposal.

The poses started at two minutes, and worked their way up to seventeen. I did my best to vary facing and level, and mix props and propless poses. I think I got in a good variety, and managed to hold still even in ones that turned out to be physically difficult. It wasn't always obvious which ones would be: I did a supine pose with one arm off the platform that turned out to be quite tiring, and a long prone one, almost going-to-sleep, that had so many points of contact with myself that I felt like a big mess of pins and needles by the end. Climbing the easel, a big open pose with the broomstick, and some modified yoga poses were all easier than I'd thought they would be.

Mentally, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Once I was up there, I was thinking about position, stability, breath and keeping my focus on that bit of debris or architectural feature to keep my gaze and position stable, mixed in with wandering thoughts about life outside the studio. It was very much my yoga-space, as far as my thoughts were concerned, which shows both that I'm something of a technically-oriented yoga person (to the detriment of all the noble stuff my mind could be doing while in a pose), and that maybe the time and money I've spent on yoga classes can have tangible benefits — two modelling sessions would pay for one semester of weekly yoga at work! I think I felt most naked right after taking off my clothes, after that everything else was more pressing. It didn't hurt that the room was at a comfortable temperature, the doors were closed and the air was still.

It was also a notable night in that for the first time, we left both kids in the care of others. When we got back, Oscar was basically asleep: a little wibbly and fussy still, but in his room in the dark and easy to cover, calm and leave to doze off. Vivien was a bit distraught but happy to get Mama back, and Elizabeth's parents didn't seem particularly frazzled by two and a half hours of both kids. I think we all knew this was about what would happen, but it was still good to get the proof that Elizabeth and I can escape for a bit together. It took until eight months with Oscar for us to get a date in, so evidently we're something like 50% more confident by some measure this time around. A two and a half hour date isn't long, but not bad for parents with a baby who's still not into complementary foods.

I think I could definitely be a nude drawing model again. I didn't have any epiphanies or crises up there: it was a pretty relaxing and satisfying gig (although my muscles were a bit sore afterward). I'd recommend giving it a try to anyone considering it, and Denu feels like it might be a better-than-average place to give it a try.
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.

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