Wednesday, December 28, 2011


The second greatest gift of all...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Is it strange that a good part of my incentive to keep a clean house derives from a desire always to have a decent background for my baby pictures? Perhaps I should research depth-of-field settings and save myself all this work...

Saturday, December 17, 2011


un-capped? uh-oh!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

super boy

Our boy has never appreciated wearing bibs that are anything more than fabric (and he hasn't always enjoyed those for any length of time). He's always tried to get anything that crinkles or is stiff off from around his neck and I can sympathise with him in this remembering my deep-set aversion to turtle-neck shirts and the like. But yesterday he brought to me one of these pristine bibs with a plastic backing and wanted me to put it on him backwards (don't ask me how I knew this was what he wanted, writing it out now I'm wondering that myself). So I did, wondering what would happen. He then walked around (with a bit of a strut, perhaps?) with his cape-bib for the next half-hour at least. I can't think that he has seen anything with a cape that he is attempting to imitate yet so I wonder where this new idea originated.
Our little super hero!
Just don't tell him it looks like a cute peter-pan collar from the front...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


We've now had our first snow fall of the year. I don't think it's going to stay for long (the weather is supposed to warm quite a bit in the next couple days) but it's fun to see and gives a bit of a practice run for those who make a living getting it out of other peoples' way. Despite the late date, Fall clean-ups have been going strong and just yesterday we took these pictures of the littlest member of our crew enjoying one of the piles of leaves.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One Year

He's grown so much so quickly! It seems like there is no way he could be happier, more loving or smarter than he is. I can't wait to see how he develops this coming year. God bless you, my boy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Decisions, decisions

A bit over a week ago I stumbled across an interesting opportunity for our family and we've been researching how feasible it would be. Until we know if we're actually pursuing it for some reason I really don't want to let too many people know about the details. I'm not sure from whence the reticence springs but it's possible that it's just too close to my dreams to want to go through the disappointment with others watching. Now before everyone starts guessing amazing and huge steps for us, it really isn't anything that significant (we're not moving to another country or adopting or something) but it would be great if we could swing it. The one problem with not letting anyone know about it is that I would like advice as I research options in this decision and it might be hard to solicit without giving sufficient background. I would like to be able to tell people once I am more sure that the process will go through but I guess I don't want to have to explain how we gave up if it doesn't pan out. Maybe I'll go around asking people a pile of crazy hypothetical questions as a smoke-screen with the one real question buried somewhere in the middle.
What to do, what to do...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

first steps

Our little guy has been pulling himself from hand-hold to hand-hold for several months now and walking when his hands are held but he has taken a while to venture out on his own. This touch of timidity (perhaps tinged with laziness or comfort in old habits) has been fine with me because it means I know the exact extent of his reach for the few moments I cannot keep both eyes on him. I can trust that if I leave him holding onto the chair he will not be any further than the couch at the opposite end of the room by the time I come back. But all that is about to fly out the window because he took his first few independent steps yesterday. At present he still reverts to the easy way most of the time but more and more (even within the past few hours) I have found him venturing beyond his earlier comfort zone. These are interesting times...
Walking with his walking stick (perhaps it's a bit too pointy for safety. Might have to fix that. Hmm).

Monday, November 07, 2011

knight errant

We have had an incredible Autumn weather-wise with plenty of sunshine and highs almost doubling seasonal averages. Despite being sick we've been attempting to take advantage of the weather as much as possible. It would be much easier had we our own yard but making do with what is available is part of what makes life interesting, I believe. So we go for walks to the park or visit friends with yards of their own. Over all we've been able to enjoy quite our share of fresh air.
We were passed this sweater (and vest) and I love the colour combination. In these pictures the line in the knitting and the shape against his head reminds me of a suit of mail. A knight in training, I suppose.
The past couple days I have noticed a change in how he walks, too. For several months, now, he has been cruising from object to object but just these past two days he has been consistently letting go of one hand-hold before taking a step towards the next spot. He also was holding a stick while we were outside yesterday and took a couple steps with it (not holding anything else). He knows how to walk it'll just take a bit more confidence, I think. Then, look out!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Talking bobcats

We've been under the weather this past week which in part accounts for the length of silence. It has been beautiful, however, in my favourite Autumn way so we have been seizing opportunities to head outside every day we can. Parked in our back parking lot (in sight from where we normally exit when going for a walk) is one of the bobcats that James drives and it has become an essential part of our routine to walk around the bobcat before going anywhere (or coming back inside). Although the little bear isn't speaking completely yet he certainly is trying and not only makes sounds that are very close to the proper words but also is quite adept at getting his intent across through a variety of other ways. I know the moment he sets eyes on the bobcat and feel probably much like a horse does as he guides me over to it. As far as word enunciation goes, he has said "bob" very distinctly followed by other sounds and has also said "cat" (but he's practised and had that one down for a while now from the other context) and once he mashed the two with a longish "baaat" sounding word. But he's working on it and seems to be progressing. I know I probably interpret more than an outside observer would from what he says but I know he is trying the proper words and uses them at appropriate occasions. And we have had unbiased (as much as is possible) observers hear him say words (without our prompting them to hear things) so I'm not just an over-achieving mother. Just for future reference for myself, I want to list what he has said so far. Around three months he started saying "hi" (often with just a little aspiration but a clear vowel sound) at the appropriate times and occasionally when prompted. He has mostly dropped this now but waves with his hand (a few minutes after someone has waved at him, usually). Then he would say "Da" or "Dada" appropriately in a very happy voice when he was around eight or nine months. Around the same time he would say "Mama" but always when he was upset in a half-cry... He has dropped this one too but still calls or names James "Da" in a high tone (not to mention the body wriggles and smiles he gets too). I'm trying to remember which came first but around ten months he helped James change some light-bulbs (rather, watched while James changed the light-bulbs...much as I do when I 'help') and from that point was interested in lights and would point to them and say "ight". Then one day James was drinking a Blue and L was trying to grab it so James spelled the word out and said "it says 'Blue'" to which the little guy said "Bu" and has continued to pronounce appropriately (while pointing to the letters as James had). He doesn't have the 'l' down yet but will extend the vowel to the appropriate length for the word "Buuu". Then with the coming of the cats and his immediate interest in them he says "At" or "Ca" or even "It" (probably from kitty) whenever he seas or hears them. This is also said in that high tone he uses for Dad. Even when he doesn't say any word his pitch will heighten considerably when mentioning them. These are the words he is saying fairly consistently and clearly. Along with them he is very good at imitating sounds and miscellaneous other words. Over all it's fascinating and so much fun to be a part of his first steps in language! Now for a couple pictures from this week:
"Sorry, you're a little late for candy now..."
"That's okay: I'll eat this stick instead."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011


Imagine my moment of joy while preparing supper when I discovered four forgotten blobs of dough in the freezer ready and waiting to be transformed by the toaster oven into delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011


on an old tree stump but seeing them I can't help but quote: "I'm going to the market to get some eucalyptus candles to make my apartment smell mossy."
I don't know what it is about You've Got Mail but it's so quotable. Not that that statement is that profound when written out (okay, not profound at all) but it's the way he says it. So many of those lines just stick in my head and when I quote and the other person doesn't get it, it's hard to explain. But it's the perfect movie for Autumn. Well it has some good Spring stuff too. And Christmas...
It's just a great movie. Oh, and I love the colour in these lichens, too!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


After the somewhat downward nature of the last post I figure a good picture is in order. And yes, the title is fully intended as a pun. Haha.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Every once in a while I get overwhelmed by the state of our apartment. Often it gets to the point where we have no horizontal surface that is not covered with an assortment of items. This seems horrific (at least to me) but it's hard to put everything in its place when we don't actually have space for everything. Most of this stuff can't be put away. That seems like an extreme claim but more understandable when you understand that we have to store all of the tools and work miscellany here in the house. Also my little man is at the stage where he loves pulling things out and down but hasn't reached that where I can try to get him to clean up afterwards. The mess often builds much faster than I am able to avert any part of it. It's interesting to see how these piles of stuff can affect my whole outlook on life. Having got myself into a funk over it, it then seeps into how I treat those around me. Not good. My boy had his first meltdown this afternoon and looking at it calmly and rationally afterwards I realize that along with his being under the weather and over-tired from skipping his morning nap, I was not interacting with him as calmly and fairly as I try to normally. I am not about to blame all bad behaviour on myself but I definitely can see how I did more to feed the fire than calm him down. Thankfully James was home, wasn't in the same funk and was able to step in and make it better. It is true that joy doesn't come from our circumstances but I have to remember that it shouldn't be brought down by them either. I also should remember that living with piles of things around me is not the worst of circumstances to survive. I have so much to be thankful for apart from and even within my current circumstances and I will think on these things.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Daddy's kitty

She adores him (of course)
I remember one of the first longer conversations we had over the phone when we were getting to know each other. Almost half of it was taken up with the subject of his cats. True love, I think.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


James put some cuttings in water above our fridge and I love the extra bit of life it brings to the kitchen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


We went on a lovely walk this past weekend from our place to the river and then up by Parliament. Once again, despite being superbly sick it was quite enjoyable.
Speaking of being sick the last weekend, it hasn't gone away and I'm pretty sure by today I have at least a mild case of pneumonia and J has just gone into the clinic for what is either strep or tonsillitis. Our boy has had a tiny cough and I've been watching him closely but so far nothing major. I really hope we don't infect him too severely. Anyway on that note, enjoy the leaves!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend

This weekend the weather couldn't have been better and our health couldn't have been worse. After spending Saturday holed up inside we decided it would be better to get some fresh air and take part in some of the joys of the weekend. Here are a few pictures of the one afternoon spent out of the city. Fun was had by all with cousins playing and a fairly large tree-house being built. The next day we had a lovely large family supper with my relatives. Unfortunately I took no pictures then but the other little ones were also there so it was great to have some younger ones around again. Nice to see how LJ is interacting more and more with other children. Then we celebrated James' birthday yesterday with another perfect day. So over all I am refreshed from the weekend even though I cannot breathe through my nose. The only thing that could have improved it at all would be better health but then perhaps being sick is making me more mindful to be thankful that I haven't been sick in such a long time!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Dress up

James has had two cats for quite a few years. For several years they had been living at his mom's place. This arrangement went well until she relocated (yes, just one of the moves I was involved in) and they came here. It has been interesting having cats in the house. In particular it has been interesting having these cats. I know most cats have personality but I've never met cats with quite this kind of personality. Noon (the one pictured here) will let you dress her up as long as you tell her that she is a pretty girl. In this picture she's wearing her food dish, I feel, with a certain style. The fact she tolerates being dressed up may not be that strange as far as cats go but I believe what sets her apart from the common herd is the fact that her dignity is never called into question no matter how outlandish the outfit. I respect that about her.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Dirt Dirk

Cabbages and things

Dull grey leaves. Nothing fancy.
In the phrase "cabbages and kings" the role of the cabbage is to represent the lowest portion of society (the opposite end of kings on the spectrum). This humble plant gets little fanfare (unless from healthy gourmands). But take this same dull grey leaf and let the light shine through it and it produces such depth of colour.
I have often thought of the many spiritual lessons to be observed through gardening but this is the first time I thought of this facet. The transformation from a nothing to a thing of beauty for this cabbage leaf depends entirely on letting the light shine through it. The light is the transformation.
Utter beauty.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

bopping baby beluga boy

I wish I could post this picture as a video but we're working on that. For now you'll just have to picture the cutest little wiggle imaginable often accompanied by some soft humming. Almost any time he hears music now he starts wiggling in time to it. Because I repositioned the coffee table he now has much easier access to our stereo and it took him less than an hour to figure out how to turn it on and pump up the volume. The only way we can stop him from accidentally blasting the music later at night is to change the setting to one with no current input. I wonder how long it'll take him to figure out how to change it back. He will stand with his left hand holding the stand (after it has done it's job of pushing the power button) and his right hand on the volume dial and weave back and forth. The funniest is when his weaving causes him to turn the volume up and down and up and down as he goes back and forth. I can't get over how cute it is and I'm thrilled that he's showing such an interest in music (yay!). It's so awesome to watch (and participate to a certain extent in) how his personality is growing and emerging. Being musical myself I am so happy to see him show an interest but it makes me wonder how I would take it if he had no interest in music. I really don't want to be pushy and force my tastes or expectations but I have a feeling that will be harder not to do than it first seems. I think we're safe on the music front but we can only see how things work out in the future.

Monday, October 03, 2011

It is finished...for now

Since last July I have been more or less continuously packing and moving or helping others pack and move. This weekend, however, saw the last possible opportunities to finish the final of the moves (they now no longer have possession of the old place so there's nothing more that can be done there). Also this Thursday Mom informed me that she was bringing over the last of the boxes from my old room so even that bit of unpacking and sorting is pretty much wrapped up. I'm super excited about all this being done for now (even though there will be a small move I'll be helping with after Christmas) but I keep having a foreboding that it isn't finished yet. It's too good to be true. I think it will sink in fairly soon. I definitely have something extra to celebrate this Thanksgiving. Even though I want out of this apartment I think I can wait a bit before we move. And I've determined that I will get things packed ahead of time so the actual move doesn't drag on forever. It's interesting to see the various ideas and lessons on how (or how not to) move that appeared from the varying circumstances of the different moves. I hope that I have truly learned from them and at least won't make the same mistakes. I know there'll be mistakes that I make too and difficulties but at least hopefully I'll avoid the larger ones. In any case, I am thrilled that it's done with for now!!

Sunday, October 02, 2011


I don't like pink and it isn't really a Fall colour but these flowers caught my attention the other day and I think they're just right for a cold, wet day like today.