Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Recent reading

I may have mentioned this before but during my degree I made myself a rule only to read books on the course lists (after all, they're exactly the books I wanted to read in any case so it wasn't a difficult rule for the most part). Having emerged from both my BA and my MA I now have no rules as to reading lists so have been following whims and suggestions. I also have the desire to fill in some of the blanks and read some more of the 'classic' books one would expect to have an acquaintance and an opinion about having fallen out the other side of an English degree. So recently I have read (among others I may not remember at this moment): Eliot's Daniel Deronda, Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, and James' Portrait of a Lady. Even having just read them I find this list quite attractive. Now I'm reading some essays about Daniel Deronda and Portrait of a Lady. It feels good to be back in the swing of literary studies especially with September just around the corner. I'll have a few years off from the imposition of the school year but I don't think I'll be able to break the habit of feeling studious at the arrival of the first chill in the air.

his ears are burning...

someone must be talking about him

Cold day

Instead of visiting the grave site on the anniversary of my Grandma's death we decided to remember by gathering to continue a family tradition of racing tiny home-made boats across a small backwater nearby. It's what she would have done. The day turned out appropriately gloomy and cold (contrasting with the beautiful weather we've had all summer but understandable considering the proximity of the hurricane) but there was warmth in the gathering. I am so glad we did this.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Messy Boy

This is some of the results of self-feeding sessions.

You should see my walls and floor...


The title of one of the Stephen King books (made into a movie too, I think) popped into my head as I thought of this post. I believe the story goes somewhere along the lines of a fat man being cursed by becoming thinner. This doesn't seem too scary (isn't it the goal of many?) until lack of control enters the picture. No matter what he eats, he keeps losing weight. I don't know how it ends but one can see the potential for some sort of starvation amid piles of food. Hmm. Come to think of it, that isn't quite the picture I might want to draw here. Maybe we should drop that association but in some strange way it is slightly applicable.

Taking note of most of my experience and observation I had prepared myself upon my pregnancy never to have the same body as I had had previously. I am not claiming to have had an amazing body at any point. I was strong (spending years engaged in physical labour will do that to you apparently) but not with the sculpted look of a gym-bunny. I was for the most part pleased with my body: it was not ugly and it accomplished much of what I need it to. I always felt I should eat a bit more healthily and perhaps shed a bit of the extra fat I seemed to have hanging around but it never worried me. But upon entering pregnancy I was fully prepared to resemble a beached whale for most of the term until giving birth at which point I would start to tend more to the penguin aesthetic.

Imagine my surprise when during pregnancy it mostly looked like I was a little girl imitating pregnancy by holding a balloon under my shirt. I can say this in no way to boast because it really had nothing to do with anything I did. Apparently each person's body responds differently to pregnancy and I was one of the lucky ones who had few discomforts under the physical appearance head (note I say nothing of the unseen but much-felt discomforts that fall under other headings). Being unable to engage in the same level of physical activity during my pregnancy I unfortunately lost much of my muscle mass so in the end gained few actual pounds even by the end of the pregnancy.

They say a quick and easy way to shed ten pounds is to cut off one's head. I decided to give birth instead and, although not an easy procedure, in the end it was quite as effective with a better chance of surviving the ordeal (although it may not seem so at the time and, really, at times in our history it didn't hold a great survival rate either). So I dropped the package and finally had room in there to draw breath again. I was left with a bit of a belly and extremely thin arms (in my books). I paid little attention to my weight gain or loss because there was suddenly someone else whose weight seemed more important. I watched him grow and gain with pleasure and awe.

I happily saw my belly subside but bemoaned the loss of my muscles and, although carrying around a child is a fairly good work-out it still doesn't compare to shovelling gravel and lugging half a ton of flagstone around daily. I started to notice that I was losing weight in more than just my belly. My pants were requiring a belt more frequently and a couple pair I had been considering donating because they were a bit small on me before I became pregnant (and, as I thought, would never fit me again) were fitting me quite well.

It wasn't until my boy reached about twenty pounds when, seeing the bathroom scale at a friend's house, I decided to weigh myself to see just how much weight I had lost and I discovered that I had lost as many pounds off my pre-pregnant weight as my boy weighed!

Oh the wonders of breast-feeding! I can eat as much as I like and it all gets passed along as good fat to my growing boy! Of course, I am also more conscious to eat better foods now that I am introducing him to food so that may account for some of it too. A friend who is a year ahead of me in the motherhood line also mentioned to me to beware after weaning because it can just as unconsciously creep right back on (and this time it is more certain to creep on in the form of fat as opposed to muscle) but I'm currently enjoying the fat of the land while I can.

So it turned out to be true that my body would not be the same after having had a baby but instead of going the way I had anticipated I got back the body I had at fourteen (just before starting my first physically-demanding job). It's insane. I don't want to appear smug to those who have had trouble with weight gain or loss. I personally, although never to the extreme, have gone through times when I know I should lose even five pounds to be more healthy and have had an extremely hard time accomplishing such a goal. This is one of those things that has happened to me without any virtue arising from within. But I suppose I should enjoy it while I can. I never thought I would have to go out to buy an entire wardrobe of smaller clothes, though. Thank goodness for second-hand shops!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's about the details

This is simply how I shall remember the moment.

Poor Nooner

Our cats are a definite hit with the youngest member of our household. Their appearances into his field of vision are always greeted with some sort of squeal. Midnight will simply make her way back to a quiet hidey-hole at first opportunity but Nooner is much more tolerant of infantile attempts at caresses. Eventually if she doesn't feel up to being mauled she will walk off but she tolerates him longer than one might expect. Imagine the little guy's delight when waking from a nap this morning he discovered his favourite live-action teddy-cat sleeping close by on the very same couch! If she did not enjoy the moment to the full extent as he perhaps she was simply too lazy to move.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


My little man is currently fascinated by his board books. He likes to turn the pages himself and not only is fairly good at getting them one at a time but also consistently will turn them the appropriate way (without my prompting). It is so cute to see him reading by himself.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Today's rainbow


When the little guy was littler there were a few times that I attempted to have him fall asleep by himself (without me feeding him) and it worked sometimes and didn't others. This summer has been so busy and we've been out so much of the time that I haven't even tried in quite a while. I have thought about it and hope that it doesn't mean the habit makes weaning etc difficult but I haven't worried too much about it. Then the other night he was fussy and restless so Daddy held him for a minute or two and he seemed better. When I looked over I found that he had fallen asleep in Daddy's arms. I know I won't be trying this every night/naptime but it's good to see that he still is okay with alternate routines. Oh, and it's adorable!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Thinker revisited

He has so many different expressions! It's difficult to catch them all but I try...