Sunday, December 30, 2012

Smiles

Here are a couple recent pictures of my boys:
two little heart-melters

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Day of Days

Merry Christmas! Why am I posting at this time on Christmas morning, you ask? Because I am awake and my boys are all still sleeping. Judging from past sleep-in days they may not wake up until around eleven. Do I wake them prematurely? I think at this point in time I am the most excited about Christmas. Our two-year-old hasn't experienced the season enough for anticipation to cause wakefulness and my husband has worked quite a bit with the huge snow storm we had recently. It's lovely to have snow on Christmas but it's also quite nice to have a husband. I think I'll let them sleep. It'll be my gift to them...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wal-E's here!

And he's been here for two weeks already. I'm definitely behind in updating but I do believe he's part of the reason I'm a little behind in some matters. He's already gained over a pound beyond his birth-weight and is doing a bit more looking around in between all the sleeping and eating. In a way I'm in no hurry to get to the next milestone but at the same time I can't wait to discover his personality because we've had so much fun with our first one! Anyway enough of my writing, here are a few of the (multiple) pictures we have of him:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Number two

I had been meaning to write a birthday post for my boy last Monday but we all came down with a terrible awful cold and have been barely subsisting for the past week. I'm still unable to breathe and have no sense of smell (not to mention residual aches etc) but feel a little more human today. I'm also feeling a little more on the point of giving birth so maybe that's prompting my need to write this now while I still have two free hands.
It's hard to believe that two years have passed since our boy was born. Although it is not hard to believe that he is two years old. He is getting so independent and it's great to see. He's also going through some fairly large transitions these days and I hope they don't overwhelm him.
The first is that we have finally moved him into his own room. He loves it but the last two nights has woken up in the middle of the night and been disoriented (or possibly lonely) in the room by himself so I've found him by the front door crying to have the lights turned on. He has settled back to bed (first time he had to come into our room but the second night he was fine back in his own bed) and I'm hoping that it passes quickly. During the day he loves to bring books onto his bed and set up his little shelf and side-table and there has been no problem getting him to bed at night so I think he's taking it quite well over all.
The second is that he's become amenable to wearing underwear these past few days and has done quite well with it. He was quite good at using the potty during the summer but during and after my kidney stone I haven't worried about dealing with that issue so we've been lazy and stuck mostly to diapers. He's progressed a little at various times but then one day last week when his daddy asked if he wanted to wear underwear he was thrilled to try and fine with keeping it up.
The third, and by far largest, transition is in the works at the moment. I don't think it'll be many days before his little brother makes an appearance. I think he's as prepared as he can be but it will be a major change in his life and I hope will be mostly positive. I do wonder how this change will affect how he deals with the other changes and I only hope that these other milestones will not be affected negatively by having a new baby and a new position in the family.
But whatever happens, I know that he is growing up and is a boy I am thrilled to call mine (mostly through who he is as a person, not stemming much from what I have to do with it...). I've been blessed to be able to spend most of my time these past two years with my sunny son as my companion and I look forward to seeing more of his character as he develops and grows and matures.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Christmas children

Although this boy is due in early December (and I'm ready to have him out any time now), thoughts of Christmas seem to be tied to his birth in my mind. Everything from the fact that Christmas is about birth and new life; to hopes that I will still be able to make and keep meaningful traditions with my family despite the inevitable busyness and exhaustion that come with a newborn; to the reading material I am bringing to the hospital. Logan was born only two weeks earlier than this one's due date but doesn't seem like a Christmas baby to me. We had a small Christmas at home that year. It was larger with the extended family and the last one to take place at Grandma's.
Maybe the difference is that this year with Logan understanding more I feel more urge to make sure our Christmas at home is special for everyone. Maybe, too, seeing all those ideas flooding pinterest has re-inspired me on the varying levels and facets of the beauty of Christmas. Either way, I love Christmas and having my favourite holiday season tied to my second son's birth is okay by me.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Nesting

Now that the due date is less than a month away I have been working more than ever to get things organized and ready around here for our baby's arrival. I've been wondering if it's evidence of the nesting instinct that often is said to be linked to the last little while before a baby is born. I also tried looking back to think if I felt anything of it with my last baby. Perhaps I am not in touch with my inner self but I don't really feel as I think it would feel to be motivated by a nesting instinct. I also think it's more commonly linked to the day/s immediately before giving birth, rather than several weeks before so maybe that has something to do with it. The only thing that changed the day before giving birth last time was that I ate my entire supper that evening (something the baby had been preventing by taking up all the extra room in there). Thinking about my motivation these days I believe it has more to do with desperation and deadlines than any internal instinct. Either way it is good that I have been able to finish a lot of what needs to be done. Now is not the time to let my procrastinationatory tendencies take over because babies can't really be postponed...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gathering His jewels

Autumn is my favourite season. It has been said (and I usually think it a pleasant thought) that Autumn is a second spring with every leaf a flower. I may have mis-quoted that slightly and I can't remember who said it (and this is a time that I refuse to default to google for my memory but that's another topic) but that's the gist of the quotation. In any case it is a pleasant thought and I do agree but at the same time I think other metaphors are equally powerful in describing the beauty of Autumn and go beyond by exploring the aspect of age that is absent in any springtime metaphors.
This picture, to me, embodies something that I've often felt about leaves but never described or captured quite so well before. When looking at a leaf such as this one in a regular manner it would appear lifeless. The glory of display has left (if it was ever there) and it has fallen into a heap of other seemingly dull dead detritus. But when you see it at the proper angle and it catches the light it becomes a glowing gemstone - something it couldn't be until that moment in time. I could go on about what thoughts this metaphor brings to mind and what lessons I get from this object but I don't have time and I think it might take away from the simplicity of the image.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fictional musings

I have been doing a bit of editing this past while (and loving it) and have been asked by several different people if I intend on writing anything myself at any time soon. This is a question that I have struggled with on and off ever since starting my University career. Before that time I would write little dribbles of stories and had several more ideas brewing at all times. But then all that was cut off partially by being busy developing actual writing skills (although I never took part in a creative writing workshop so just dealing with the mechanics of writing) and partially by seeing what good writing truly looks like from the inside. I realize now that what I liked to compose during my highschool days were really just written-out daydreams. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I've just passed by the stage in which I want to imagine my life being lived out in a multitude of other ways. What it all comes down to is that I have very little inspiration left.
So now I generally fill any creative writing desire (along with satisfactions of other kinds) with the type of editing I have been doing recently - working with an author to improve a text. But unexpectedly, having been asked to write a review of the text as a whole I found myself plunged into the musings of what writing is all about. The whole process (to a certain extent) came back at me and I found myself asking myself the same questions I have been asked as to why I haven't been writing more.
At just this point in time I was loaned a book written by Fay Weldon called Letters to Alice, on first reading Jane Austen in which Fay writes to a (fictional) niece who is an aspiring writer. The book is a blend of a lovely critique of Austen and of sage, and occasionally off-beat, advice on what it is like to be a writer. This book came to me at the exact time when what she had to say fit perfectly both with what I was hoping to articulate in my review and with what I needed to hear personally.
I still do not know if I shall ever take up my pen to attempt to compose literature (I find that Fay expressed my position better than I could with the simple phrase: "the paralysis of the over-literate") but I now have the urge to work on that side of my creativity more so it's a start. And I have plans on sharing some of my favourite quotes from the book here in the near future so it will not all be in vain in any case. I shall leave you at this point with one of the quotes that should give me a certain amount of comfort: "Fiction is much safer than non-fiction. You can be accused of being boring, but seldom of being wrong."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Moments of gentleness

Logan had been sitting on the couch with Rabbity (my old stuffed rabbit) for quite a while this morning. I went near to see what he was doing and discovered him alternately knocking Rabbity down so she would bump her head (usually accompanied with giggles) and then picking her up and kissing her head where it hurt. I certainly have a boy on my hands but am so thankful that for the most part his exuberance it tempered pretty well with gentleness...
Last night was the first time he consistently has been able to ask 'please' when he would like something. It's nice that he's so eager (so far) to use this new word. Even when he forgets and I have to prompt him he responds with a grin, the cutest 'pees', and usually claps his hands at himself afterwards. Oh, if this would only be our attitude more often!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Little boy blue

The light was beautiful last evening and Logan was wearing a great blue sweater. So, of course, I couldn't resist taking as many pictures as possible. It's no wonder he's so comfortable taking pictures himself since that seems to be something we do a lot of in this household.
Not pictured here but on our walk last night Logan decided that I had taken enough pictures and that it was his turn so I tied the strap a little shorter and he started snapping away. I did delete most of the pictures afterwards but there were at least four that turned out pretty well. It was also interesting to see what he chose to capture: we have a good one of the backhoe, one of a rock, one of the trees and one of the bushes nearby. I need hardly tell you that there were quite a few people stopping to comment on our little shutter-bug. It's neat to see how children pick up on things so quickly and imitate so thoroughly (he even was crouching down at certain points to get different angles).
I find I upload enough pictures to facebook so I usually try limit myself to picking the best one or two out of each photo time but it's nice to be able to upload the whole bunch at once and not have to worry about leaving any good ones out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Twenty-Two Months

I just realized that Logan is twenty-two months old today. I suppose we're closer to the point of counting his age by years and half-years (and almosts and just-overs) rather than months (or weeks, or days) now. Also with being pregnant again I have enough numbers to try to keep in mind. Although sometimes going roughly by trimesters or simply giving the due date will satisfy my interlocutor. I was just thinking the other day of various things I am enjoying about this stage and how I love getting to know his personality more day by day. I realized it's been a little while since I have listed some of the things that I love about him that seem to be particular to this stage. So here is a bit of a list of things precious to me about my little Logi-bear
I love how he tilts his head to the side and nods (not to mention the little hand-gestures that go along with it and the earnest facial expressions) as he is trying to explain something to you or show you that he understands what you are explaining to him. I love how he loves to give squishy-hugs. I love how he truly wants to help. I love how he goes through complicated stories about feeding ducks or fishing or anything that may have happened recently. I love how he is a little shadow for his daddy. I love how they tell stories together. I love how he loves his books (starting all by himself into picture books with stories rather than just board books). I love how he is careful about most things and gentle with very little reminders. I love how he is getting to be so good with the cats. I love how he wants to cuddle when he wakes up every morning. I love how he talks to people on the phone (and just about melted completely when I was away and got to talk to him on the phone myself). I love how he voluntarily shares a bit of what he's eating most of the time. I love how he seems to understand (as far as he is able, I'm sure) about his baby brother. I love how he'll come over and touch my belly to see if he can feel the baby (and shrug if he doesn't feel anything). I love that he plays well with most other children. I love how he goes running for a hug as soon as daddy is home. I love how explaining the 'why' of the matter is usually what it takes for him to avoid most bad behaviour. I love how he still enjoys his blankies. I love how well he goes to bed. I love how he has favourite toys (but not to the point where he has a fit if one is lost). I love how he tries to fix everything. I love how he builds things with blocks and how he is role-playing much more now with various toys. He is just so precious and I love who he is at this very moment.
A tiny taste of the head-tilt...

Toaster Oven Banana Bread

I may have mentioned this previously but the bottom element of our oven burned out sometime this past spring. Over this extremely hot summer the fact I couldn't use the oven wasn't much of a hardship (although I do love to bake) but with the return of cooler weather I find myself wishing for freshly baked goods and attempting ways to side-step the need for our full oven. My latest experiment included banana bread and tiny receptacles baked in our tiny toaster oven. I tried it two different ways: once completely baked in the toaster oven and once started in the microwave and finished in the toaster oven (this latter method sans the metal pans, of course). I found the microwave cut down significantly on the baking time but gave the little loaves less of a loaf shape - it seemed to cause the tops to remain flat rather than puff a little. The problem I had with the larger dishes in the toaster oven was that they seemed primarily to brown on the tops and the sides were fairly crustless (although still baked through). Because my favourite part of the banana loaf is the crust this poses a slight problem but there seems to be enough top-to-bread ratio in these sizes to satisfy my crusty cravings.
Over all I think I shall call this a success. And will likely make several more attempts at this technique in the coming weeks. I have heard rumours that our oven may be fixed soon but I will wait until it actually occurs before planning on it happening.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Haircut

Logan's hair does not grow very quickly. James has trimmed the hair around his ears a couple times but that's been it for haircutting for our boy until last night. Logan's hair had been getting to the point where it was more often messy than not. I will miss the bunch of curls at the back of his head but I really like the results of his cut. There isn't a huge difference but to me he looks older. I also really appreciate that his hair (so far) has been tidy all the time but still looks natural. I think James did an excellent job cutting it all by hand. Logan was really good at sitting still through the process, too. He did forget a few times and I know James was more stressed about messing things up than he let on but it all turned out really well.
Of course he had to help Dad shave before Dad shaved him around his ears and neck.
Fascinated while watching the meticulous process.
Don't worry, the it is not really cut in a mowhawk: this is just part-way through the cut. I suppose a 'before' picture of sorts would be good too:
I haven't really taken any 'after' pics yet but they will certainly be coming with any subsequent pictures of Logan so you'll have to take my word until then that it turned out well.