When Karen’s at yoga, Aaron and I take turns cooking dinner and playing with Ryan and Ruby (read: keeping them occupied and out of trouble). Then we gingerly convince them to eat what they can (good days involve utensils), make sure they’re bathed, and put into bed with a story if they’ve been good. Everything is manageable as one but easier with two, especially when the simple act of getting rice into a child’s mouth can turn into an ordeal.
This is when I get to experience the joys of having children in manageable doses. That means not having to deal with diaper changes, and reading the same 30-word book only four times instead of 400.
The new laptops were presents from Nana and Papa at Christmas. Now they can send/receive e‑mails, and blog about the awesome poop they just took.
Ryan used to be particularly excited to see his Uncle Jeff, leaving Aaron and Karen to wonder what got into him when I was around. Now that he’s a bit older, his face doesn’t carry the same glow when I arrive anymore, and he’s happier to see the marbles I brought. But Ruby is beginning that phase of enamour, and constantly clambering into my lap to involve herself in what I’m doing. Recently she started asking me to carry her (which I’m told means membership in an exclusive club consisting of her parents and me), even though she’s just learned to manage stairs by herself.
They seem to grow by inches every week, and they’ll soon be old enough to take care of themselves. I’ve learned to appreciate the little chances I have to be truly part of a family like this, especially after deciding last year against ever having kids of my own. And I don’t feel the need for children anymore cause this will always be enough.
Julia asked me how long I’d been spending Christmas at their house. We figured out this was the seventh year, cause I have pictures of Ginger from 2005, before she died. I can’t say I remember each Christmas distinctly, aside from a few extra faces and occasional makeouts that cause some to stand out more than others. It’s strange to think that I’ve known Braiden for more than half his life. I perpetually think of him as being seven.
The kids are getting older, no longer up at 5am and anxiously waiting by the presents until they’re allowed to wake up the parents. The idea of Santa has long been dispelled. Braiden’s given up being a centre for goalie, lost his post-season scruff cut, and at 13 is only an inch shorter than me. Nicole’s done most of her growing and will be legal in four months, but at the age where she’s still someone’s daughter instead of her own woman. Julia’s sporting a new voice and piercing, but has kept all the sass that comes with being the middle child.
Continue reading “merry x‑mas”…
Everything is balancing itself out. I’ve stopped trying to predict or control my cycles of introversion and extroversion, productivity and procrastination. As Oscar Wilde once said: “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it”. By doing what I want when I feel like it, every need is met in turn.
Life doesn’t get more comfortable than this. It’s been a great summer.
Now on mashed solids. Ruby at 11 months.
I’m glad I got here by myself, without the help of a friend, or lover, or windfall. It was something I had to do on my own, so I’ll always know I’m strong enough to pick myself up and continue growing.
The only thing that’s really missing now is another cat (or two), but I already blew my kitty budget on Leonard’s vet bills. I’m not at the right place for a new adoption anyway, and I’ve decided to wait until my major projects are finished (hopefully some time around the end of the year) before I take on another life.
It’s official; Kyden has the softest, pinchiest cheeks ever at eight months.
I’ve been back from my trip for about a month and a half, but it feels more like a year. I’m so different now from the person I was before I left. I was dying then, but I’m living now.
The only way I can tell how quickly time is truly passing is in the faces of my friends’ babies. Each time I see them they’re making new sounds, saying new words, more conscious and coherent. I used to envy the carefree innocence they have when running about naked, the single-mindedness they possess when engrossed with a new toy, but now I feel like one of them.
Leave it to Fédéric and Misun to host an awesome costume party, even though Halloween was over two weeks ago. They decided to have a party anyway, in a part of town where they only had two trick-or-treaters. There was quite a decent turnout (about 40 children) without having done any advertising, save for a flier on their door, and I’m sure they all left tired and full from numerous sweets.
Of note is the wooden castle in the backyard, which Fédéric built for the kids, and which they quite appropriately adored.
Europe 2010 travel diaries
- France: Arrival
- France: Day 3, Chartres
- The Partisan
- France: Day 5, Chartres
- Baby Scary Party
- France: Day 6, Paris
- Call me McNgangus
- France: Day 7, Rochefort-en-Terre
- France: Day 8, La Roche-Bernard
- France: Day 9, Rochefort-en-Terre
- UK Detour: Day 10, Chartres to London
- UK Detour: Day 11, London
- A passenger in London
- UK Detour: Day 12, London
- UK Detour: Day 13, London to Ullapool
- UK Detour: Day 14, Ullapool
- UK Detour: Day 15, Ullapool
- UK Detour: Day 16, Ullapool
- France: Day 18, Paris
- France: Day 19, Chartres + Paris
Frédéric and Misun were briefly in Canada. They went on a short cruise with Misun’s parents and made a quick stop in Ottawa so naturally I took the chance to see them. It was a lovely evening for a barbecue and eating out in the sun.
It’s so interesting to hear about everything they’re doing with their little art gallery studio, adding to my excitement of visiting them in a few months.
Seeing the new baby. Mommy barely looks like she was pregnant, and Frédéric looks like he’s been eating well in France.
Miric tests out the paper airplane launcher I bought the boys. It was one of the few non-violent toys I could find in Toys R Us.
Continue reading “Friends from France”…