Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Unpublished.

Behind the blog in the list of published posts, there are the drafts. Those posts unfinished, an idea conceived but unborn, sometimes rambling, unorderly, too-long thoughts with no wrap-up. Incomplete pieces I was unable to bring around into a full and coherent idea, short on time to finish writing or when the positive spin on a negative spiel was eluding me. Whatever the reason, a missing link short of hitting publish. But tucked into the folds there are bits of brillance, however unfinished, that I thought I'd post today as I cleaned up that list.

There are interesting links that never got connected to a post, like:
Some posts are only a title, content empty, nothing more than a glimpse of a thought. One was titled “Sometimes, I’m wrong.” Yep. Sometimes I certainly am. Although I have no idea now what that particular admission was referring to right then.

Some posts make me laugh, like this one, “To allowance or not to allowance” from February 2010.
We've been thinking about giving Thane an allowance. Well, mostly, Thane's been thinking about buying things.

One thing in particular. He turned seven in the fall and received his coveted DS. This had been his major request since the Christmas before so we figured it was time. He was very stoked about the gift, DS'd his eyeballs out for a good week, and then... asked for another game.
Or just ramblings with no end point, like this one, (with a funny title) "Should is a bad word."
I can see both sides of most arguments the majority of the time. My husband is a notorious devils advocate as well, often prompting me to clarify "Is that how you really feel or are you just pointing out the other side?" during many of our conversations.

I will one day feel my opinions place me squarely on one side of a debate, only to have those opinions challenged immediately, leaving me feeling very wishy-washy, leaving that strange saying "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything" ringing in my brain.
I think the balance is to do our best, calmly. Breathe.
Sugar takes a lot of time in my brain. How addicted I am to it, how innate it is for us to love it, how it infiltrates our food from every direction. At one point it was good for our foraging selves to desire the healthful, sweet berries we would occasionally find. Now it's everywhere and our systems are on overload, leaving me worried about the little bodies whose well-being I'm responsible for.
I have to remind myself that we have to eat something, that even though I can find faults in all food options doesn't mean I need to.
Another was titled "Contradictions", from March of 2011.
Seth was rewarded yesterday and I'm not sure how I feel about it. When he is frustrated the thumb goes in, the arms cross, and he's not moving or talking anymore. The towel is thrown in. So sometimes, I'll admit, not sure what else to do, we walk on eggshells to not set him off, for fear of ruining an event, a day, a plan. I mean, we talk to him when he's calm about using his words, taking deep breaths, but that doesn't really help in the moment. Well, he's been asserting this passive aggresive response at school as well. Apparently sitting under a table when mad doesn't go over so well.
So his teacher set up a sticker chart for him.
Apparantly I couldn't finish articulating my contradictory thoughts on the sticker chart. I seem to remember it having something to do with him getting a prize, for essentially being difficult in class in the first place, in front of Thane, who has always been good in class and not awarded for the consistent good effort.

There are so many on sleep. Especially prevalent during Max’s prime no-sleep months. A time with lots of time for thinking and reflection, and so little focus to finish a thought. "Morning Musings" on April 9, 2011 reads simply,
Why are there morning people and not morning people? And why must I be the latter?.
And then there's this one, showcasing some quality indecisive tiredness.
Sleep... am I lazy because I nap, or am I healthier for napping, my body thanking me, a more sane and patient mother, helping my family by resting? Or do I really just suffer from lactic acid and a messy house for the nap, needing to go for a walk or fold laundry instead. Sleep-training for Max, is his lack of nap schedule good, caused by and aiding our busy family, or bad, causing even more chaos? 
I'll leave with you a few I decided to publish anyway, a bit retrofitted now but post's I thought were still good enough to stand on their own. It seemed such a shame to just delete them because I didn't have time to edit them at the time.

A post titled just Sleep.
Penning in Max.
'Just' the errands.
A poor me, Boring Mommy day.
And a newer post, Laundry Solace.

It's like six posts in one today folks! Enjoy!


Sunday morning. The November sky is grey.

The house is quiet.

The boys play a new video game. Claire is feverish, falling asleep on the couch. It's naptime for Max. Troy and I retreat to our own corners, to nurse our coffees and our colds in front of our own screens.

Troy comments the house looks like a frathouse after the weekend. Someone needs to clean up this mess. We will take on that frathouse and this day. After these coffees.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kid Quotables

I love driving with my kids in tow. It's when I hear the really good stuff.

On the way home the other night, Thane emerged from gazing out the window, breaking the silence with this thought.
"Can you imagine what it was like before you learned how to read?

It's like as soon as you know how to read the way you knew things before just vaporizes. You don't even remember what it was like to not be able to read. 

Like, if Seth and I switched bodies I would be in kindergarten but I would still know how to read." 
At one point the thought of my kids growing older made me really sad. I thought it would be so awful and hard for me to lose my sweet, cute, snuggly little chubby cherubs.

But my big kid is so interesting. He has thoughts, quirks, and opinions. I love listening to him.

I am really liking this new chapter.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A pause.

The other day as I bustled about in a morning rush on a chilly windy morning, getting Max and the boys and our things for the day into the van, I stopped, noticing Claire was not in line. A quick look around found her standing mesmorized on her way to the van, watching the leaves fall around her like rain from the big front yard tree.

A few days later, I hassled Seth to shut the door quickly, "You're letting the heat out, we're not ready to go out yet.", when he stopped me.

"But it smells like winter Mommy. Smell." 

And it did. The cold smelled so good.

That night, Max and I were on our way up the stairs in the dark, his head snuggled on my shoulder, ready for bed, when we heard the geese hosting their annual general meeting in the river. The honking is loud when there's so many of them. Max perked up and we stood at the top of the stairs for a while, looking out the window and listening to the change of season in the dark.

Sometimes, I love when they make me stop.    

Sunday, October 23, 2011


We had a problem.

Actually, Blankie had three problems.

Blankie was falling apart. 

Blankie, who has played the supporting role to Claire's lead in life, the other family member throughout our photo albums over the years, the superstar of bedtime, was in need of our help.

Or we would have a very sad girl.   

I had made blankie way back when Claire was born. Now, at the ripe old age of three, a much more faded and soft, well-loved blankie needed a facelift. So Claire and I made a plan.

Armed with a few scrap fabrics and a couple of Claire's cute old shirts that I had saved for just such an occasion, we went to work.

Now blankie sports three beautiful new patches and Claire couldn't be more pleased!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Laundry solace.

I love this post.

I love that a chair like this, a gorgeous chair I've seen a million times in beautiful, well designed and serene settings, can also be piled with laundry.

Monday, October 10, 2011

On the night bus.

We drove home from Nova Scotia this evening.

"Look at the sunset guys".

I think the most enriching sentence I had said to the kids this trip.

It was duely noted. The sky was pink, peach, warm yellow, meeting the black silhouette of the forest at dusk below it, looking like it had been cut out of black paper and placed on the sky, the road aiming into the sun, white lines glowing.

My earlier wild-eyed, "Seth, if you don't stop throwing things SOMEBODY is going to get hurt" moment, paired with a threatening point in his direction with Claire's shoe, the missile he had just launched at Max for no apparent reason at all and I was seriously, however briefly, considering beaning back at his head, definitely hadn't earned any amazing mother of the day awards. At which Troy chuckled, not helping, proceeding to describe that I sounded like a stand-up act I hadn't seen, pointing out that the somebody who was going to get hurt was very vague and didn't sound like I was necessarily referring to the people Seth was throwing things at.

In the back were two runny noses; Claire a dirty faced ragamuffin straggly haired but cheerful mess singing loudly and persistently, Max whining in between losing his food in his seat and mashing it into his eyebrows, both of them succumbing to the beginnings of a cold. Seth was the crankiest boy alive. I almost hope he's getting sick to at least give an excuse for his crap behaviour. Thane was holding in there as long as his DS batteries held out. The van was loud, even just the road noise seemed louder than usual. The van was crowded, every space packed with a body or bag, food, pillows, garbage. It had been a large weekend. A beautiful enjoyable long Thanksgiving weekend. But a weekend we were on the losing end of.

The trip home.

Some trips go better than others. Max did not enjoy this trip. Taking a big kid on a long drive? Sure. A baby? No problem. A toddler, no thanks.

When the older boys were babies we used to favor the night trip approach. Tucking pyjamaed boys into the car we would head off, them soon for sleep and Mommy and Daddy to whisper the trip away in the dark, coffees in hand. But then they got bigger and entertaining themselves became easier by light. Now, we just have all of the different ages to consider and pluses and minuses to any schedule.

Thane's video game batteries died.

"Agh," he lamented, "if I have to listen to Dora for three more hours I'll go insane!"

Then he proceeded to complain that he was starving in between 'righting' his brothers wayward behaviour with more violence. The alpha-male conflict will be the end of me.

But finally, thankfully, we made it to the night part of the trip.

We always make it don't we.

The point when the sunset marks the beginning of quiet. One by one the voices, the gnashing of teeth, the bored little trapped and antsy bodies drop off to sleep. Mommy begins instead to hear soft breathes in and out. What was the roar becomes the quiet of the road taking us home.

Friday, September 30, 2011


As I'm pouring a coffee today, Seth says,

"I don't think Oscar the Grouch ever knew about coffee."

So funny and pitiful all at the same time. I guess he's picked up on my coffee enabled transformation from tired cranky mommy to cheerful mommy.

Poor Oscar the Grouch, think how different his life could have been if someone had thought to introduce him to the little black bean.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Into the woods we go.

We went on the most beautiful walk over the weekend.

After a pretty lazy couch vegetable Sunday we all needed a little fresh air before bed. Also both Max and Claire had had late naps and needed toddler size workouts in order for bedtime to happen.

It was after supper before we were coordinated enough to head out, the fall sun was quickly lowering, the sky red, so we had to keep it close and decided to head for this little trail nearby we had heard about.

The trail was full of little wonders. An old shed, house, or a workshop? Isolated in the woods, trees growing through the windows and falling in on itself, sundried and grey, the door hanging open, you couldn't help but imagine what it's once upon a time was. The most beautiful pile of cars ever seen, circa nineteen forty Troy guessed, with two front windows, round top and wheel wells, two round little headlights sticking up on the front, the seats eaten, rust brown and moss covered. Animal trails leading down to the brook on the side, through the bright lime soft moss forest floor, a hill rising on our other side, with tall straight thick dark evergreens and slim light hardwoods beginning to lose their leaves. Old trees lay composing, soft and squooshy. Sometimes the trail weaved dangerously close to a ravine ledge over the brook, thrilling the kids, making my heart skip a beat, holding their little hands tight. The sunset light made it magical, serene, at times the long shadows made it a little haunting, a tad eery.

It was such a pretty little trail we decided to go back again yesterday to take some pictures, joined by my nieces and my mom, my mother's and Thane's shared birthday. The light of course was different midday, but no less beautiful, just different. More cheery. I almost got nice pictures of each of the kids, except Seth was either on the move or not smiling in all of his. My mission for nice pics to enlarge for the wall almost accomplished.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oh so Wembley.

Hello there blog. It's me. A stranger, I know.

Writing feels forced today. Awkward, rough. It's been too long to feel familiar. I've been so busy. Not nice busy. Hectic busy. Missing my kids, feeling like each one hasn't received enough of me at the end of each day, feeling like things are slipping through the cracks busy.

I jumped into the middle of a wave of doing at work, spectacular enjoyable great for the gallery events. But now it's time to settle into a quiet planning month. There has to be the inhale exhale combination. Especially when the inhale has been so huge.

I'm not sure if I've written about my Fraggle personality theory before.

I think everybody is one of the Fraggles.

In recent years, I would tell you I'm a Mokey. She's everything zen and sees the beauty everywhere, readily embracing each situation, a positive thinker. Googling her name to remember the spelling I came across a site listing the character qualities of each Fraggle. Mokey's list reads motherly, spiritual, and optimistic. The me I like to be. The me I often am. 

But the busy-ness. Agh, the busy-ness. It leaves me feeling so... Wembley.

Wembley's list reads young, nervous, indecisive.

Not the me I want to be.

My catch phrase this month could have been, "What do you think?" I couldn't seem to weigh out an idea and make a plan if my life depended on it. There was simply no time to take a minute to figure it all out. I've been spending empty moments fretting about what might have been forgotten, not present in the moment. I don't work well at full capacity.

So with my calendar turned to a month with so much more white space, I'm onto a planning spree. Brainstorming, thinking, listing, scheduling. Spacing the doing out properly to create quality over quantity. Long term plans, prioritizing, action lists. A plan to work and be able to be present plan, a plan with breathing room. For gallery and renovations and my little people. Before me sits bits of paper, full of numbers, don't forgets, schedules and dates. And lovely blank paper with, more importantly, a blank stretch of time, waiting for the marching orders, to be filled with want-to's, have to's, the what, when, who and where. The don't forgets should turn into won't forgets, the running nowhere into progress, the chaos into a rhythm. Ahh...

Love the exhale.   

Sunday, August 14, 2011


So apparently, going back to work sucks up time previously used for blogging. Imagine that.

As far as that transition goes though, we're all rolling along doing okay. The first week we were superstars, our mornings planned and packed the night before, meal planning all in place. Troy was my hero, rising early, feeding the kids breakfast, getting us out the door before he left for work, taking the helm when I came home and crashed in the evening, exhausted with a brain that hurt from more use than it had seen a while. The second week was a bit of a disorganized trainwreck, thank heavens for mother-in-laws who come to visit and feed my family. Week three saw us even out though, back to something that slightly resembles organized and scheduled.

Max has made out pretty well. He's pretty sooky and missing Mommy by Thursday evening (my longest day that throws him for a loop), but the long weekend with my Monday's off seems to be enough snuggle time to replenish him to happily begin again the next week. I thought that perhaps our time apart would naturally curb the amount of nursing he would be doing, maybe heading towards the morning and bedtime only nursing twice a day point I had envisioned we would be at by now, but returning to work has pretty much done the exact opposite. Maxwell actually seems to compensate for the seperation by compacting the same amount of nursing, maybe more, into the shorter periods we have together. He will stop at no cost for his committment to breastfeeding, even giving up his quality full nights sleep to hang out with Mommy at 3 am. Yep.

At least this time around I had no illusions that there would be no stress in the transition. Before I was always stressed and puzzled by my kids seemingly random 'symptoms', behaviour changes that I would only later realize were connected to a major change. Like I said, things are quickly settling into a new comfortable normal, but the first few weeks held things like more defiance from my biggest boy, more 'baby voice' from the second, and Claire took to tackling my thighs and crying, "Howd me Mommy!", usually while Max had me in his "You will not put me down and disappear again!" deathgrip. Breaks my heart!

Plus we've still been on the go, as you do when there is so much summer to fit into so little time.

So this weekend, we skipped a handful of events that we wanted to attend, we should have attended, would have been good to attend, and just stayed home. 

We slowed down, hung out, and puttered away.

We decided to finally go get the apple tree we had been discussing. We had envisioned having a bit of an apple orchard eventually. Our hopes are that by the time we have teenagers we'll be growing enough of our own food to offset the cost.


We bought a few more than one. Seven actually. The late-summer price was right, we got a little distracted by pear trees, and it just kinda grew from there.

We're pretty good at go big or go home.

We're now the proud owners of two pear trees (a Bartlett and a Flemish), two Honey Crisp apples trees (yum!), a Cortland (usually a favorite from the grocery store), an Empire apple tree (a heartier descendant of the McIntosh, but better for our harsher zone 3), and a Paulared (a NB heritage breed, which I thought sounded excellent). So yeah, seven. We haven't yet managed to plant the flower or veggie gardens we've been dreaming up, so apparently we decided to make up for it with trees.

Troy just realized today how long it is going to take to dig seven tree size holes.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


All the signs are pointing in one direction.

We're back from summer vacation, our days neck deep in swimming lessons, and the ball schedule is well on its way. My last maternity leave payment has been deposited, a scribble on my calendar tells me next Tuesday holds a meeting at work to catch up on what I've missed the past year. The grocery list holds cake ingredients for Max's birthday dinner.

My baby's turning one year old.

From the smooth sailing start of another healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, feeling smug that I knew all there was to know about babies, to the plummet that was January through April with Max's health troubles and my humbling white flag moments, I've never had such a 'we made it' feeling at a first birthday.

We made it. Either we've learned to manage his skin better (definitely), his allergy elimination treatments are working (no food hives lately anyway), he's growing out of the eczema and allergies (fingers crossed), or a combination of all of these (probable). I hadn't truely appreciated a poopy diaper until I had dealt with a constantly constipated baby. Whatever the cause of the improvements, he's definitely come leaps and bounds and back into his happy little self.

Regular milestones are taking precedence over food diaries, good days are outweighing bad days, and bad days are not so bad. Even the six teeth he's cutting at the moment (yes, a whole mouthful at once) aren't sending us into a spiral.

Maxwell stood on Monday. We were all immersed in our own things, Max had been practicing pulling up and down. Seth walked into the room and says, "Um, Max is standing!" At which point our group exclamation startles him and knocks him over.

He stands on his head and feet lately, laughing and looking through his cute little legs. He crawls slowly and deliberately, stopping to explore each little thing he passes, picking at things with his finger and thumb. He's a sweet little patient baby, we call him the Professor with his quiet watching, taking it all in, an analyzing stare until he dubs it okay to smile.

He crawled up to sit with his sister at story hour yesterday, staring up in awe and listening to the story for a minute. He found Claire's sandals and instead of putting them in his mouth like I was expecting, he tried to put them on his bare little toes. Big boy in the works here.

All ball.

Our first summer babe.

The ingredients for a really cute Peter Pan.

Polar bear.

Max's first Christmas.


Not sure about the Easter / egg connection.
Pulling up to stand!

Making his mark.

Always waiting for everyone else to be ready.

Keeping up with the big boys now.

Happy Birthday Maxwell. We love you.
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