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.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A little more Lupin Lane.

I just have to show you the inside.


The details. The colors, the floors, the windows, the moulding. Sigh. The moulding. Ahh, to live in rooms complete with trim again... The beadboard kitchen ceiling, the tiny back kitchen stairs, the grand front entry stairs, the dijon cupboards, the stained glass square old windows.

The bathroom was probably my favorite room. The blue, the freestanding set of drawers in place of cupboards an idea I'll steal. The tub was an old claw-foot six foot tub, the kind you sink into completely, a decadent bath with wine nearby and the only stress the effort it takes to turn the tap off with your toe.

I fell head-over-heels in love with a house, it's true.

But like any summer romance, it had to end. Like the reliable boyfriend waiting at home, we're back in our little work in progress. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Heaven is a beach house.

We just came back from the most fantastic family vacation. We rented a house for a week on the south shore of Nova Scotia, and spent our days exploring the beaches and breathing in the sea air.

It was like a huge exhale.

Troy and I basked in the amount of nothing to do. For a week, the to-do list had evaporated. We hung out with our kids and, without all of the brain clutter, could actually hear what they were saying.

Most of our travel usually centers around visits to our families. Our kids are well seasoned vetrans of the six hour drive between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, in one direction or the other. This summer, we decided to combine a family visit and a true vacation.

My cottage hunting criteria included walking distance to the shores we've been missing, private and quiet Nova Scotia scenic beauty, and enough room to invite the whole clan to vacation with us whenever they could fit it in. The plan was to have everyone come to us instead of 'descending upon them like locusts' (a favorite quote of mine from my cousin, another mother of four who realizes how bulky it feels to land at family's house with a family of six).
Troy's mother was able to spend the week with us, Troy's brother and sister and father had visits for a few nights, my sister and nephew joined us for a few nights as well, and even my parents, 'stopped by' for a surprise visit for an evening. (I knew they were touring on motorbikes for the weekend and as far as I knew headed to St. Andrew's in New Brunswick. They failed to mention it was via Nova Scotia. For those of you not familiar with the Maritimes, Nova Scotia is not in any way en route to New Brunswick from New Brunswick. Whatsoever. It was funny. Mostly a great excuse for them to ride Nova Scotia's beautiful lighthouse and evangeline routes.)    

It was so nice to just spend hours of uninterupted time enjoying the company of our families. I am in the lucky position of loving my inlaws. With the greatly improved adult to kid ratio, the kids were basked in time and attention. Claire virtually had her own personal assistant in Grammie Hutt, a position Grammie had been waiting for I'm sure. 

Between Grammie's help and the extra spare time, we even breezed through laundry and food. Dare I say even laundry was enjoyable in that setting? We returned home with suitcases full of clean clothes.

A sure sign of a perfect vacation. 
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