04 February 2016


I'm 28 weeks (plus 4!) pregnant today.  I was trying to explain to Steve what it feels like to be in one's third trimester with a baby that likes to sit low.  Imagine you drank a bowling ball, I began.  But he couldn't get past the fact that you can't DRINK a solid.

I spent a lot of time looking through our parent resource center's giveaway area for long-sleeved pregnancy tops several months ago.  I've never been pregnant deep into winter before, and I imagined my poor, round self in a freezing Canadian snowbank and rejoiced when I found a few winter tops.  I forgot.  I forgot that third trimester feels like living inside the sun.  I'm wearing a short-sleeved shirt and capri pants today.  I looked for my flip flops this morning, but they must be packed away with the summer clothes. I feel like I'm even warmer than normal, because Steve takes his responsibility to keep the house warm very, very seriously and is always offering to throw another log in the furnace until I'm begging him to, please, PLEASE stop heating the house.  Also, both kids are sick and when The Bairn runs a fever, as he is today, he must wrap himself around my arm and plant his hot face into me and Ellen must drape herself across me (while yelling at The Bairn to stop hogging me) like the tiny electric blanket that she is.

31 January 2016

Sometimes I Still Read

I read a number of good books around the holidays (as compared to the many, many books I read in early pregnancy that I'm embarrassed to mention but which made my tired self totally satisfied), but the one I'm still thinking about is 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.  Hatmaker and her husband run a Christian ministry in Texas.  In 7 she records her seven month experiment to bridle her overconsumption in seven areas--food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress.  I read a lot of these experimental living books in which the authors try to adhere strictly to the Bible or an eating code or a waste-free life for a set period of time.  I actually really enjoy them but sometimes I'm frustrated by their gimmickyness or their insincere approach or for the obvious fallacies in the whole premise of their experiments.  The thing I most appreciated about 7 was that Hatmaker honestly wanted to change and improve herself through this experiment.  She states at the beginning of the book that it's partly a form of repentance for her and although the experiment was obviously never intended to continue as a permanent lifestyle, identifying areas of excess in her life and permanently altering some of her thoughts and practices was very much the point.

The book is written in a real-time blog style, chronicling the events of each month and then summarizing lessons learned, which I found easy to read and engaging.  We're very frugal in our house and we do a lot of home production and other things that eliminate waste, so I felt pretty good about myself while reading chapters where Hatmaker was tackling those issues, and then in other parts of the book, I felt totally inferior to the orphan-adopting, homeless-feeding author, despite her down-to-earth confessional style.  It was an honestly thought-provoking and inspiring read that I highly recommend.

29 January 2016

Four Years Old

The Bairn turned four on Tuesday.  As is traditional, I gave him a truly awful haircut for his birthday and a super low-key party.  The Bairn has a couple of friends whose birthday parties he attends.  There are bouncy castles and party favors and one million presents involved in these parties.  I'm always worried that The Bairn will compare these parties to his own and feel let down by what Steve and I offer him, but so far, the small parties we have are still enough to send him into a frenzy of celebration.  This year Steve's parents and aunt joined us for a crepes (The Bairn's favorite food) and an ice cream cake that I'm mostly getting to finish off all by myself because everyone else seems to have forgotten it down in the deep freeze.

The mint chocolate ice cream cake I made The Bairn.  Ellen was indignant that she didn't get to blow out the candles.

I'm not sure what Ellen is doing here but she's got some pretty crazy hair going on.

At four-years-old The Bairn
  • loves to snuggle.
  • enjoys all things involving wheels.
  • has learned to make his own bed, takes his dishes to the sink, and has finally given up a sippy cup.
  • keeps a pile of coins in a shoe on his bedside table (he made his first thrilling purchase with birthday money from my parents this week).
  • is deeply interested in male anatomy.
  • still naps (hallelujah!).
  • adores anything silly.

14 January 2016

For My Own Future Reference: Pregnancy Videos

The hallmarks of this third pregnancy have been as follows

1.  Worse morning sickness than usual that lasted longer than usual.

2.  Pregnancy rage - like crazy, irrational, adrenaline-blast rage.  It seems to have gone away this week, and I feel like I've recovered from a mental illness.  Now I'm just back to the regular Why-Are-All-the-Bread-Pans-Floating-in-the-Toilet induced anger that comes with small children.

3.  A really intense sweet tooth.  I like sweet things anyway, but this pregnancy I want to eat ALL the sweet things and I'm nice and fat to prove it.  For my own future reference, I've listed some of my favorite online pregnancy exercise videos that I use to combat my current habits (and the rage) a little bit.  In case we have another baby.  I warned Steve that this was the very last baby during my terrible first trimester, but he says I say that every pregnancy.


What to Expect Yoga

Katy Appleton

Best 10 Minute Workout

Prenatal Yoga

02 January 2016

And a Happy New Year

We finished Christmas celebrations by taking a family trip to Halifax on Monday evening.  We ate at a Vietnamese restaurant where The Bairn spent the whole time trying to talk to the guys working in the kitchen by calling softly to them from his seat at the counter and motioning to the pictures of smoothies on the wall to try to send a preschool message that his mother would not allow him to buy a $4 smoothie (or anything, he was eating crackers and cheese out of Tupperware) but to please bring him one anyway.

We stayed in a hotel that night, which may have been the most thrilling thing to happen to the children all year.  They sat in the lobby with their feet sticking straight off the armchairs while The Bairn engaged a middle-aged couple in a conversation about where the air ducts were directing all the air in the hotel, and Ellen almost lost her mind (quietly) over the Christmas decorations.  We swam in the pool and watched TV and then slept almost not at all, because The Bairn was scared of the dark and Steve and I took turns snoring and waking one another up.  We enjoyed our free hot breakfast anyway and dragged the kids off to a couple of stores and to the children's science center before eating Chinese pastries and allowing the kids to pass out almost immediately on the car ride home.

On New Year's Eve, we invited a family with a little boy The Bairn's age over for fondue and snacks.  It was another thrilling event for our children.  The Bairn took endless joy in sneaking marshmallows (for the chocolate fondue) off the table until he ate too much, told me he thought he needed a vomit bowl, and had a major meltdown following the confiscation of his hammer (hammer confiscation = unrelated to marshmallows.  Probably.).  We counted down the new year around 7 pm and dragged The Bairn off to bed shortly thereafter while he was gearing up for another meltdown.  He finds the holidays a bit much.

Christmas Sunday in a sweet dress and vintage pants that don't fit.

28 December 2015

Christmas Pictures

We're still Christmas-ing it up today and tomorrow, but here are some pictures from the past few days.

This is actually a picture from early in the month when we put our tree up.  The kids were really good about not bothering the ornaments this year, even though Ellen is in love with the jumping jack George Washington and has to talk to him occasionally and make him jump up and down.

Christmas morning - Daddy is helping Ellen put her new hair clips in her hair.  Most of our Christmas morning photos are really bad, both because we couldn't find our camera and because it was Christmas morning so no one was groomed and Steve took lots of pictures of me looking pregnant.  Ellen most loved the bubble wrap we gave her and the wooden box that the kids' new blocks came in.  She calls the box her 'nest.'

We used our real china for supper for the first time.  It was much fancier than normal, although we need a tablecloth that fits our new table and a water pitcher that's not a brown, plastic affair from the 1970s.  The kids were really really into the Christmas crackers, but it took a lot of explaining to get them to drop the idea that there was anything edible about them.

The weather was in the 50s last week, so we went to the park to see the waterfalls on Boxing Day.

We like taking Daddy to the park with us.

Then the next day we got a massive snow storm.  I took the kids out for a nighttime snow adventure, which they think is very fancy, since they're not usually allowed to play outside after dark.

14 December 2015

Merry Christmas to Me

I bought myself a Christmas present this year.  It's this Brian Kershisnik print.

When Steve saw it, he said, "I'm surprised you like it.  You hate it when the kids climb up you like that.  I would have thought it would remind you of something annoying."  I do hate it when The Bairn climbs up me while I'm kneeling down to help his sister or pick up a shoe or whatever, but I saw this painting and recognized life with small children immediately.  I love it.
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