Category Archives: Just Playing

Lulling in the Sunshine

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Business has been booming. But in between all this, I have found a ray of sunshine to bathe myself in. Figuratively and literally.

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I have been utterly enjoying my daughter. I don’t know if it is her age and how delightful she is, or her smell that I find so intoxicating. Or if it’s the funny things she says. I feel like I can’t get enough of her.

Like today, we went to the grocery store. When we arrived she realized we had forgotten to bring her little shopping cart she likes to push around the store. I promised her that we could get her a little treat from the store as compensation. So we are in the frozen food aisle. To the right, there are buckets of ice cream. To her left are boxes of cookies. And the store manager is stocking shelves.

Gabrielle’s face lights up and she says to me, “Mommy! I know what I want for my treat!”

–I’m thinking, oh no! Cookies or Ice Cream?–

She says, “I want a stick of celery of my very own!”

“You sure are a Pender kid, Gabrielle.” I say to her smiling. The store manager is trying to muffle his laughter.

We get her a stick of celery and she gnaws it all the way to the till. Yum!

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We have salad greens sprouting and the peas are finally uncurling and popping through the soil. But tomorrow is April and it feels like we should be more ahead in the garden than we are. Maybe last year the weather was already warmer. Today was the first day the deck was warm enough for a t-shirt. Gosh, it’s only March. What am I complaining about? And I’m really not.

The bees aren’t either.

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I’ve been getting up early to run as the sun rises. It is so refreshing and starts off my day quietly, which I love. And it allows Marc to have the afternoons after work to build his cedar strip canoe.

When I was a kid, my brother was really into dinosaurs. He learned all about the different kinds, and what they ate, and what time period they lived. And through osmosis, I learned a lot about dinosaurs too.

We learn by the people around us and I am very fortunate to have a husband that is always learning something new. Right now, he’s learning how to build a canoe. Through osmosis, Gabrielle and I get to learn some of the steps too. As Marc drafts his canoe station molds, Gabrielle “drafts” her molds too, trying to imitate the lines he draws with careful precision. One moment, she is drawing plans for her canoe, the next she is hollering that hippo is having a baby!

This is a real conversation that recently happened in our house:

“Mommy! Come quickly, Hippo is having a baby!”

“Mommy! I can’t find the basket for Hippo’s placenta! Where is it? It’s coming and I don’t have a basket!!”

**Me looking at Marc with my hands raised like, Where does she come up with this stuff.**

He misinterpreted my gaze and retorts, “I don’t know where the Placenta Basket is!”

Happy April friends.

Sorry Mom, Also a Hippo

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It’s my mom’s birthday soon. I had this fantastic idea to knit her these beautiful colour-work Owl mittens. The wool was hand-spun, hand-dyed Pender Island Sheep wool. Like, premium local, premium hippy. The only way it could get more natural is if it had bits of grass spun into the wool. It was with this that I started my first colour-work project. (That is, knitting with more than one colour in a pattern.)

Yeah. So that happened. And then it didn’t.

I was so frustrated with it. Partly because I am terrible at colour-work. Partly because my first colour-work project was on these tiny thin double-pointed needles and the yarn, being hand-spun wasn’t as even in thickness as machine spun yarn. (That is, of course, the charm of hand-spun yarn.)

Then I took it to knit night to get some advice from my beautiful knitters, and they took one look at it and said, “You need more pink. Do you have more? You’ll never finish with that much yarn.”

Yeah, I didn’t have more. I only had one puny ball for a pair of mittens.

So now that’s sitting in my stash, needles still engaged, because I don’t have the heart to rip it out. But I don’t have enough yarn to finish it.

I thought, “Oh well, I still have time to knit my mom some socks.”

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Knitting for my mom is tricky because I taught her to knit a couple years ago and she has far surpassed me in knitting skills. Like, she knits sweaters. For real. But, she doesn’t knit socks yet. So I figure this is my last year to capitalize on this.

Then the hippo happened.

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I borrowed a knitting toy book from Danielle and Gabrielle caught sight of it one day. She immediately decided she wanted the giraffe in the book. I did not have any yellow or orange wool. So she compromised and demanded the hippo. Immediately. Like Right! Now!

Every morning she woke up and asked if her hippo was done. Every afternoon she asked if it was done. Every evening she asked what bit of the hippo she could sleep with. Seriously.

When I finished the hippo’s body, she carried that around, hugging it and swinging it around. Next the head went on and she insisted on sleeping with this discombobulated head, body blog. (Looked like two balls attached. No face on there.) Then Gramma put a face on it. The next day there were arms. A couple days later (after a birth) there were legs. And finally ears and a tail.

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Gail is helping sew on Hippo’s face.

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This is when the hippo has no arms, no legs, no ears, no tail. Poor hippo.

All this is to say, Sorry Mom! Your present will be late but now that I’ve actually started (again) on it, maybe it’ll be ready before your birthday.

Also, now we have a hippo.

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Come Spend the Afternoon Meandering

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Come spend the afternoon with us. We are going for a little walk to our favourite beach.

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Hope you had a great time. We sure enjoyed sharing our beach with you!

To Beat the Winter Blues:

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To beat the Winter Blues, We are:

-Knitting. Some socks in beautiful unicorn yarn, or baby treats for the babies bound to come in Spring.

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-Eating. Like good hibernating bears, we fatten up before we plan on sleeping the rest of this Winter away. Unfortunately the little one’s metabolism isn’t going to allow for very long hibernations.

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-Walking. Outside. To try to tire the little one out. Also to breathe deeply and smell the sweet rain.

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-Finding good climbing trees and then imagining a whole tribe of fairies, owls and squirrels that live in this tree. Naming the tree. Talking the tree. Talking all the creatures about the tree. And answering “Why?” question one thousand-fifty-one times.

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Taking lots of pictures of The Moment (notice the singular) when the rain stops and the sun comes out long enough to form a mist over the grass.

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-Getting out in said Moment to soak in the rays before they disappear into a gloom of rain clouds.

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-Taking cute pictures of the child.

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-See above.

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-Teaching Cute Child about the ecosystem, the beaver’s habitat, and why rocks make a weird pinging sound when they bounce over the ice on a partially frozen lake.

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Now I hope to document many beautiful sunny Winter days. But probably there will just be more rain.

Only rain until Tuesday apparently.

If the babies would wait, I’m finding a cheap flight to the sunshine.

Life in December

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December brings a time of hibernating. A time of avoiding the petrie-dish of Pender Island play groups as hand, foot and mouth were going around, then lice, and then chicken pox! So we diligently open our advent every day and try to occupy ourselves with home things. So here are some snap shots of our boring home life.

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Marc went out to the farm and cut down a tree. I specifically asked for it to be a bit spindly. I wanted something a little sparse. This Christmas, I am really embracing my hippy-granola-lovin’ ways.

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I wrapped my presents this year primarily in second-hand cloth from a thrift store. I received a Christmas present from a midwife, in which the highlight was home-made granola! Score!

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I finally cut my hippy daughter’s raggedy ends of hair. She’s three years old, and this is her first hair cut. Her ends were sun-bleached from our month in Mexico last year and velcroed together so well that they were determined in forming dreadlocks. Another check mark for Hippy.

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This year, to Marc’s Christmas party, we brought a parsnip dish. From our own garden. Score two for Hippy. And our daughter scrubbed them because she loves scrubbing that mucky dirt off veggies.

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In the morning, after hot chocolate and opening advent, we play “Having a baby.” This game involves someone (Gabrielle, me or sometimes the unfortunate Odetta) pushing out a baby and then getting checked by the doctor kit. One of my most favourite things about this game is the fact that my daughter always says “I will catch the baby!” Instead of “deliver” the baby. Score three for Hippy.

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Then it snowed a little. A very little bit. Pathetic actually.

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Ok so, I got my hair cut in February in Mexico in the back of a restaurant by our waiter. The haircut was fine. I’m not picky. This picture is me getting my second hair cut of 2013. And they styled it! Like it was an actual real hair-cut! I’ve been blaming my awful frizzy hair on my postpartum hormones. But no, the truth is, it is sheer laziness (or a shift in priorities.) I could have amazing hair like they do on TV, but I don’t. Because I don’t care enough to do This.Every.Day. Score another point for Hippy. Sigh.

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Instead of straightening and then curling my hair, I do this all day. I talk “the guys.” -while they push out babies, or have tea parties, or get stuck in trees, or hog all the snacks.

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Amid the playing, real work gets done too. My child has an amazing attention span. And she is a hard worker. She is good at weeding, washing dirty vegetables, doing dishes, sweeping the floor, and she helped me unload this truck that was full of firewood and now she’s sweeping it out. A Farmer’s Work Ethic. That’s what she’s got here.

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One of our favourite inside Winter activities is baking. Which means I have to go on lots of runs when Daddy gets home.

I hope you’re enjoying your December in whatever way you can. We are just waiting it out over here, until Spring.

“Let’s go plant some garden, Mommy!”

“Um, nope. Not for months Babe. Not for months….”