Monday, January 31, 2011

Wah, harumph, grumble!

Here are some things I feel the need to complain about:
  • John being away for most of last week while Henry decided to stay awake two hours (non-consecutive) each night and cry. Not John's fault in any way. Just bad luck.
  • Mondays - I love them until I come home from my class at Carleton and then after that it feels like a big whirlwind while I try and clean up from the day and do the dishes and make dinner and play with the girls who really want to play games after not seeing me all day.
  • my letter writing - I'm behind a letter. Last week, while I had plans to squeeze in my letter-writing, I didn't get it done. See above as to why.
  • gluten. I love it but why doesn't it love me? Wah.
  • people who flaunt rules... in front of their kids no less. Our local outdoor skating rink is actually a double-rink: one for recreational skating and one for hockey. There is a clear sign in the changing area that sticks, pucks and balls are prohibited on the rec ice. Does anyone care? Yes, two people - me and one other perturbed father who, like me, had to make sure his children didn't get a slapshot to the orbital lobe. Every other person on the ice (and there were many) had a stick, puck, net or full goalie gear (no exaggeration). Yes, I am calling my city councillor tomorrow. I'm that grumpy anti-hockey mom. So sue me for being unCanadian. I don't care. I just want to skate with my kids.
  • The City of Ottawa's current garbage and recycling program. Our green bin (organic compostable waste) is currently full to the top - the lid can barely close - and it is also frozen solid. It's only collected every two weeks. We are a family of five (4 and a half anyway) who eat a lot of compostables and we're very committed to composting. The bin was full at the end of last week and it won't be collected until this Thursday. Collecting only once every two weeks is not acceptable when you want to encourage people to compost. I've told the city this in their current survey but I still feel the need to complain. To anyone who will listen.
  • People who say they are "trying to prove a point" to the City by not using the Green Bin program. There is a special place in Hell reserved for you people. And I hope it is full of your stinky garbage.
Phew. Just needed to get that off my chest. And now, on to more positive things. Time for some tea and knitting. And a freshly baked (gluten-free) muffin!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Letters 1 and 2

I'm on track so far for my 52 letters in 52 weeks, granted it is only the second week but I like to give myself kudos occasionally...

Good for me!

Last week, I eased into the project and sent a birthday card to my friend, Pam. Last week I also ordered these pretty flat notecards on Etsy and bought some real-life notepaper from Chapters in preparation for what is to come.

By the by, it took me a coon's age to actually find any decent writing paper. I scoured Etsy. There was almost none to be had that was worth paying shipping for. I happened to be in Chapters picking up some SillyBandz for Hope (a reward for relearning how to go to bed and stay there) when I found some nice writing paper. They had one design. They had three boxes. $10. Done and done but wow, it really drove home how rare letter-writing has become. That doesn't come as a surprise of course. In fact, the back of the box of paper reads: "Designer letter sheets add flair to your correspondence, as you keep alive the fine art of letter-writing."

Yikes. The pressure! "Fine-art"... I doubt anyone will describe my letters that way. I am making an effort to sit down when I have no distractions and give my letter some undivided attention. This will be my once-a-week quiet time. I think that's something I could use.

This afternoon I sat down during a quiet moment and wrote a real-life honest-to-goodness letter. I haven't done that since.... I honestly have no idea how long it's been. I used to write letters all the time. And then email took over and it was probably circa 1994 that I last put pen to paper in a disciplined effort.

I chose to write to my friend Ferne today. Ferne is around 80 or so, maybe just shy of that. She visits the cottage right next to ours and we became fast friends during one of her early visits. Ferne worked for years in the maternity ward in one of the hospitals in London, Ontario and LOVES babies. She never had any of her own but you'd never know - she knows all the tricks and talks to babies like she had 40 of them herself. She also is just the hippest, most interesting 80-year-old I've ever met. I hope we cross paths again this summer. I don't see her every year but we write Christmas cards with short notes and she calls me occasionally.

Everyone needs a Ferne in their lives.

In fact, we've actually named her The Ferne because she's that awesome.

Anyway, I wrote to Ferne today for a couple of reasons: (1) she's a good friend and (2) she and my mum really liked one another and today is the anniversary of my mum's death and I just really wanted to be in contact with someone who knew and liked her but wasn't family.

From the side of self-serving, I also know Ferne will write back which is an added bonus to this project; I'll likely get some letters back!

In fact, I was triple-super-over-the-moon-excited to receive a letter from one of my soul-mates and best friends, Marnie, today. She wrote me a real letter. For real. On paper. With pen.

And I didn't write her first.

What surprised me most was how much joy I got from reading the letter. Not because of what it said necessarily but just because she took the time to write. It felt really special. I hope that's how people feel when they get mine. Because making someone's day a little brighter is something I would like to do more often.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Henry 365 update

I FINALLY updated Henry 365 over on Flickr. You can click there on the sidebar. Most of you won't be interested but if you're a blood relative you might be interested.

He sure is cute, our wee man.

Friday, January 14, 2011

52 letters, 52 weeks

Have you heard about this? A blog I jus discovered called The NonConsumer Advocate has started this challenge. The challenge is to write and send 52 letters or postcards or thank-you notes or care packages, one a week, HANDWRITTEN and sent in the REAL MAIL for all of 2011. Well, I'm going to do it! Granted it is the second week of January right now so it will be a 51 week challenge. You can read the original post here.

Last year I read the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.... twice. If you haven't read it yet, do go get it. After reading it I was inspired to start writing real letters again. It didn't happen. I needed something to push me out of the gates. I think this challenge will be the very thing.

Now to get me some nice writing paper! My Ottawa Citizen scratch pad won't do it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Verbal Diahrea Round 1: the Henry Edition

I set myself a goal of finishing my assignment (more on that another time) so that I would have enough time to blog tonight. There are SO MANY things I want to blog about. I feel as though I'm about to throw up incoherent words all over the screen because I just want to get my thoughts out as quickly as possible. There are some many things I haven't written about since the beginning of December: the baking business, Hope's first kindergarten concert, Emily's reading, Christmas, Henry, my class at Carleton (the aforementioned assignment) etc etc etc.

Most pressing: Henry. I haven't given an update on the wee man in a coon's age. A coon's age, I say! And he is so deserving.

The wee man turned seven months old on December 19 and here we are ten days away from him being 8 months old and narry a tooth in sight. He sure seems to be trying hard to get one through what with all the drool and chewing and intermittent screaming and grunting. Try as he might, nothing seems imminent. He is weighing in at about 25 pounds. My arms are well-sculpted to say the least. At least the left one. The right is as flabby as ever.

Henry's days go like this: wake around 7:30 or 8:00. Squeal with uncontrollable joy when I walk in the room (because he hasn't seen me in, like, two hours!). Get dressed, head towards door of his room, squirm and squeal with uncontrollable joy because he might spot one of his sisters (hopefully the one that allows him some breathing space, although the smothery one is okay too in small doses). Breakfast - normally a prune concoction in order to aid things as it were - covers face in as much food as possible. While eating breakfast, he routinely tips his head to the side (either one will do) in order to see around some invisible object in his way - extraordinarily cute. After breakfast - carpet play time also known as the time during which he is ignored so that I can eat my own breakfast, read the paper or clean up the kitchen (hah! good one... doesn't usually happen until at least 4:00 pm and where is that housekeeper I ordered!?). Soon after that, nap number one happens, preceded by a long drink at the mummy-fountain, after which I either take a quick shower or play a board game with Hope or bake with Hope or do something or other with Hope. Henry normally sleeps for two hours... I say 'normally' because the last two days he has been taking one-hour naps. Not what we're looking for. This means he has much less patience for the rest of the day for being ignored. Not so good when I have other people and things needing my attention. His afternoon is mainly a repeat of the morning including an afternoon nap but minus the breakfast. Rinse repeat is the way it goes until about supper when he gets much attention from his sisters, a full family meal followed by a bath with one of the two girls, naked playtime (if he's lucky) on the carpet of the girls' room and then bedtime around 7:30. At some point in the afternoon, while Hope and Emily are both at school, we do occasionally leave the house to do errands. That is the part of the day when senior citizens swoon over his cheeks and his name (everyone over 70 had a brother named Henry apparently) and his size. We like that part of the day mainly because we're outside of these four walls (although I do like our four walls). Henry loves errands - so much to take in and lots of chatting from me as I putter through stores or meet a friend for coffee.

In essence, I couldn't ask for an easier baby. He is sweet and loving and fun and laughs so easily and I could just eat him up. Especially his thighs. In fact, a few people could easily dine on those thighs. He has lots to go around.

Phew. Verbal diarhea Round 1 complete. Tune back here... possibly tomorrow... for the Christmas show. Eventually, hopefully by the end of this week, I'll be caught up at least as much as I can be after this much neglect.