Archive for ‘Just the two of us’

November 10, 2012

Whee! Fun! Ow!

by Decemberbaby

Tonight I took Mr. December on a date… to a trampoline club. Just Bounce has a drop-in class on Fridays and Saturday evenings, which is just my style – high fun, low commitment.

It was a blast. I discovered that I’m actually quite flexible (Mr. December is slightly less so) and coordinated. Could my mother have been right about the lifelong benefits of early ballet training? In just under an hour I mastered the tuck jump, straddle jump, pike jump, seat drop, and doggie drop, and then my crowning achievement – a seat drop coming back up to a half turn. It was awesome. *I* was awesome.

Sadly, awesomeness comes at a price. I think I might have given myself whiplash. I landed too far forward on a doggie drop and my upper back and neck did a bit of a crazy, well, whip-lash type movement. I’m typing this with the thermophore wrapped around my neck. I think I’ll take a muscle relaxant before I go to sleep. Ow.

Know what? I’d still recommend trampolining. It’s fun. It’s a great workout, even for those of us who routinely bike 15k with a 100 pound bike and 50-80 pounds of kids in under 30 minutes. I can see how I’d be way stronger overall if I did this on a regular basis. Maybe I should… as soon as my neck and shoulders stop hurting.

November 8, 2012

Bloggus Interruptus

by Decemberbaby

I’m sewing and thinking and blogging, not necessarily all at once. And I can’t wait to tell you that I’ve just articulated one of my most successful life strategies: if you can’t be the best at something, be the only one at something. That’s how I came in second in my age class in the 2000 (I think) Kingston Half-Triathlon (there were two of us.) Anyhow, I’m about to tell you about how I used this same strategy when I became a violist and got to travel to Vienna with –


Mr. December is standing in the doorway to my workshop and pointing to the stairs. I sew another seam.


We’ve been trying to get to bed on time, but we’re both terrible at it. Tonight he’s being the bad cop. Sometimes I am, and sometimes –


Um, I guess I’d better sign off now. Do you have a bedtime? Early or late? Is it easy or hard for you to discipline yourself to get to bed on time?

February 4, 2012

3 out of 5 ain’t bad…

by Decemberbaby

That’s 3 out of 5 of us who aren’t sick. Well, I’m still a bit sick, but I’m highly functional, so I count as healthy. K is sick again, and Mr. December just succumbed to the virus yesterday. I will say, in his favour, that he never gets a “man cold”. He just lies silently in bed and groans when I poke him to make sure he’s alive.

We’re soldiering along in the wake of the part-time nanny’s sudden leaving. A friend’s sister was looking for some temporary work (thank God for these artsy musician types!) and she’s fabulous with the kids. We’re now searching for a permanent nanny. We probably could have found one in about five hours, except for the fact that Mr. December is holding out for an Israeli nanny who will force us all to practice our Hebrew all day long.

K has been ridiculously defiant lately. It doesn’t matter what I ask her to do, her default position is “no way.” Going to bed, using the toilet, eating… if I want her to do it, she won’t. There was an incident with the bath the other night during which she perched herself on the two built-in corner shelves above the tub and wouldn’t come down, but I’m committed to not posting embarrassing stories about my kids on the blog, just in case they want to run for office one day. For the curious among you, just imagine bathing a cat, except the cat is an exceptionally strong, agile four-year-old girl. I still have bruises.

It’s just in the past few days that I’ve returned to some of my creative stuff. I sewed a new table runner yesterday because I was tired of our Shabbat table being plain boring white every week. I’m making placemats because I think I need them, and because they’ll teach my kids to set the table properly. And I have some hand-me-down fabric that I might just use to try some machine smocking, since it’s not a colour I’d use for anyone except a baby.

Oh, and a raccoon has chewed through the wooden frame of our garage door AND excavated some of the asphalt next to it, just so it can live in our bakfiets. I’m thinking I’d like to buy a shotgun. Look for my upcoming tutorial on sewing your own ‘coonskin cap.

Kidding. I’m kidding. I look terrible in fur. I’ll just make a nice little rug for the bakfiets. Poetic justice, right?

November 9, 2011

Work-in-Progress-Wednesday: the underachiever edition

by Decemberbaby

It hasn’t been easy to get around to blogging. Oh sure, I spend plenty of time at my computer, but only in pursuits that require no more than a mouse click. It’s hard to think coherently and type when I’ve got a ten-pound leech attached to my breast (and I mean “leech” in the most affectionate way possible. She’s really adorably cute and cuddly, she just gets in the way if I want to, oh, I don’t know, do anything.)

Then there’s the issue of the big kids (they certainly look big compared to R!): K has been overly emotional and also congested for the last four weeks, and N has been losing his balance and falling so easily that he’s earned himself the nickname “Stumbly Wumbly”, and today I finally took them to the doctor and discovered that they both have ear infections. The only thing that could – and did – make me feel any stupider was forgetting to ask the doctor to check my ears, which have been feeling full and vaguely achey for the past two days.

Enough whining. It’s been four weeks since I gave birth to R and this house is a shambles. Yes, I have help, and the kitchen and bathroom and floors and tabletop get cleaned and laundry gets done, but nothing more fundamental or long-term has gotten done in quite a long time. It’s time to change all that.

I’ve promised my friends and family that I won’t overdo things, which is why this week’s WIP Wednesday is titled “the underachiever edition”. Let’s get on with it:

Completed! Personal info binders

Yes, I wrote about these a long time ago, but I never actually filled them with stuff at the time. I’m proud to announce that as of yesterday, each member of our family – even R – has a neatly divided and labeled section of a binder in which I’ve filed photocopies of important documents and cards (health cards, SIN, etc), school reports, health information and immunization records, etc. They’re done and organized, and now I know where to find the stuff when I need it. Oh, and I got to check off that item on my to-do list.

In progress: Culling the shoes

I have a lot of shoes. I don’t mean to, but I do, and not in the way of fashion-savvy shoe addicts. I just… seem to have a lot of shoes. Mr. December doesn’t understand why, and when I explain to him that I need sport sandals to run after the kids in the summer but dressy sandals to wear with sundresses to a party, and closed running shoes most of the time but it’s really nice to have a pair of crocs to wear when my feet hurt, and snow boots and also rain boots because I believe in being properly shod for the weather… well, his eyes glaze over and he snaps, “whatever, just please make some room in the front hall for other people’s shoes!”

So that’s what I’m doing this week. I actually plan to try on all of the shoes since my feet seem to have expanded during my second-last pregnancy, and some of the shoes in question might not even fit anymore. I’ve also promised myself that I will not keep any shoes that are uncomfortable or still give me blisters after being broken in, regardless of how much I paid for them. Frankly, Toronto real estate is expensive and if the shoes are taking up space in my small house they’d better be comfortable and good-looking.

I’m too lazy to take a picture right now, but I’ll try to do it before I finish culling. Or maybe I’ll just post a pic of all the shoes I’m getting rid of, and then my local readers can tell me which of those shoes they’d like to take off my hands (uh, feet.) I’d be much happier to pass them on than to throw them out.

In Progress: the laundry sink

My laundry sink has been out of commission for the last few months, ever since our part-time nanny decided to clean up the space under the sink and plenty of long-forgotten fabrics and clothes ended up in the sink, awaiting my decisions about what to keep.

This week I plan to make those decisions and reopen my laundry sink for business. My sanity and my baby’s poop-stained sleepers demand it.


So… are you planning anything productive this week? Please share in the comments and/or link to your own blog.

Happy Wednesday!

August 28, 2011

The end of an era… until next time

by Decemberbaby

Well, this is it: Mr. December goes back to work tomorrow.

It’s been lovely having him at home. He biked K to school, gardened with me, volunteered a lot, cooked a bit, slept a little… if this is retirement, it’s pretty appealing.

Then again, there’s something to be said for being at home without your spouse all day, and only seeing them at night. Maybe that something has to do with your spouse being unable to make fun of you for taking a four-hour nap… yeah, that could be it. (Note to spouse: I’m growing a whole new person in there. I’m bound to be tired!)

You know what was really neat? Even though he started off by stating that this leave was a government-sanctioned way to take five months off without penalty (and with some pay) and that he had no intention of stepping up his parenting, Mr. December has really blossomed as a dad. He unflinchingly (and uncomplainingly) changed poopy diapers. He hung out with the kids in our tree house. He took K to the CNE (N is really too little). He stayed calm and patient through 5 daily readings of that horrible book about the Ziz (don’t ask). In short, he was a really great stay-at-home dad.

We’ll miss him during the day… I’ll especially miss his help at dinnertime. The kids are tired so early these days that he’s not likely to get home until their bedtime (6:30 -7:00). I’ll miss the extra set of hands. I’ll miss being able to steal a few private moments with my honey.

But here we go, back to “normal”. In a week K will be in school again, we’ll have a routine again, and maybe that won’t be so bad.

May 31, 2011

Not tonight, dear. I have a headache.

by Decemberbaby

Poor Mr. December. Every night he asks me to garden with him, just for a little bit. And every night I’m too tired, or my head hurts, or I’m having crazy round ligament pain. And so the plants that I bought a while back become more and more root-bound, and my longed-for rock garden (to replace the lawn which we hate caring for) is still a dream. Oh, and I still have a headache.

In other news, N has dropped drastically on the growth curve (he used to be on the 25th percentile, now he’s below the 5th) and this is the second month that the doctor has “given” him to fatten up before she starts some other investigations or referrals or diagnostic stuff or whatever it is doctors do when they decide your baby is too small. For the record, he’s developmentally on track, babbling and cruising, eating, laughing… you get the idea. He’s a healthy, active boy. Nevertheless, the words “failure to thrive” got thrown around a bit and then dismissed… temporarily.

We’re doing all the things parents do to fatten their kid up. We feed him full-fat yogurt and avocados, I make his oatmeal and mashed potatoes with heavy cream, and we’ve even taken to adding an extra scoop of formula when we mix up a bottle for him (my hatred of formula is a topic for another day, but if I haven’t mentioned it yet my milk supply disappeared early on in my pregnancy.) Still, he’ll eat what he wants and not a drop more. What’s a mom to do?

Folks, it’s too hot to blog, so I’ll end here. WIP Wednesday is tomorrow – are you ready to join me?

March 13, 2011

it begins…

by Decemberbaby

Mr. December’s paternity leave, that is. He’s taking five months off work so that he can, in his own words, “spend more time with my possessions”. Yeah, that’s what he told the guys at work. He’s also been really clear on the fact that he doesn’t want to do any extra parenting while he’s off – this is just a government-sanctioned, job-protected way of taking off a huge chunk of time for the first time since he started working 12 years ago.

And I was cool with that, really, because it’s his job and related benefits that enable us to live the way we do, where we do. His salary supports us all so I can get on with the important things in life, like mothering and laundry and napping and blogging. And yet, if he thinks he gets to sleep through the morning getting-out-of-the-house routine, he’s got something else coming.

What I’m looking forward to is being able to work on the important stuff with him at a time of day when I’m mentally fresh. Seriously, he still doesn’t get that discussing our budget or investment options does not work when I’ve already been up and functioning for 12 hours. It’ll be nice to be able to do social things, just the two of us, while K is in school and the babysitter is here with N. It’ll be nice to not have to cram things into our evenings… maybe that will help us get to bed earlier.

And… I don’t know about you, but I work better when there’s someone around. You know, someone who would know if I was just sitting at my computer all day surfing blogs and eating bonbons. (On a side note, what exactly are bon bons, and where do I get them?) Anyhow, I’m more likely to be productive with Mr. December at home… so stay tuned for some great projects.