Winter will not leave us

Posted April 25th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

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I can’t wait for summer to be here. I’m craving the sun and the grass⎯ outdoor afternoons and dinner picnics. Meanwhile, these past two cold and rainy weeks with Leena at home full-time have been incredible. No more daycare! While I’m on maternity leave, I plan to make the most of my home presence, learn new recipes, indulge my hobbies, and spend as much time as possible with my little adventure buddies. Eating up these delicious and nourishing moments. Like Thursday, Leena was “reading” book after book to Jubby. Then she was showing him how to type his name: J-U-J-U! Funny enough, Arjun doesn’t respond to his actual name. But if you say “Juju!” he looks over and breaks into his very drooly Jubby smile.

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Lately Sonya has been making beautiful paper laptops. I probably have a collection of about twenty with fully colorized keyboards and detailed screens. This was one of my favorites. She made a small coding window and a wallpaper of our family in the autumn.

I know these are the halcyon days of childhood. I cherish them. Life is simple and easy and loosely structured. Within the daily rhythms, there’s a lot of room to play and discover.

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Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too.

⎯ lyrics to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

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One final note: this blog will soon be password protected. Mostly, I write this as a sort of diary to Future Me, and as Sonya has grown older and started school, I’ve started thinking about her privacy. Her story is hers to share. Same with Leena and Jubtron. So if you’d still like to read, let me know and I’ll share a way for you to access the content. Thanks! Over the years, I’ve enjoyed this little space on the digital outskirts. And I appreciate your visits and comments.

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Baby Doll

Posted April 9th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

When we go for walks around our neighborhood, Sonya and Leena often take turns pushing Jubblyboy in the stroller. People have done a double-take when he moves. One jogger even double-backed to see what was going on with this “freaky realistic doll.” Multiple times, people have been surprised to discover the girls had a real baby in their stroller! Yes, he is indeed very much a real baby, and a very sweet baby, who is growing bigger and more capable before our eyes.

Leena feels sure that Jubbly is going to walk soon, so she puts his shoes on.

A few days shy of the six month mark, we decided to go ahead and try Jub out on some food. As a baby, Sonya got the scientific progression from rice cereal to homemade steamed veggies. Leena got some modification of that with some more jar food, infant crackers, and puffed rice stars thrown into the mix. Jubbly? Drex came home with some random organic carrot jar to see if he’d like it. Jub ate (was fed) a few spoonfuls, didn’t spit any of it up, and seems okay three days later. So I guess he’s eating now!

He can also scoot himself along like an inchworm to get toys just out of his reach. We’re maybe just a couple weeks away before we have to rethink Legos on the living room floor. But I’m excited about this phase of discovery!

Jubbly is a prince. He always tricks someone into holding him. I’ll set him down to look at a toy. One of his sisters will scoop him up.

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky
— e.e. cummings
I’m sleep-deprived and sentimental enough that that poem has almost started making sense (almost).

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La fratrie

Posted April 6th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Drex started intensive French this semester. His progress has been amazing. Last week, he came back with an interesting tidbit from his lesson about the French names for la fratrie or siblings in a family based on birth order. Sonya is our ainée, Leena is our cadette, and Arjun— here’s the kicker— is our benjamin. That kind of sounds sweet and silly. I don’t know why.

My franco friends verified that this is for real. Huh. Learned something new. In the picture above, the girls insist that I give them something of mine every time I leave the house, so they can be connected to me— and also ensure I’ll come back to collect my stuff. Recently my sparkly hat and heart-shaped sunglasses have been popular. Looks cuter on them than it does on me. I’ll admit it.

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Easter!

Posted April 5th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

The flow of Easter began in the kitchen with face painting and Safari Bunny masks to wear for the egg hunt. The Easter Bunny left all her eggs in the living room.

Before today’s first breakfast, we started off the day with chocolates and jellybeans. The girls were sensible and quit before they got sick. Then we all prepared for our Easter brunch. Alice came early to make her chocolate chip caramel skillet cookie with the girls.

Even Jubjub helped to press the dough into the skillet with his jubby feet. Mmm! It was delicious! We ate, played two rounds of Wits & Wagers, talked, cleaned, played music, went for a walk despite it being REALLY cold, puttered around the living room… and then suddenly it was dinnertime!

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Grandmama!

Posted March 20th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

We fit in a lot this past week with Grandmama. We joined Leena for her Music by the Season class, went for Afternoon Tea at Gryphon d’Or, had a Doc McStuffins birthday brunch for Leena’s 4th birthday followed by a Disney cartoon and pizza movie night. There was an epic sled walk, swimming at the YMCA, and a visit to my friend’s bookstore Drawn & Quarterly. We spent time with friends and neighbors, played cards, charades, and other games. We ate at Burger Royal— TWICE. And Big D and I even slipped away for a date night.

There was sewing time, microscope time, and a portfolio night at Sonya’s school. There was a French lesson at the market and one-on-one time at the gym to kickstart my Going to Iceland Fitness Plan. And we (really D) managed to clean the hall closet as a jumpstart to spring cleaning! Lots of productive fun!

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Party on Pi Day 3.1415!

Posted March 16th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

So on Leena’s actual birthday, we had gifts and cake, but what made it the most special, of course, is that Grandmama arrived to help celebrate! For the record, Sonya is an incredible Birthday Sister— good-hearted, good-spirited, and good-all-around at making sure her sister Leena felt especially special.

Leena’s party on Saturday was awesome. It just evolved from breakfast with Alice. The fact that it was a pyjama brunch party set the vibe. Plus there were two kinds of cake and homemade bumbleberry pie.

There was singing and dancing to Yellow Submarine, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Feliz Navidad (why not? there’s still snow outside!), La Bamba (since we were already in a Spanish groove), and Pirouette Cacahuète (for a little something French) thanks to our talented friend Cam.

But most importantly, the birthday girl had fun.

Today you are You! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is You-er than You!

— Dr. Seuss

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Four

Posted March 12th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

I vividly remember the day she was born. An echo of that same euphoria washes over me again every year on her birthday as I reflect on what a joy, what a treasure, what a remarkable blessing entered my life on this day.

She writes the two Es in her name with at least five arms reaching for the N. She likes to “play babies” with Sonya, giving check-ups to all their “stuffies.” She also takes very attentive and responsible care of her baby brother. In fact, Leena often asks, “Can I do ______ ?” Whatever she sees us doing or whatever she thinks needs to be done. She is helpful, she is kind, she is thoughtful, she is brave. I love her.

The Birthday Breakfast she requested was “poached eggs and hot dogs” (or breakfast sausages) with Heart Toast (and strawberry jam). She is wearing her very special, very sparkly, pink tiara headband — a gorgeous handmade sample from a local boutique. It just seemed like the perfect birthday present for a very special girl who’s four.

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Spring Break Recap

Posted March 10th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

March arrived. Drex came back! And we had the whole week off to hang around together. First off, we had to thank two amazing ladies who helped me hold down the fort this past month. We had lunch at my new favorite Montreal restaurant Burger Royal. Dangerously located right around the corner! Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce! Fudge and brownie milkshakes! Atomic fries! Warm skillet cookies with scoops of Oreo ice cream on top!

And then home for some hangout time with the best women. Baking, knitting, talking, discussing, debating, playing games, making plans to run some races together. Because winter is for the spirit, but summer is for the body! And here we are at the pivot of spring!

Last year, Leena received e-tickets for her birthday to visit the Biodome, Insectarium, and Botanical Gardens. On the day they were going to expire, we finally went! It was awesome! Drex masterfully French braided hair. He gets phenomenal mega points for Leena’s.

The tropical forest was a bit toasty in my down jacket, but Jubble McJubble was asleep, so I sweat it out until we got to the penguins in the subpolar dome. Most memorable: in the Laurentian zone, we saw battling raccoons. They were not behind any sort of enclosure. I imagined one of these things landing on some gawker’s head (like mine). But I couldn’t look away.

We paid another visit to Clip n Climb in Laval. The girls are amazing climbers! With Achilles tendonopathy (poor Drex) and a baby in the mix, the grown-ups saved our climbing for another day.

We also began our Annual Family Barefoot Snow Walk Challenge! Made it about a yard between two towels before our feet started to burn. It was (yeah, surprise, surprise) SUPER DUPER COLD! All participants got hot chocolate.

We’ve really been into card games lately. Before going to a Piano Guys concert (which was SUPER DUPER COOL!), Leena and Sonya played a mod version of War. After the concert, Derek and I stayed awake until the early morning hours playing Nertz. He defeated me soundly. My reflexes are slow!

Leena took this amazing picture of me with my Adventure Buddy. This is what I’d like to think I look like on an everyday basis during mat leave.

Oh don’t you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me.”
I said, “You’re holding back,”
She said, “Shut up and dance with me!”

— lyrics to Shut Up and Dance With Me by Walk the Moon

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Magnum Paints

Posted March 2nd, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Leena wanted a warm, cozy cowl big enough to stretch up over her face. Destiny led me to Cascade Magnum Paints in Dark Berry (hand dyed no. 9738)— which happens to be Twilight Sparkle colors! Leena’s favorite My Little Pony! Destiny, I tell you! At times, it felt like knitting with cartoon yarn. Super bulky 100% Peruvian Highland Wool on 10 mm circular needles. Holy smokes. I was blazing! Finished the whole thing in a couple hours while nursing The Jub.

Then I whip stitched a custom woven fabric label with our Ruthsteam Adventure Buddies badge as a finishing touch. I even had enough leftover Magnum Paints for a second cowl! Possibly even a third.

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Snow Cave

Posted February 27th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

The four of us spend a great deal of time outside— shoveling, building, stomping, rolling, crunching, walking, sledding, and climbing the snow, the snow, the glorious snow. Everywhere, everywhere, SNOW! Jubjub in my coat and the girls running around, we’re all tired at the end of the day. Early to bed, early to rise, like the winter sun.

We are the music makers / And we are the dreamers of dreams.

— Arthur O’Shaughnessy, Ode

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