A fortress deep and mighty

Posted November 18th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

The soundtrack to my morning:

A winter’s day in a deep and dark [November], I am alone, gazing from my window to the streets below on a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow. I am a rock, I am an island.

— Simon & Garfunkel, “I am a Rock”

Over the weekend we had our first real snowfall and it looks like Narnia outside. Mr. Tumnus might appear under one of the street lamps any moment. It looks magical and austere, inviting and daunting, beautiful and cold. Like a little comma, Jujubear is curled up on my lap on the U-pillow wedged around me in my office chair so I can make a pretense of writing at my computer instead of staring off into space, making imaginary lists, daydreaming, letting my mind be as smooth and silent as the snow outside.

Winter has typically been a very creative time, because there are few distractions. Luckily, the kids pull me outside or I might truly begin hibernating in my flannel pajamas, curled up like Jujubear, no desire to do anything but eat and sleep in our warm cozy house. But I think it’s important for me, especially in the winter, to have firm commitments, to set goals, and to go out and do things for my health and sanity.

Or I might get lonely. Or I might get sad. Like I did my first winter in Montreal. But now I have friends. Now I have activities. I will embrace and enjoy this winter.

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Finished ceramics! All glazed and lovely! So proudly pleased…

Posted November 16th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

The week before Arjun was born, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be attending my last Tuesday evening class at Atelier Make. His head was down, locked and loaded in position. It was hard to sit on the stool and concentrate with somebody kicking my ribs from the inside. Turns out I was right to rush through glazing all my pieces in one evening! Although I didn’t get a chance to do much detailed brushwork, I’m pleased with the final results: thumbprints, wobbly edges, and all. I don’t expect any of these to survive the year, anyway.

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Baby Boy Vest

Posted November 14th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Hooray! Juju is wearing the shimmery peacock baby vest I knit for him mostly poolside at the American Club in Singapore. The fibers probably still have salt from the edamame. I thought this would be his 3-month vest, not his 3-week vest. Teaches me to try to knit something for a newborn. It should probably fit him a good while though, because there are buttons on the right shoulder and down the right side (triangular tiger-eye beauties). There was a gold bow tie I envisioned him wearing with this ensemble too, but Juju was having absolutely none of it. However, he seems to like his vest. Or at least doesn’t mind having it on. Which is handy. Because based on the love and effort I put into making this vest for him, my little guy is going to wear this pretty much everyday until those buttons pop off the sides.

We live in a world of machines. Our world moves faster, bigger, and better with every moment. Machines replace humans and often do our jobs better. When you are knitting socks and sweaters and scarves, you aren’t just knitting. You are assigning a value to human effort. You are holding back time. You are preserving the simple unchanging act of handwork. I will remember that knitting is more meaningful that it seems.

— Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

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Posted November 11th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Our neighbors gave us frozen moose, and another friend stopped by for lunch with roses, so my preparations for a simple anniversary dinner were made super easy. Last night Leena and I pan-seared the moose and set the table for Drex and Sonya’s arrival.

We had chocolate orange cake from my favorite bakery Cocoa Locale. Sonya and Leena thoughtfully made us cards. We celebrate the anniversary of our proposal rather than our wedding, since we got married on Drex’s birthday and didn’t want to shortchange the annual celebration of his awesomeness.

We’ve known each other thirteen years, been married six, and have three awesome kids. Finally, our house is starting to look like grown-ups live here. We recently framed a canvas bought on Orchard Road in Singapore, a painting of the Mughal cavalry by a Bollywood set designer. It immediately spoke to me. Especially the red pennant in the foreground. Held by the unseen flagbearer. There’s a deep metaphor in there somewhere.

Our living room has been transformed with some new pieces. The artwork, a chair, a rug, a basket to hold all the Legos, and a baby swing, because we’re classy but practical. As winter approaches, I anticipate hot chocolates and projects and reading and music around the Gathering Rug, which is what I’ve come to call it. King Arthur had his round table. I have my round rug. Special thanks to our friend Tinka and Grandmama for their generous contributions to this cozy space. I personally spend a lot of time here. Sitting, knitting, nursing, reading, thinking, writing. Every now and then, I pause and marvel over how far we’ve come, the two of us, the three of us, the four of us, the five of us now. With so many awesome adventures ahead.

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Splash and Dash

Posted November 9th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

We participated in the annual Splash and Dash event to raise funds for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. Special thanks to the generous sponsors of Team Adventure Buddies.

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Molly Ann’s Baby Hat for Arjun

Posted November 6th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Below: Sonya’s fruit bat with tawny gray yarn… with a surprise burst of vivid color on the inside of the ball. Green! Aqua! Blue! Just what I’d expect from scrumptious Liberty Wool, which I used for Sonya’s Capucine Hat and Leena’s Baby Surprise Jacket. Now Juju Bear has two Liberty Wool hats knit by Molly Ann. I feel disappointed I made Juju’s newborn hat and cardigan so small! Leena’s doll gets to wear them now.

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Big Sisters, Little Brother

Posted November 5th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Sonya has a swollen right cheek, probably something viral. Leena has a night-time cough, but otherwise seems to be in good spirits. Arjun eats and sleeps like a clockwork baby. I’ve had the luxury of sitting, reading, going for walks, and staring at the disappearing autumn leaves out the living room window while Grandmama is here running the household, getting meals ready, doing dishes, picking up toys, assembling new furniture. But I still feel like I could use a resort spa vacation. Or at least a full night’s sleep.

Drex is working on a strong finish to his semester, running his group, doing research, teaching class. Molly Ann stops by almost daily to check in, hang out, help, and knit another baby hat. Winter is coming! Skywalker prowls around silently, making sure to remind us when she needs to be fed. The home is calm but lively, filled with tiredness, illness, and happiness. And most touching of all is how we’re helping each other get through these long days of transition. Sonya calls them “turtle days” because we’re all being slow and steady, giving our bodies the rest and comfort they need to function and repair.

I’ve been drinking a lot of water while nursing, and Leena often takes my empty water bottle to the bathroom sink “to full it.” Drex and I’ve talked about the beauty of Leena’s verb. To full means to fill completely, or in Leena’s case, beyond capacity to overflowing.

I’m worn out. I need sleep. I need another four of me at least. But I’m happy. Those three— my gosh, three!— radiant faces. They FULL me up.

And tonight, maybe tonight, Drex and I are going to watch a movie…

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Posted November 2nd, 2014 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

A quiet home with a new round rug, sun through the window, and a baby in my arms. A special delivery of chocolate-covered fruits from Dida, Dadu, and Lily. Little Dude opening his eyes, clenching and unclenching his hands. Hello world! Two big sisters loving on Juju Bear. Mealtime to mealtime, dozing and nursing through the nights, one week slipped by.

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He’s here!

Posted October 30th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

Introducing Arjun Winter Ruths who reminds me so much of newborn Sonya except when I change his diaper. Leena, in her first official act as big sister, nicknamed him Juju Bear.

Grandmama is here, too! This is such a special, surreal, magical time.

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Children’s Art Gallery

Posted October 21st, 2014 in Uncategorized by Mitsy

I am pleased to unveil our new Children’s Art Gallery just outside the girls’ room, showcasing a collection of September and October masterpieces.

Drex and Associates installed three IKEA Dignitet curtain wires for the display. Very pleased with their work and looking forward to an ongoing rotation of art to brighten our home throughout the seasons.

One drawing above by Leena is particularly precious to me. On the left, done in glitter marker on red construction paper, is Baby Brother attached to his placenta, growing inside my womb. There are two ovaries, two Fallopian tubes, and a cervix, which the girls know to be “the round door that opens so they could be born.” What can I say? The daughters of an M.D.

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