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Spring Flowers and their Intoxicating Magic

Yay, it’s spring! Somehow, I’m even more excited about it this year than usual. I’m glad there’s been plenty of rain, like there’s supposed to be. I’m glad there’s been nice sweater-weather – some years it seems we go straight from winter to summer.

A few weeks ago, I had a dream weekend (for the likes of me). I got to perform with my dance sisters at two different events, and train at two workshops with the amazing Audra Simmons. On Sunday, I had an afternoon date with my Hubbibi in which we had a great meal uninterrupted and then wandered around together conversing uninterrupted in the beautiful spring weather. To top it all off, we went to my parents’ to pick up our children, and I had the chance to go out to the marsh and surround myself with this sound:

It just makes me happy.

And now, the flowers are here! Which makes me even gladder. It seems the flowers are just as affecting for AB. We both got in a tizzy about the sweet, fragrant violets when they popped up.

spring-violets

And we were thrilled about these little irises.

spring-irises

AB was so taken with them, she decided on the spot that she would change her name to Iris. Thenceforth, her name would be Iris Olivia P. (Olivia P. is her best friend’s name). Her own actual name was third in line. That evening, I tried to remember to call her Iris a few times. Luckily, this kind of pretending is usually short-lived. She practiced writing her new name a bunch, but hasn’t made us use it.

A week later, I got a note from her JK teacher asking if there was real significance to the name Iris, since AB had been insisting it was actually her name. She had reportedly gotten upset in line at spring picture day because the silly photographers were outrageously USING HER OLD NAME. The poor supply teacher who was with the class that day didn’t know what to do.

Yesterday when I picked AB up at the end of the day, her teacher looked a little unsure and said, “I hope you’ll find this funny…” and handed me the school photo proofs.

I didn’t just laugh, I practically guffawed. Sean did the same when he saw them. Now THAT is a picture of a girl who is pleased with herself. We may actually order some, for the first time.

Our darling children also insisted on a sibling picture, even though we hadn’t requested one.  Doesn’t it look like they love each other?

Here’s one more picture, from today, because I was so excited. It’s the wee cherry tree we planted last year. We didn’t know whether to expect anything but leaves… but yippee! Cherry blossoms!

spring-cherry-blossoms

Spring is so great.

***


 

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Happy Spring?

Hi lovelies,

It’s spring! Ha ha. Here in our city, we’ve had over 20 cm of snow this week. A few nights ago, we had a cozy wood fire in our fireplace (it’s finally drawing properly!), which was great but distinctly un-springy. ‘Twas the weather Christmas forgot to have. And then today… it was just muck falling from the sky.

Since the official start of spring, it has been weird around here. The weather is only part of it; poor E also got sick over Easter weekend with what I think was probably the flu – but it knocked him out for the better part of six days, which is very unusual for him. He slept so much that I barely saw him, and hardly ate a thing. He’s normally a pale kid, but he became positively ghostly.

This past season has been brutal for sickness, at least in our area. Teachers and students have been absent in what I’m sure are record numbers, and not just with the usual colds and stomach bugs. Lots of strep throat and pneumonia.

Between the maladies and the weather, I get a rather apocalyptic feeling. As if someday, the further-evolved survivors of our species will look back on this time period and shake their heads, intoning sorrowfully, “Hardly any of them saw it coming… They tried to warn the others, but nobody would listen…”

I know, I’m a ball of sunshine. Presumptuously morose for someone who hasn’t written anything worth posting in more than a month.

tiny pig
This should do it.

Okay. Let’s lighten it up with some gratitude. Inspired by my friend H who is blogging happiness this year.

I’m currently grateful for:

  • E being back to normal, finally;
  • the school board-wide shutdown (due to ice!) on the first day E was sick so I could stay home with him;
  • my sisters and parents who have all helped so much where child care is concerned, especially in recent months;
  • my cat remembering (again) where he’s supposed to do his business;
  • having thoroughly cleaned and organized the basement rec room over the March break – it’s now so much easier to tidy up and SO much more fun to play in;
  • our “new” house slowly but surely becoming easier to live in as we organize, donate, and (re)arrange;
  • the springy weather we have had so far – because there were (once upon a time) some beautiful days that keep a body going even when the polar vortex follows;
  • gradually developing more productive habits – Sean and I are finally using our charts! Kind of… well, we are getting there;
  • getting ready for a family reunion in less than two weeks!!
  • AB bringing up the topic of gratitude at the dinner table the other night, asking if we could “play that game” where we tell each other what we “love about”;
  • my dear friend Skye who always notices when I’m not blogging and gently kicks my butt because she knows (better than I do, apparently) that it’s important.

So. You haven’t read the last of me. Thanks, as always, for reading. xoxo

***


 

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Baby AB’s Fashion Blog – Issue #4: “Innocent Lilac”

Happy Victoria and First Peoples Day!

It’s been a gorgeous summery day that was supposed to be raining. (And last week on Mother’s Day it snowed. WTF, FTW!)

Today’s feature is actually from today, for once. A beautifully simple dress, bequeathed by my friend Sally, that begs to be paired with lilacs in full bloom. CHECK! (Lilacs are among my top favourite things I would miss if I didn’t live on this planet.)

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Sweet little decorative rose, petal sleeves, a bit of lace at the bottom. Understated, sophisticated. Right?

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Works with magenta crab apple blossoms too. ALL the trees are blooming at once!!

The simplicity allows for some fancier shoes – also handed down, from Karissa. They’re too big yet, but whatever. Also too gorgeous to pass up.

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I’m going to miss the dents-for-knees stage.

Of course, you can’t spend all day in elegance. Nearly Naked Napping is essential on warm holiday weekends.

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Under the ceiling fan.

Speaking of nudity, E had some too.

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SUMMER HAPPY!

I hate to censor the joyful little dude, but I figure the face is worth posting. Fully Naked Pool-Splashing face. When I look at this photo, I want to remember how he read the words on the hose-nozzle to Papa all by himself (“mist”, “flat”, “jet”, “spray”, and “flood” – although he put the “ooh” sound in flood).

I love those kids so much.

***


 

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The Blooming Season

This weekend is a big one for me.

On Saturday, I’ll be thirty-five years old. (Holy smokes.) And of course, Sunday is Mother’s Day.

Over the past week or so, something has been making me feel slightly odd and touched in the head. There’s been a phantom baby inside me. Not that I have actual pregnancy symptoms (other than exhaustion and fluctuations in appetite, which can be chalked up to the baby outside me). I am definitely not pregnant.

But it’s weird – I feel movements. Convincing ones that make me involuntarily put a hand on my abdomen.

If at this point you want to take me gently aside and explain about my digestive system and gas bubbles, don’t worry. I know most of what I’m feeling is the normal business of the human body. I’ve been thinking to myself, Dilovely, you’re being ridiculous, you haven’t been pregnant for seven months.

And then it occurred to me: I have spent a large fraction of the last five years pregnant. More specifically, I have been pregnant for 4 of the last 5 birthdays and Mother’s Days.

In 2008, one of the years my birthday coincided with Mother’s Day, a cluster of cells the size of a poppyseed was growing in my womb, only to release itself 17 days later.

In 2009, I was rotund, less than a month away from the hardest and most amazing experience of my life to that date: delivering my firstborn son.

In 2011, I was expecting his brother, who would, as you know, arrive five weeks early, and leave us even before we held him.

Last year on Mother’s Day, I was halfway through my pregnancy with Baby AB, having monthly ultrasounds and periodic ECGs, hyper-aware of every signal she provided telling me she was okay. Now, she’s just over seven months old, and as healthy as rosy little piglet. She weighs over four times what Sebastian weighed at birth.

Once I put all this together, I stopped fretting about my phantom baby. No wonder when I sing lullabies to my daughter, I find myself reflexively imagining the sound travelling through my body to envelop a tiny person inside. It kind of makes sense that as my body takes in the thrilling fragrances of the blooming season, it should also remember its own blooming. It’s not a flight of fancy; it’s just a memory.

healing-painting-baby-sleeping-in-a-rose-catt-kyriacou
Baby Sleeping in a Rose by Catt Kyriacou

And why should I be the only one to feel this presence?

This morning, E asked me, seemingly apropos of nothing, “Mama, when is the new baby coming?”

There was an upside-down moment where I was right in step with his question, then a jolt as I reminded myself that it was a strange thing for him to say.

I had to ask him to repeat it, just to be sure I’d heard him right. I know he still wishes for a baby brother (one he can keep). Lovingly, I told him I’m not pregnant; he responded matter-of-factly, “Yes, you are.”

And it’s rational enough. Why shouldn’t I be pregnant every spring, like a mama duck? His memories of my pregnancies may be vague, but they might still inform his inner concept of spring.

***

My first uninhabited Mother’s Day since Sebastian. There’s something really hard about this.

***

In truth, I’m glad not to be pregnant. I definitely have my arms full as it is. If I feel emptiness as well… I can manage it. It hurts, but then – there’s so much joy in living with my scrumptious little progeny. This full-empty Mother’s Day is unique to this moment in my life, this golden babyhaving time that’s as tough as it is glorious – and brief.

I’m thankful for all of it.

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***

Visit Yeah Write for some high quality weekend reading…


 

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Spring Totally Sprang

So, now that the news of impending baby #3 is common knowledge, you can imagine what I did with my March break. I obviously wasn’t blogging, although I made several attempts. I WAS:

  • Playing with my kid
  • Reading stories to my kid
  • Convincing myself to eat food
  • Sleeping whenever possible
  • Trying to find more ways to get sleep
  • Wishing my kid would still take naps so I could sleep…
  • You get the idea.

It was the last week of my first trimester, so I was about as tired as I ever, ever am. But I did manage to enjoy some quality time with E. We got to have leisurely morning snuggles, go swimming at the Y, visit family, and read lots and lots of stories.

He’s a fun, funny little dude, my firstborn son. He has been going through a phase where he loves tents (i.e. getting on the bed and putting a blanket over our heads), so right now, the best way to get him to brush his teeth is to make a tooth-brushing tent. It’s worth the awkwardness, since he will obediently submit to a thorough teeth-brushing if he’s in the tooth-brushing tent.

He also is obsessed with technology, especially “screen time”. He’ll be three years old in June – so it’s inappropriate for him to be addicted to screen time already. Right? Still, he kind of is. He is always wanting to watch something (and we don’t even have TV channels – just videos, Elmo, Thomas, Disney, etc.) or play on Daddy’s iPad. If we let him do exactly as he wanted, he would spend hours a day in front of a screen. Shudder. (Of course I would get a lot more done, but feel like a far worse parent.)

He also can produce a killer roar. He’ll scare ya. (Although he didn’t succeed in scaring the garden ants with it.)

The other exciting thing about March break: spring sprang. In fact, summer practically sprang – it was crazy. Temperatures went straight up through the teens, right into the 20s. At my parents’ house in the woods, the mosquitoes were already numerous. The spring peepers were already in fine form. It boggles the mind a little bit – I mean, it was technically still winter, and normally at this point we’re happy just to have a nice thaw.

E got to go on epic hikes with Daddy, down to the river near our house, and was apparently quite the impressive trouper with unexpected endurance.

E in his hoodie, vest, and knit hat Continue reading “Spring Totally Sprang”

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