Saturday, October 18, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
My sweet little Collie-saur,
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Something I've really been enjoying lately is watching the connection grow between Aedan and Colm. They just love each other so completely, without reserve or qualification. Though Aedan can sometimes get a bit carried away, he's generally full of kisses and pats. He'll tell Colm when he's getting into something he shouldn't ("No, Collie! Get out of there!") or offer random toys to him. He just can't wait for Colm to wake up in the mornings, and usually speeds the process along by climbing over me and bestowing kisses all over Colm's face and arms. And then sounds really surprised when he wakes up. "Oh! I think he's waking up now!" It's so sweet.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Yesterday was your third birthday. We had your first ever real birthday party, with your friends and Yukon family coming out to the house for a bonfire in the afternoon. You were so excited to have your friends visit! Every time a car pulled into the driveway, you ran alongside the dogs to greet them, barking just like Cilla barks. You had fun playing dinosaurs with Tristan and visiting with Tante Cat and Megan. We sang to you, and you blew out your candle.
I can't believe how much you've changed in the last year. You speak so well, and you are fearless when it comes to trying new and multi-syllable words (especially dinosaur names, like euoplocephalus and brachiosaurus). You run, and jump, and go up and down the steep stairs to our loft with no problem. You finally like the bath, but you still hate having your teeth brushed. You're not so obsessed with diggers anymore, but you sure love your dinos and your sea creatures.
This year, we ended our breastfeeding relationship. You weren't very happy about it at first, but things are so much better between us now. You sleep the whole night through, and when you do need comfort in the night, you tuck your little hand inside my shirt, against my skin, and that seems to be enough.
One thing that has stayed constant in the last year: your love of throwing sticks and rocks into water. Forget slides and swings...give you a river and a rocky beach and you're occupied for hours.
You love a little touch of maple syrup on your oatmeal in the morning, and soy sauce on just about everything else. You love french fries, and tofu, and peanut butter sandwiches and frozen peas. Berries of any kind seem to be your favourite fruit these days.
You are really asserting your independence, and I try so hard to respect that and to give you space to be you. But sometimes I think you disagree with me just because you can. If I'm sitting in a certain chair, you will insist that I am not sitting in that chair, that it is your chair. I could observe that it is a beautiful sunny day and you will assure me that the sun is not shining. It's hilarious and maddening at the same time.
Perhaps the biggest change in your life this year has been becoming a big brother. You have welcomed Colm into our family whole-heartedly. You've never seemed jealous. You love him (a little too hard sometimes) and I'm so excited to watch you grow together.
You delight me, you frustrate me, you amaze me. I feel so lucky to be sharing this life with you.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Welcome to the September 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Home Tour
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have opened up their doors and given us a photo-rich glimpse into how they arrange their living spaces.
When I look out of any window in our house, I see only trees: birch, poplar, aspen, and spruce. Mostly spruce. Our home is made of spruce: big logs peeled clean by my husband's hands form the high-ceiling'd family room, and smaller squared logs make up the kitchen and loft, the original building on these five acres. We heat our home with spruce, and birch, too, There is birch in the woodstove now; it smells faintly sweet.
Thank you for visiting our home up the Dempster!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon September 9 with all the carnival links.)
- Being Barlow Home Tour — Follow along as Jessica at Being Barlow gives you the tour of her family's home.
- A Tour Of My Hybrid Rasta Kitchen — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes you on a tour of her kitchen complete with a Kombucha Corner, a large turtle, her tea stash, and of course, all her must-have kitchen gadgets. Check out Hybrid Rasta Mama's most favorite space!
- Dreaming of a Sisters Room — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, dreams, schemes and pins ideas for when her younger daughter is ready to move out of the family bed and share a room with her older sister.
- Building a life — Constructing a dream — Survivor at Surviving Mexico-Adventures and Disasters shows you a glimpse inside the home her family built and talks about adaptions they made in constructing their lives in Mexico.
- Why I'm Sleeping in the Dining Room — Becca at The Earthling's Handbook welcomed a new baby but didn't have a spare bedroom. She explains how her family rearranged the house to create Lydia's nursing nest and changed room in spaces they already had.
- The Gratitude Tour — Inspired by Momastry's recent "home tour," That Mama Gretchen is highlighting imperfect snapshots of things she's thankful for around her home. Don't plan to pin anything!
- Our Home in the Forest — Tara from Up the Dempster gives you a peek into life lived off-grid in Canada's Yukon Territory.
- natural bedding for kids — Emma at Your Fonder Heart shows you how her family of 3 (soon to be 4) manages to keep their two cotton & wool beds clean and dry (plus a little on the end of cosleeping — for now).
- I love our home — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings explains how lucky she feels to have the home she does, and why she strives so hard to keep it tidy.
- Not-So-Extreme Makeover: Sunshine and Rainbows Edition — Dionna at Code Name: Mama was tired of her dark, outdated house, so she brightened it up and added some color.
- Our little outdoor space — Tat at Mum in search invites you to visit her balcony, where her children make friends with wildlife.
- Our Funky, Bright, Eclectic, Montessori Home — Rachel at Bread and Roses shows you her family's newly renovated home and how it's set up with Montessori principles in mind for her 15-month-old to have independence.
- Beach cottage in progress — Ever tried to turn a 1980s condo into a 1920s beach bungalow? Lauren at Hobo Mama is giving it a try!
- Conjuring home: intention in renovation — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama explains why she and her husband took on a huge renovation with two little kids and shares the downsides and the ups, too.
- Learning At Home — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling helps us to re-imagine the ordinary spaces of our homes to ignite natural learning.
- My Dining Room Table — Kellie at Our Mindful Life loves her dining room table — and everything surrounding it!
- Sight words and life lessons — The room that seemed to fit the least in Laura from Pug in the Kitchen's life is now host to her family's homeschool adventures and a room they couldn't imagine life without!
- A Tour of Our Church — Garry at Postilius invites you virtually visit him in the 19th-century, one-room church where he lives with his spouse and two kids.
- Preparing a Montessori Baby-Toddler Space at Home — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the Montessori baby-toddler space she's created in the main living area of her home along with a variety of resources for creating a Montessori-friendly home.
- The Old Bailey House — Come peek through the window of The Old Bailey House where Erica at ChildOrganics resides with her little ones.
- My New House Not-Monday: The Stairs — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl shows you her new laminate stairs in her not-so-new-anymore house.
- To Minimalist and Back Again — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she went to the extreme as a minimalist and bounced right back. Read how she finds it difficult to maintain the minimalist lifestyle when upsizing living space.
- Our Life As Modern-Day Nomads — This family of five lives in 194 square feet of space — with the whole of North America as a back yard. Paige of Our Road Less Traveled guest posts at Natural Parents Network.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
While it is fall in name only in many parts of Canada, here in the North, we are most definitely in the thick of it.
Fall is birch and aspen shimmering gold; it is the leaves of the fireweed and wild rose turning yellow, orange, deep purple, scarlet. It is a breathtaking display of colours on the tundra. It makes me think of a richly woven carpet, spread out over the mountains. We take drives out to Tombstone Territorial Park, just up the highway from our house, to drink it all in.
It is a time of dark nights filled with stars and undulating aurora borealis. It is sometimes damp. It is morning frosts laying the tall wild grasses low, and sweetening the cranberries that hang ripe on the bush.
Fall here is guys in checkered flannel jackets asking "Got your moose?" over cups of coffee in the Eldo. We head to the hills on warm afternoons, plunk our babies down in the soft moss and lichen, and fill our buckets with wild blueberries, keeping the conversation up so the bears know we're there. We hurry to get the garden in, chopping, blanching, freezing and canning, listening for the soft "plink" of the jars sealing. We work on the woodpile, bucking up logs into stove-lengths, splitting, stacking.
Fall is the final push to get it all done before cold weather and dark nights settle in. The miners pull the last bit of gold from the ground, and the bartenders and blackjack dealers pull the last bit of gold from the miners. The seasonal businesses run down their stock, close up hotel rooms one by one for the winter; the boards are nailed up over the windows and doors. The town is quieter, now.
More than anything, fall up here feels to me like leaving. Maybe I haven't been here long enough yet to feel settled. Maybe I've just got leaving in my heart. It is a tightness in the throat as we watch the cranes fly overhead and the seasonal workers hitch their way out of town, back to Toronto or Vancouver or Montreal.
For those of us left behind, it is a time of drawing in, and of reconnecting with friends after a busy summer. There is a scramble to find someone to shack up with, making high rent and long cold nights more tolerable. We hunker down as winter approaches, we speculate on what kind of a winter it might be, sizing it up with more than a little apprehension.
Fall here is brief and beautiful; it is hurrying up and slowing down all at once.
Monday, September 1, 2014
(the photo taken at the river was taken by Heidi Bliedung. Used with permission.)