Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 P52 Week 3: Favourite

Well, I didn't get this post together in time for the blog circle, but I wanted to share anyway. This week's prompt for my project 52 was "your favourite". And right now, my favourite is nap time. Aedan is a huge challenge these days: he requires an almost inhuman amount of patience and presence. I so look forward to being able to lay down with him for the few moments before he falls asleep. When he is calm, and quiet, and not kicking or hitting or spitting or yelling. When he wakes up, it's like a clean slate. We're all refreshed and ready to get through the rest of the day.

P52 week 3: Your Favourite

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 P52 week 2: House on Fire

For this week's challenge, we had to think about and photograph what we'd grab if our house were on fire and we had 10 minutes to gather personal possessions. It made for some beautiful images and stories shared in the forum, and lots of thought provoking discussion.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would grab. But in the end, I feel like, other than the obvious (our lives) there is nothing we couldn't replace. I've lost an important piece of heirloom jewelry in the last couple of years, and it was agony for about a year. And then I got over it. They're just things. Most of my photos exist somewhere on the internet. So, I was practical in what I would grab. It doesn't make for a very interesting picture, but it certainly has had me thinking a lot over the past week.

My camera, which is replaceable, but it's always on my mind so, if I'm being honest, I would probably grab it. The diaper bag, because that's second nature by now. Aedan's boots, because I wouldn't want his feet to get cold, and his glucometer and Glyburide. Both of which are easily replaceable, but, like the camera, it's always on my mind.


Please take a few minutes to check out some of the amazing talent in our blog circle. Next up is Kristy.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Where in the world?

At first I was avoiding writing this post. And then I felt ready to write it, but couldn't make the time. Now I've got about 3 posts I want to write, and I just need to get this out of the way! So, while Colm naps beside me and Aedan is quietly watching t.v., I'll fill you in.

After 2 weeks of Costa Rica, we decided it just was not the right time or place for our family to be experimenting with the ex-pat lifestyle. We made a radical change to our plans, and came back to Ontario in time for the holidays. Costa Rica is absolutely beautiful, and it is a place to which I will return. There is so much more of it to be explored, and when the kids are older, maybe we'll see it all. The beach we stayed at was wonderfully low-key, almost undiscovered really, and we've got some great memories of it. Aedan discovered that he loves to play in the waves and to devour mangoes in the sand. And Colm never showed a moments hesitation with the water! He even tried taking his first real steps in the surf. I guess he thought it would be easier to enjoy from a slightly higher vantage. 

We relaxed, we soaked up the sun, we ate our combined weight in fruit, we dispatched no less than 6 scorpions from our house (and one enormous, hairy black spider), we watched a group of 10 howler monkeys move through the trees at our back deck, we played in the waves and watched the sun set over the Pacific ocean every night.

I felt so guilty, so ungrateful, when we first made the decision to come back to Ontario so soon. But I know now it was the right one. Spending the holidays with family felt like exactly the thing we should have been doing, and the boys are loving all the time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Without any further ado, here are some of my favourite photos from Costa Rica. Enjoy!














Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 CM P52 week 1: You

One of my goals for this year is to continue to practise and improve my photography. I'm going to try to shoot daily, but I'm also trying to be realistic! Between the two littles and a baby due in May, I know I'll miss days. But I still want to push myself a little, so I've commited to a group 52 project: posting a photo a week, following the prompts on the Clickin' Moms forum. Alongside that, I'm going to join in a blog circle with some of the ladies in the group. Week 1 is a self-portrait. Seems like a logical place to start the year, so here I am!

P52 week 1: You

Next in the blog circle is Karen!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Finding our bearings

We've been here for a week now, and I feel like we're finally all getting settled. It's hard on the little ones, with travel by air and car, different beds, new faces, a totally different climate...and it's hard on the big ones, too! 

Our house is perched on a high hillside at the edge of a wildlife preserve: our view is of a jungled river valley, and mountains behind that. We can watch big black birds of prey surfing on air currents, and smaller, brightly coloured birds flitting from tree to tree. This morning we had a group of about 10 howler monkeys pass through the trees directly over our back porch. It was our first time seeing them, though we hear them each morning just before sunrise. Theirs is a chilling sound, deep and gutteral, like something out of a zombie movie. But to see them in full daylight, they're not very big, dark in colour. They studied us curiously, passing quite close to us. One of them had a baby clinging to her front. It's hard to reconcile that frightening call with the docile faces we saw today!

Being essentially in the jungle, there are a lot of bugs, too. We've dealt with our fourth scorpion (in the house!) tonight. They're not deadly, and apparently the sting is more like that of a wasp. Only dangerous if you have an anaphylactic reaction. I really hope none of us gets stung, though. I'm constantly scanning the ground ahead of me, I check the bed before we get in at night, pull back the shower curtain every time I'm in the bathroom...

It's the end of the rainy season, but it's still so green. There are flowers blooming in the trees, on bushes and vines, it's lush and beautiful. A few nights ago we had some very strong winds, and we've been told the winds signal the beginning of the dry season. I'm curious to see how things will change over the next 7 weeks.

We're in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, staying near a village called Nosara. There are 3 small beach towns around Nosara: Pelada, Guiones and Garza. These are all connected by winding, extremely rutted dirt roads quite literally carved out of the jungle. We are closest to Playa Pelada. It's a quiet beach, often we're the only ones there. The waves are not too huge, and there are these big rocks that extend out into the ocean. There are lots of little tide pools amoung the rocks, which Aedan loves to explore. He and Colm both love to get right into them, they're perfect for kids to play in. We've seen lots of crabs, some little fish in the pools, and in one pool in particular, there are some sea urchins. The sunsets are stunning, but once the sun goes down, it's very dark. There aren't any street lights in our area. 

The fruit is so amazing, fresh and ripe and so full of flavour; we've all been gorging ourselves. Well, all except Colm, who wouldn't eat a piece of fruit to save his life...though he was curious about the watermelon today, finally! 

Unfortunately I can't share pictures with you...because although I replaced the connection cable I need to get them from my camera to my iPad before leaving Ontario, I forgot the cable at my parents' house. I hope my words will suffice, until we get back, when you'll get a huge photo update! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Not done yet, and other things

Well, friends, I've been keeping a secret from you. In May 2015 we will be adding one more to our family! I'm almost 16 weeks pregnant now. My appetite is returning, my regular pants are uncomfortable, and I'm carefully trying to seperate the first stirrings of life from gas. Ah, pregnancy. 

I'm excited that I get to experience it all one more time. I remember taking in Colm as a newborn, thinking he'd be the last. But he'll be a middle child! I'm also nervous. The last year has been difficult for me; the adjustment from one to two kids felt anything but smooth. But I feel like I know what to expect, and can better prepare myself. I'd like to wean Colm before this baby is born, because while tandem nursing certainly made the transition easier for Aedan, it was hell for me. And I will be watching myself carefully for signs of post partum depression. I won't be afraid to ask for help this time. 

So, there you go. I am incapable of going to Central America without a bun in the oven.

In other news, we leave on Saturday! I'm really looking forward to settling in and finding a routine for all of us.

I apologize for the lack of photos lately. I'm traveling with my iPad only and had lost the connector for uploading photos. I've replaced it. So you'll get to see Costa Rica, promise!

I guess I'll check in once we're settled!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Variations of Home

(I wrote this post a few days ago, and was waiting until I got a photo of the door, or something, to post. But I've had a sick baby in my arms for the past couple of days. The words are more important, anyway.)

I remember visiting my parents, not long after moving to the Yukon, and referring to their house as "home". My mom told me that it made her happy to hear that I still thought of it that way.

From then on, I made a concious effort not to refer to it as home. I'd decided that the Yukon would be my new home; I could not have more than one.

I am home now, in my parents' house. It is always a comfortable feeling, as we drive from the airport through the familiar streets of the city in which I grew up. It is a deep exhale as I step through the side door and drop my bags. Everything is familiar: the smell, clean and sweet; the creak of the stairs; the way I immediately begin opening the refridgerator and the cupboards, like my teenaged self looking for something to eat; the way my sister and I fall into the rhythm of setting and clearing the table; the dinner-table conversation. All of the things I fought hard in my twenties, I embrace now. This will always be home.

But home is also a log cabin on the other side of the country, blanketed in snow. Home is the woodstove softly ticking, it is the generator humming through the dark night, it is the complete silence that accompanies a 3 am trip to the outhouse. Each time we drive the long highway between Whitehorse and Dawson, I am awed by the vastness of the territory, the wildness of it; where the only thing moving is the wind through the trees, the only sound the beat of a raven's wings. It is something I treasure but will never possess. It is a darkly beautiful jewel. It is terrifying and comforting at once.

And as we begin this journey of uprootedness, of travel, of not-knowing, home is here, in this bed where I write, my two little boys sleeping spread-eagled, arms flung across one another. Home is any bed that holds the four of us, anywhere, in any country. The familiar sounds of our shared sleep, the particular scent of our skin. 

Home is any place in which we all lay down to sleep; home is any place we all wake up, together.