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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Leaving on a jet plane

I used to think that a true Yukoner had to "stay the winter". And I've done that. I've lost it at 40 below when the sun doesn't begin to rise til 10 a.m. Those days included lots of Bailey's, pot, and pierogies. T.V. marathons, dinner parties, wine, long bundled up walks on the frozen river. Going back to bed whenever I felt like it, buried under the covers with a space heater cranked up high.

Now that I've got kids, very young kids to be exact, those days feel housebound and crazy-making. Already I feel myself breaking. It's a battle to get Aedan outside for 15 minutes of running around the yard. I know that when he's a bit older, it may be different, but for now, it's really hard. And I am prone to seasonal depression; it's gotten much worse in the last two years. I could take pills. Or, I could leave.

That's what we're doing. We're headed out for almost 4 months, our longest stretch out of the territory yet. And I no longer feel like that makes me less of a Yukoner. Actually I'm over the whole "big tough Yukoner" thing. I want to be healthy and happy for my kids, for my husband, for myself. So we'll be spending 3 weeks in Ontario visiting with family, and then we'll be spending December and January in Costa Rica. We've rented a house there, and we're so excited to be trying out the snowbird lifestyle. It's something a lot of people around here do, and something that P especially wants to explore. 

I can't wait for fresh, ripe fruit juices running down my chin, seafood, ocean breezes, salt water swims, and walks on the beach. Aedan is in love with sea creatures, and for months now he's been talking about seeing dolphins and fish. I'm excited to explore tidal pools with him, play in the sand and the shallows with him. 

I'm going to try my best to update regularly during our travels, and I hope you'll enjoy following along with us on this new adventure!