Eleven Months

26 Apr

Dear R3
Today you are 11 months old.  

I can see you becoming a little kid, as opposed to a baby, and it both terrifies me and excites me!

You still haven’t started walking but you’ve gotten really good at standing.  In the last week you’ve become a little dude that loves to stand!  You totally  know that standing lets you reach things and standing lets you grab things.  

In the last few days, you’ve finally started moving your feet as if you were walking while I hold your hands.  I think your mind is starting to make the connection but you’re not quite ready.  You’re super fast at crawling though and you race all over the house, almost faster than I can get the baby gates closed!

A funny thing happened when all the snow melted: we learned that grass makes you nervous!  It’s so cute!  You don’t cry or whine but you stay on the cement unless someone actually places you on the grass.  And if we put you on the grass and hold onto your hands, you try to lift your feet off the grass.  I hope it’s not traumatizing you, but I’m having a lot of fun putting you on the grass and watching you lift your feet.  Don’t feel bad though, I did the same thing to your oldest brother.

You aren’t very fond of bottles anymore; you’d much prefer to be munching on real people food.  You still like puréed foods, but you’re desperate to try basically anything and everything that us big folks have.  You’re getting sick of Cheerios but you’re really enjoying banana and soups and stews where all the food is cooked and really soft.  

You JUST popped through a third tooth (bottom, to the left) but you really want to be able to eat everything.  You chase us around when we have food and you always try to grab food off your brothers’ plates.  They are incredibly forgetful and seem to always have their snacks within your reach.  

Thankfully we seem to have made some sleep progress this month.  Your naps are finally a decent length (most of the time) and you have a regular bedtime of (close to) 7 o’clock.  You still wake up three times a night almost always (sometimes more *sob*) so I’m hoping that is something we can start working on this coming month.

You still love being in the bath and you love going outside.  You love exploring and stealing anything your brothers are holding.  You’re obsessed with pulling hats and glasses off people’s heads/faces and you love bouncing up and down to any kind of music, no matter what it is.  You’re trying to wave and clap and give hugs and kisses. Your biggest love is your brothers of course and they can always bring a huge grin to your face, even if you’ve been a bit whiny.

You smile so much and your joyful little personality is really starting to show.  We love having you around to brighten our days, our little Rebel baby with the beautiful red hair!

   
 Remember, Marie’s Digital Designs can provide you with a huge variety of photo props and signs for a myriad of photography and decorating ideas!

Trial into Triumph

25 Apr

To say this month has been emotionally draining and exhausting is a huge understatement.  Maybe I’ll write about it one day, or maybe I’ll write about part of it.  Maybe not.  

Sometimes I really miss high school days, when my biggest stresses were self inflicted because I left my homework assignments to the last minute.

But onward and forward.

Good things:

I got a new (second hand) phone so my old piece of garbage is now a child’s toy!  

My iPad has been repaired and returned to me!

I’ve connected and visited with some good friends (over the past several weeks) and had some wonderful and meaningful conversations.

I had a fabulous weekend and was able to visit with some amazing friends!  Dinner out, bargain shopping, viewing a very well made locally filmed movie, a coffee date, an afternoon play date with a kindred spirit mom-friend and kids that got along great!

I also faced and conquered a long-time fear on Friday.  

For a whole host of reasons, my driver’s license expired over a decade ago.  The longer I put off getting it renewed, the more of a “big thing” it became, until it was eventually impossible to get renewed and I had to start graduated licensing all over again.  It became a bigger “thing”.  

For the record, I don’t believe everybody needs a driver’s license in order to be a fully functioning adult.  This isn’t a knock against adults who choose not to drive or cannot drive.

But on Friday, the stars aligned: my proper ID was finally delivered, I had enough money in my account, and my mom had taken the day off work so she was able to watch the kids.  I just hopped on the bus, walked into the testing centre, aced the test, then bussed home!  

Practice driving commenced Saturday night.  Thankfully it was like riding a bicycle and a lot of my old know-how came back to me quickly.  I just need more confidence.

Which reminds me, I haven’t ridden a bicycle in over fifteen years and that’s something I need to make happen as well.

Anyway, to sum up: I hate April but good things did happen and I’m very hopeful for May.

Daddy is away: Day 4

12 Apr

   
    
    
    
 

Daddy is away: Day 3

11 Apr

   
    
    
    
    
 

Happy Birthday to my Gramma: What She Left Me

11 Apr

Recently I read a book called They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson.  It’s like a historical document of her family… and a biography… and the story of her childhood home all rolled into one. It’s full of all kinds interesting information and it’s very easy to read for people who aren’t up for Shakespearean soliloques.

Plum is the oldest child and only daughter in a family of five children and she takes upon the herliculean task of sorting through her parents’ 23 room house after their deaths.  It begins as a simple task that Plum thinks will take six weeks and it ends up taking over 18 months!  It was literally an archeological excavation of valuable antiques, priceless history, family memories, and a lot of useless crap.  And predictably, through the dig, Plum learns a whole lot about herself and about the parents to whom she’s said goodbye.

My mom found this book and told me all about it and then gave it to me to read; I think I know why she likes it so much.  She too is an only daughter in a family of five siblings and she too has just gone through the experience of sorting through a childhood home after a parent’s death.  

In the book, the elderly parent who died was a no-nonsense spitfire in her early nineties.  In my mom’s life, the elderly parent who died was also a no-nonsense spitfire in her early nineties.  

But that’s where the similarities end.  Plum’s mother was a disorganized hoarder who filled each room of her giant home to bursting.  My grandmother kept an immaculate home and hated clutter of any kind.  In her final years, she spent a lot of time going through her house item by item, getting rid of nonexistent clutter because she hated the thought of burdening her children with sorting through her home after she was gone.

Whereas it took Plum and her brothers months to finish the task, it only took my mom and her brothers less than a week.  There were no priceless artifacts squirreled away but there were whole lot of priceless family memories.  

My uncles are all practical and didn’t take a lot, but my mom is sentimental and definitely did take a lot.  And a lot of that lot..was bequeathed to me.  I’m just as sentimental as she is.  I hold on to material possessions as if the item itself is what holds the memory.  

Today would have been my grandmother’s 93rd birthday and I wanted to make myself a little visual record of “what she left me”. 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

   And that’s just taking a quick walk through my house.  One day I’ll open up drawers and closets and boxes and document the rest. 

Almost every day something happens that makes me think, “Oh, I have to tell that to Gramma!”  Just yesterday, the wind gently blew the front door open and the older boys excitedly told me that Great Gramma was visiting us as a ghost, “but don’t worry mom, she’s a friendly ghost!”  

I thought, “Gramma would think that’s hilarious, I have to call her!”  

Then, “oh yeah….”

Oddly enough, those daily occurrences don’t even really make me sad.  I still wish I could’ve seen her before she died, but I do feel at peace with the fact that she’s no longer here, earth side.  

I also like the daily visual reminders I get of my Gramma.  As you can see, my house is just littered with things that my gramma gave me, both before and after her death.  Amazing things like the dresser she used as a young girl, and mundane things like bath towels.  If I could have, I would have taken a lot more!  

Thankfully, my Gramma also left me with a lot photographs and memories.  Those are more precious than all the hand sewn tea towels and crocheted dish cloths in he world! 

Happy Birthday Gramma, we miss you!


 
If you’re so inclined, check out Plum Johnson’s book, What They Left us!  It’ll make you think about all the “things” in your life.  My Gramma would hate it and immediately start throwing stuff out!

Daddy is away: Day 2

10 Apr

   
    
    
    
    
    
 

Daddy is away: Day 1

9 Apr

Jason is away visiting his aunt, his dad, his brother, and some cousins for the next few days.  I’ve purloined an iPad for the time being so I thought it would be nice if I could post a series of pictures for each day that Jason is away.

Day 1

   
    
    
  
    
   

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