Thursday, February 26, 2009

Weeeee

It was a beautiful sunny day when Steve came home so we went straight out to enjoy the blue sky and fresh snow. Steve built a run for the sled in one of our snow banks. We left Tadhg inside napping and took turns going down with Brendan. It was the same every time, he looked a little worried at the top but by half way down he was grinning from ear to ear.
After that we went out for a walk on the farm but the track hadn't been ploughed and we only had one baby carrier so we gave it a miss. I got out of the car to take this picture though- this is the kind of day I remember most from the time we spent in Labrador when I was 10 and 11- bright sunny skies, not too cold and with lots of snow.
We went to our favourite restaurant for a special dinner to celebrate Steve coming home. (Any excuse! He'd only been away 5 days) We did have a 2 for 1 voucher that needed to be used in February too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Snowed in, then rescued.

That was a serious snowstorm. A few records were beaten or neared. We got 48 cm in one storm here, I think it was 60 something in the north of the province. There is now officially 71cm of snow on the ground so you can imagine how high the snow banks are at the side of the road. And the drifts made by the wind... I love how the wind whips it around and shapes it. It reminds me of desert sands, which I have more experience of than snow.
Anyway, we were completely snowed in. It took our neighbour over 2 hours to clear his driveway with his snowblower, and the other neighbours did it by hand in about 2 hours too- but that was with all four of them working. If Steve had been here and had tried to do it by hand on his own it would have taken about 6 hours!! So after speaking to a friend on the phone she called back to say her husband was on his way over with a friend and a snow blower. We owe them big time!!

We'd been up since 6.30 so by 9am, when these photos were taken below, we had already been for a walk round the block, played in the snow a bit and were ready for hot chocolate with marshmallows (B's idea) and a second breakfast of toast and the last of daddy's blueberry jam.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

First Amaryllis Report

I thought I had a couple of suitable pots at home but couldn't find them. I may have left them out on the deck a few months ago so they will now be under a few feet of snow. A serious snow storm was in progress and I wasn't going out to look so we decided to use a frozen yogurt container. Brendan wasn't particularly interested until he was allowed at it with a watering can. If the bulb doesn't grow then over-watering will be a possible explanation. We also planted a few other bulbs that we forgot about in the autumn in various yogurt and cheese tubs. I googled 'forcing bulbs' and will see what happens. They're all in the dark, cold garage for a couple of weeks to allow some roots to grow.

After that we all hung out in the bathroom for a while, Brendan played with a bucket of water and Tadhg lay on the floor giggling and gurgling. Here he is having a good laugh.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Clay Cafe

We had a lovely afternoon out yesterday. We met our friend Cheyanne at the Clay Cafe and stayed for over three hours! Tadhg slept for a couple of hours and then was sick all over the place. I hadn't unwrapped him fully when we came as I didn't want to wake him so I think he just got overheated. Is that possible? That he overheated and then threw up everywhere. It didn't bother him in the slightest though. He was a little floppy when I picked him up (an example of poor mothering here) but was soon laughing and smiling once he cooled down and rehydrated a bit! Brendan had a ball. He walked around pushing his little pull along suitcase which had some books and toys in it. He said hello to everyone and made friends with the 8 year old girls at a birthday party in the back room. He was desperate to play with one of the party balloons so I just asked if we could have one (politely in a jokey manner). Strangely the woman I asked looked at me like I had two heads and said I'd have to ask so and so, the birthday girl's mum. If I had been asked and it wasn't my child's party I think I would have safely assumed it was ok to be nice and give a balloon to a little boy, especially if there were hundreds more balloons than children there anyway. Whatever. (It irked me, obviously) The birthday girl's mother on the other hand was lovely and chatty. Brendan also spent some time confined to the little buggy I brought in for just such a purpose. He ate junk food while I painted my plate. (There's a poor mothering theme going on here I think) He finally crashed out in the buggy, having not had a nap before going out.
All in all a great experience. Afterwards we all went to the garden centre to buy some geranium seeds and potting soil.
I had gained bonus points in our 'exercise in extreme thriftiness' by choosing a discounted plate to paint at the clay cafe which someone had started and abandoned. However, I then went back into minus points by buying an expensive amaryllis bulb at the garden centre. I justified it by telling myself that I'd involve Brendan in planting it, caring for it and watching it grow. Perhaps we'll record its progress on the blog.

Today is a day for staying in. We are definitely snowed in, there's a drift 5 feet high behind the car and it's still coming down. I'm hoping our neighbour will notice Steve is away and do a couple of runs with his snow blower later.
Lots to do inside though. Better get to it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The boys

We had some fun playing and taking photos today. I like this one a lot.

Yep, those are his eyes Brendan.
And here's one of Tadhg and his daddy having a good chat.
Steve is away again for a few days until Tuesday. Our plans for the next few days include meeting a friend at the clay cafe, visiting a friend on Monday, going for a few walks, planting some geranium seeds, taking some 'stuff' to the charity shop, sorting out the nappies and finishing the leg warmers I'm knitting for Tadhg.

Tadhg

A few up to date photos of Tadhg.
Jelly Cat gets a kiss.
This is a favourite perch.
Talking to Daddy.
He is growing so quickly I don't want to blink in case I miss his babyhood. Sometimes when we wake up in the morning he seems to have grown a few inches overnight.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Boys' day out

Steve, Brendan and Tadhg had their first day out together on Sunday. Well, it was more like a couple of hours rather than a "day" but by all accounts it was a success and lots of fun. While Siobhan went to a daytime theatre show at the university, the three boys got kitted up in their snow gear, piled in the car and went to Odell Park for some fun in the snow. They met up with Mya, Brendan's little friend and her dad, walked round one of the loop trails and went to Tim Hortons for hot chocolate and doughnuts afterwards. Steve forgot to take the camera but he reasoned afterwards that a toddler, a baby, a sled and a change bag was enough to manage on his first foray alone as a dad of two!
So here's another one I took recently that sort of shows the depth of the snow we have at the moment.

More wintery wonder

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a walk so we went for a wander on the farm near our house. Half way across a big field I told Brendan that we were on a farm and talked about crops and tractors and bales of hay etc. Brendan began singin Old MacDonald had a farm but then stopped walking and stood very still and quiet. He started to say "cows moo" and "farm" over and over so I think he was wondering where the cows were since this was a farm and as far as he knows all farms have cows.
His concentration as he listened was intense and made me start to listen too. At first it seemed very quiet and peaceful and then we started to talk about all the noises we could hear... traffic, industrial noises like a giant hammer, metal clanking, a vehicle beeping as it reversed, a snow plough, a helicopter, a plane we could see and one we couldn't, a dog barking, the electricity cables buzzing...
We carried on with Brendan walking and me pulling a sled for when he got tired.
It was probably the furthest he has ever walked, at least in the snow with full snow gear on. We looked for animal tracks (there are lots of deer around) and found these ones below. I'm sure they are just dog tracks but the way they went off into the woods allowed us to pretend they were something else :) Brendan was thrilled at being licked on the face by three different big dogs and I asked one walker to take a rare photo of the three of us.All in all a great morning out. We got home and warmed up just in time for Emily coming for lunch. Poor Steve, he was supposed to fly last night but couldn't because of ice so we were pleased that he was home before Brendan went to bed.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Winterfest

video
It's been over a week since we posted last. The desktop has been at Steve's work to be fixed and the laptop doesn't seem to recognise the memory card from the wee camera bla bla excuses excuses.... Anyway, here are a couple of pictures from our visit to winterfest in Fredericton last weekend. It was a beautiful sunny day and wasn't too cold. Steve and Brendan went down the ice slides a few times and we went on a short horse and sleigh ride, explored an ice maze (boring really) and Brendan climbed on and through a polar bear ice sculpture with a tunnel.
Afterwards we went to Cheyanne's house for a yummy lunch and some playtime with Gracie. The rest of the week has been uneventful really. Two playgroups, another playdate, a knitting session with our neighbour Maria, and lots of time spent inside sheltering from miserable grey, snowy and icy weather.
And I went to the third meeting of my new book club which is going really well. We just read "A Complicated Kindness" by Miriam Toews about a fictional Mennonite girl's teenage years. It was very interesting but hard to talk about in a way. I wondered if people said less than they might have because we are a group of women who don't really know each other very well. That was true for me anyway. I didn't want to go on a rant about religious fundamentalism incase I offended anyone or was misunderstood. Next one is "A Curious Incident.." which I will have to reread as the only thing I remember about it is that the boy would only eat certain coloured foods and they couldn't be touching each other.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Steve's midweek day off.

Steve and Brendan went sledding yesterday while Tadhg and I watched from the top of the hill. It was just before sunset and the deep snow on the farm and the snow laden pine trees were just beautiful.
To make up for his three days away last week, which included Saturday, Steve blagged a day off yesterday. We had a lovely day which was somehow different and seemed more special than a normal weekend day. Wednesday playgroup was followed by soup and sandwiches at home, then a 2 hour family nap, then we made and ate some cookies before getting suited up and out into the snow. After sledding we went straight to our favourite restaurant for an unplanned dinner out. It's a fairly posh restaurant (as posh as they come in Fredericton)- you know, the kind of restaurant that doesn't have salt and pepper on the tables. Anyway, despite being only 5.30 on a Wednesday it was full of smartly dressed adults and we may have seemed slightly out of place as we traipsed in in our snow gear with a baby each.
Note to self: I must stop referring to Brendan as a baby.

Nappyless play time today. I don't want time to go any faster but I'm looking forward to these two being able to play together.

A little more about our playgroup. We have a new venue consisting of a gym and a smaller room that has child sized tables and chairs. The idea is to have some running around time as well as some quiet time, snack time together and then maybe the odd craft or music thing. The only downside to the place is that the smaller room is used by other groups and has quite a lot of toys stored on open shelves around the room. The problem with that is that they become a serious distraction- not such a good thing for a Waldorf inspired group where the aim is to encourage creativity and imaginative play with fewer but better quality toys. And ideally those would be handmade from natural materials. The change in the way the children play and behave when surrounded by far too many toys is striking and fairly disturbing in many ways :(
We'll see how it goes.