Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I think he could smell the Try

My sister and my nephew are safely (and sadly) returned home.  And I am now fighting a cold.  We just never seemed to be able to make it to bed before midnight, not wanting to waste any of the precious hours we got to spend together doing something as mundane as sleeping.  It was such a great visit.  Felix is... words fail me here - delightful, delicious, amazing, gorgeous, miraculous.  I love him so much.  Every time he sat in his high chair and brought his chubby fists up to his pursed lips to shove something else in to his mouth I wanted to nibble on his chipmunk cheeks.  All I wanted to do was cuddle him and kiss him to bits and pieces.

Unfortunately I was barely even allowed close enough to peck the top of his head. He was so taken with my kids (and of course my kids with him) that he had zero interest in anyone taller than 3 feet.  He happily let my kids maul him - they carried him, rolled on him, kissed him and even pulled him by his feet down the stairs while he lay on his stomach and his head bounced off each step - and he giggled like a maniac! Though, after two rounds of watching his head "thwump" on each step the adults put a stop to that particular game.  With all the adoration happening between the kids Felix had no time for me.  Every time I picked him up he squirmed like a fish on a line to get away from me, reaching his arms imploringly out to whichever of my kids was nearest to come and rescue him. 

At one point during the week Jane and I were at Starbucks with our little-littles while Tristan and Ava were at school.  Jane had gone to the bathroom or something and Felix started to wander away and I said, "Felix! Come to Auntie, Felix!"  And then I thought, oh! I get to be someone who says come to Auntie!  So many people I know here who have kids also have family and I'm always fiercely envious of the in-and-outness of their shared lives.  It was so nice to get to experience it for myself.  Felix didn't come to me of course, not until Sebastian called him, but that's besides the point.

In the evenings after all the kids were in bed, Jane and I immersed ourselves in the film extravaganza that is Bollywood.  Oh. my. word.  I LOVE Bollywood movies! The campier the better.  I love the how they throw random English sentences into their Hindi conversations.  I love reading the English subtitles and how the Hindi has been translated into things like "why are you doing time pass at work?" or "Her good self is coming over soon."  I love the song and dance numbers, the colours, the costumes, the longing glances and ultra-dramatic, ultra-cheesy 360 degree slow-motion circles the camera takes around the actors.  Bollywood makes me jumpy-clap happy.  We started doing our own versions of Bollywood songs for Felix and one day when he was in his high chair I put my hands over my head, palms together, and moved my neck from side to side while making vaguely (VERY vaguely) Hindi-like sounds and Felix started copying me!  After that every time I'd raise my arms over my head he'd start moving his neck side to side in anticipation. Adorable!  And another reason to love Bollywood even more - that was the only time Felix paid any attention to me whatsoever.

Once when we were downstairs I pulled him onto my lap and he rested against me for about 30 seconds then abruptly sat up, looked back at me in horror, and promptly slithered off my lap to find Ava.  When we went to the ballet (we saw the Royal Winnipeg Ballet perform Wonderland) the babysitter said Felix gave her really nice cuddles.  Oh, it was on!  I was bound and determined that Felix was going to give Auntie some love.  On the last day they were here, Hugh took our kids to church and I stayed home with Jane while Felix napped.  When he woke up I went to get him thinking, there's no kids here and I'm rescuing him from the playpen he's hated and resisted all week long, he has to love me.  He was standing up in the playpen when I walked into the room and, I am not exaggerating in the slightest, as soon as he saw me he threw himself back down into the playpen, backed himself into a corner and threw one of his stuffies at me.  Really?  Even the playpen you hate is preferable to me?

I picked up his wriggling good self and took him upstairs.  Jane was hiding in the bathroom to help my cause figuring if there were literally no other options Felix might take to me.  I offered him milk.  He tossed his head away from it.  I offered him a snack.  He batted my arms away.  Finally I couldn't hold on to his squirming little body anymore.  I put him down and like a radar he ran straight into the bathroom where Jane was hiding.  How did he know??? Also? Seconds later when Jane offered Felix his milk he took it and drank like a man who'd been surrounded by nothing but salt-water for three weeks.  Stinker.

It was a perfectly lovely visit and I was very sad to say good-bye.  But next time, Felix?  Oh, I'll get you next time! You're gonna love me...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Sister Adventure: Day 1

My baby sister is here!  She and the most adorable baby boy in the world arrived yesterday.  I love, love, love having them here.  Our kids are absolutely enamored of each other.  On the way home from the airport Sebastian acted as Felix's tour guide, "This is a train.  These are signs.  That is a puddle."  It was adorable.  Jane and I spent the day drinking tea and laughing and talking a mile a minute with periodic breaks to go gaga over each others kids and watch them lavish each other with hugs and kisses and giggles.

Late last night when Jane and I had momentarily talked ourselves out we got into our comfies and took the laptop up to my bed to watch a movie together.  While we were watching the movie Jane suddenly startled, sure that she had heard Felix crying from two floors below.  We paused the movie, she went to check and he was sound asleep - she had just been hearing phantom baby cry.  If you have babies you know exactly what I mean by "phantom baby cry".  For me it used to happen every time I got in the shower.  Without fail, as soon as my head was immersed under the water, I'd hear a baby start to cry.  I'd shut the water off, jump out of the shower and run frantically into my twin babies' room to find my sweet babies fast asleep.  I'd stand there stark naked, shivering cold and dripping water all over the brand new carpet, my heart racing with adrenaline and stare at their peacefully sleeping faces in disbelief.  It got to the point that as soon as my head went under the water and I heard the cry I knew it was phantom, I knew it wasn't real and yet, I couldn't not check.  Just in case.

By the time my twins were about two I only heard the phantom cry occasionally and by the time they were three it was gone altogether.  Then I had a another baby and it happened all over again.  Though we are generally past the age of phantom baby cry Jane hearing Felix's phantom cry reminded me that just the other day it happened to me again.  I had slept in a bit so I dropped the big kids off at school and then came back home to shower.  As soon as my head was under the water I heard a baby cry.  I hadn't heard phantom baby cry for a long time and I thought,  I guess you really never do get away from it.  I didn't turn the water off though.  Three kids later I'm kind of a pro at phantom baby cry.  After the initial startled rush of adrenaline I talked myself back down and washed my hair ignoring the  crying baby in my head.  I shut the water off with a sense of impending relief.  Whether it's phantom or not, hearing a baby cry endlessly is wearing.  But when I shut water off the crying didn't stop and I realized phantom baby cry was actually Sebastian wailing uncontrollably outside my closed bathroom door.  In horror I flung open the door and rushed to my baby.  I picked him up and frantically examined him to make sure he hadn't cut off a limb or swallowed poison or something equally horrible.  Turns out he couldn't open the bathroom door because his hands were full of toys and he didn't want to put them down to turn the handle.  As I stood there stark naked, shivering cold and dripping water all over my carpet while my adrenaline surged I thought, now is this ironic or just Murphy's law? 

Friday, March 11, 2011

A recipe for sunshine on a cloudy day

One enchanting story...

 Plus three little imps...

Plus one cozy hideout...

Equals one magical afternoon...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The difference a year makes Part 2

I meant to do this post a couple of months ago.  It was going to directly follow Part 1.  Makes sense right?  But then I never got around to posting it.  The last five or six days have been incredibly full and I've hardly been home.  Then when I am home I'm exhausted.  I set out to write a different post today but I'm having a hard time forming coherent sentences.  Ergo, videos!

This first video was taken November 2009.  Sebastian was two, talking was still pretty new and everything he said sounded like a curse. 

That's talent!  One night when I was tucking him in I almost had a heart attack.  He was saying "f**k-it, f**k-it, f**k-it" over and over and over.  And then I noticed he was tugging on his BLANKET.  Whew.  This second video was taken almost a year later in September of 2010.  See how much has changed?

Or then again, see how much has stayed the same...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A List: Things that are making me smile today

These sandwich plates that have an oil spill sheen to them.  My kids call them pixie plates.  Perfect for a Peter Rabbit lunch.  (Which in case you haven't read any Beatrix Potter recently is bread with butter and honey, blackberries and milk.)

This sunshine-y yellow roasting pan.  This was a gift from my lovely mother-in-law many moons ago.  It is one of my all-time favourite pieces of cookware.  Under that lid, waiting to be transformed into culinary goodness, is a chicken stuffed with garlic, orange wedges and fresh rosemary. 

So many things about this picture make me smile.  The colour of the roasting pan.  The fluted edges.  (HELLOOOOO gorgeous!)  The carrots that came out of someone's garden somewhere proving that Spring, in fact, does exist. 

Even if all I see around me is a cold barren wasteland. 


These seed packets propped up in my kitchen windowsill.  I bought dill, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, mint (hello mojito's!) and chives.  I can just imagine all the lovely fresh food I will be able to make with herbs from my very own herb garden.  

Assuming of course that any of them survive my tender loving care.  I'm so much older and wiser than I was last year when I killed all the rootlings.  I'm sure this year will be better.  Except... I still don't know why they died.  Hope springs eternal as they say!

What makes you smile today?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hello.... Spring?

When it's March 1st and what you see outside your front door is this...
And it's -27 so to stay warm driving your kids to school you have to wear one of these....
It's time to dream.

Of seedlings poking up through the dirt in sun-drenched pots. 

Of a chair in the sun, a glass of cold tea at your elbow, the prickle of grass on your bare feet.

Of a saturated, cloudless sky, a warm breeze whispering in your ear, the rustle of pages in a good book.

It's time to dream big.

Beyond the borders of your life as it is today.  That frame is too small for the greatness on the inside of you anyway. 

Dream Bold.

This is your year.


Because dreaming is good for the soul.

As are these olive oil cakes with lemon and thyme.
They taste like Spring. 

PS.  They also make a great addition to an extremely-late-but-finally-delivered thank you card.  Are you as relieved as I am?