Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goodbye, Little Blue House

Today at noon, our little blue house was no longer our little blue house.  It's rather strange to imagine that we'll never be in that house again, and that different people are calling that house "home."  A building is just an object, but it kind of becomes more than that when you live in it: when you share meals with friends and family, have barbecues in the backyard, bring your babies home from the hospital, and spend countless precious and ordinary moments.  I won't miss the building itself as much as I will miss the memories that it holds.  I suppose I'm a little sentimental because I know that there are memories that will simply slip away because I don't have the physical surroundings to trigger those memories anymore.  It's been interesting living in the house where I spent my childhood for the past five months.  There are things that I had forgotten that I had done as a child until I saw my own children doing the same things here.  O loves to hide in the same cupboards for hide-n-seek that I did as a kid, and looks out the same window to see Grandma J walking back down to her house from my parents' house.  He slides down the stairs like I did, and yells down the air register to call my sister for supper just like I did, a lifetime ago.  





Change is often bittersweet, and the trick is figuring out how to just hold on to the sweet.  So goodbye, little blue house.  

In less than a couple of months, we should be living in our townhouse, making some new memories!  Here are a couple snapshots of the new decor I've been collecting for O's big boy "explorer" room,

My thrift store globe, boats, and copper double decker bus. 
Close-up of the bus.  It'll have to be just for decoration since it's actually a pencil sharpener with a hole just the right size for O's finger.

Found this at the thrift store last week - O was so excited about the "pirate ship captain boat wheel"




Friday, January 20, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Moving Day #1

Tomorrow is moving day #1.  Since our possession date of our new place is a month after we have to be out of our old place, we'll have to do this all over again in about a month.  Hopefully snowpocalypse does not repeat itself for the occasion.  This week has seen the first real snowstorm of the winter season, and today the mounties issued a plea for people not to travel on the highway by our old house.  So, hopefully the weather warms up in a hurry!  I didn't anticipate hoping for rain on our moving day!
Of course, I'll be doing very little of the moving myself, if any at all.  I've been packing like a crazy woman, but with two little ones to care for who are both currently sick, and a body that does not lend itself well to heavy lifting, it's probably best for me to just stay out of the way.  While I would love to be helpful, there's no use in me standing around, wringing my hands with worry about somebody injuring their back or knees, moving our stuff.  We have a lot of stuff.  I didn't realize just how much more stuff I've accumulated since our last move five and a half years ago until I packed it all into boxes.  It makes me feel uncomfortable to have so much stuff.  I'm a classic over packer when I go on a trip, even an overnighter, and I have a feeling that I pack too much stuff into my life altogether.  Time for more purging as we unpack in a month's time.
Ironically, or perhaps I should more aptly say, disturbingly, feeling anxious about having too much stuff makes me want to do something fun, which, for me, usually includes a trip to a thrift store.  Where, you guessed it, I buy more stuff.  At least I drop off old stuff from time to time, and it doesn't cost as much as typical retail therapy!  Justification complete.  After packing all day yesterday, I hit two thrift stores today. And I dare say it was worth it.  I hit the Lego jackpot, scoring five or six little bags of Lego with Robin Hood people, dragons, horses, and lots of other neat-o do-dads.  Also, a train for O's train collection, some toy cars, and some decor items for our new home.  I've been perusing Pinterest for ideas, and found some inspiration for boy's rooms.  I picked up an old school globe, and two wooden sailboats for decoration a la these pictures:




I'm not a huge fan of wordy wall art, but I really like this one below.  It's so much better than slugs, snails, and puppy dog tails.  And infinitely better than that vinyl wall decal so popular on Pinterest that says "Boy: (n) A noise with dirt on it."  I get that it's supposed to be humorous, but wouldn't that possibly give your son a complex if he grew up thinking that's what you thought of him?  Perhaps I'm being too sensitive, but it just seems a little brash especially when it's juxtaposed with all of the precious sentimental word art about little girls out there. 


I kind of like the idea of using certain toy collections as decoration when not in use, although I don't know how often it would actually look this tidy.  I might be tempted not to let them play with the art.




I'm also kind of digging the fake taxidermy fad in kid's rooms.  Perhaps I will have to chop off the head of a stuffy and mount it one of these days.  


For those of you waiting for a sneak peek of our new place, here are a few photos of the kitchen, dining area, and living room.  Any ideas for paint colours?




Comments are always welcome!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vapour

It's no surprise to me that this article by Glennon Melton at the Huffington Post is going viral on Facebook, especially amongst young moms like myself.  If you haven't read it already, the premise is that every time the author is out in public with her children, she feels like someone is telling her something along the lines of "Enjoy every minute raising your kids.  It passes so quickly!" This message makes her feel like "Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I'm not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I'm doing something wrong."
I've been in her shoes many times already in my three and a half years of parenting, more if you include pregnancy and all the people who tell you to enjoy pregnancy. After reading the article, however, I realized that I'm already the old granny in the article, telling other moms to enjoy every minute of it too.  When I see moms with newborn babes, I sometimes tell them to enjoy that stage because it goes so quickly.  Those little, skinny, fuzzy newborn arms and legs plump up into chubby baby rolls, and those hilarious newborn startle reflexes vanish before you even realize it.  Of course, I half-resented those "enjoy it!" speeches after my first baby was born and I was so exhausted.  Half the time I didn't know whether it was day or night when I awoke from ever-elusive sleep, and I couldn't remember my own baby's name.  Seriously.  I had trouble for the first few weeks not calling him the name of my cat, which is even weirder when you know that my cat went to cat heaven about fifteen years previous to the birth of my child.  But...it really does go quickly in retrospect, doesn't it?  I probably don't need any reminders, but I don't begrudge people who tell me either.  I'm glad that they enjoyed those years, though sometimes I wish they would add something along the lines of: "If you think this is good, just wait...it gets even better."  I sometimes get too caught up in the fact that it does go so fast; I just want to hang on to these days a little longer.  I take a bijillion pictures and videos, blog and relive the day's events in conversation, but it's a little like trying to catch a vapour in a sieve, trying to slow down time.
O in the snow today.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Blue Monday

It's Blue Monday today.  Supposedly, the third Monday of January is the most depressing day of the year.  If this is the saddest day of the year, this year is looking pretty respectable, if not too eager to sneak by me.  I blinked and the first half of January is already over.  My new year's resolutions are already looking a little neglected.  But every new day is another chance to resolve again.  My resolutions this year were pretty simple (in theory) and few.  One, to take calcium supplements every day.  I think I remembered once so far at a time when I could actually go take them.  If only I could keep routines, perhaps I would remember more effectively, and never lose my keys again either.  Two, to read my Bible more consistently.  Three, to make new friends but keep the old.  "One is silver, the other gold."  Did anyone else sing that song in rounds at pioneer clubs in childhood?  I'm starting to make some new friends in our new church, and for that I'm thankful.  Here are some other things that I'm thankful for today:

O and a seagull that visited our balcony on our vacation to the Island.
Was that only two weeks ago?
  • Hot showers.  
  • Chocolate.  Current favourite: After Eight.  My dear husband picked some up in the post-Christmas markdowns, and they are dairy-free! Edit: not dairy free anymore =(
  • A sweet husband who works hard and lets me stay home to play lego with my three year old, and chase after my busy baby.
  • Snow outside that covers the trees like icing, and waking up to the muffled silence of a neighbourhood covered in snow.
  • My boys.  My family, all living close by me now.  
Baby T is acting less like a baby every day lately.  He's crawling, starting to climb stairs, and pulling himself up to a standing position in the past few days.  Maybe that's why he's still less than sixteen pounds at almost nine months.  The only time he's not moving during the day is (if) when he sleeps, or if somebody snuggles him in front of a screen playing Baby Einstein.  He still is only marginally interested in solid food, which might also account for his slight size.  He's starting to look a little bit like his big brother, but still very much his own little person.

Another thing to be thankful for: we have a new home!  We bought a townhouse and get possession at the end of February.  We likely will not actually move in until mid-March as there is a lot of painting and cleaning to be done.  It's an older townhouse, but it has good bones and a good neighbourhood.  I'll be able to walk to the library, two elementary schools, one of which has a strong start program and the other a French immersion program should we choose that route, some shopping, the ice rink, and my Aunt's house.  In the meantime, we need to clear out of our house by January 31st, so the pressure is on to pack all of our junk and put it into storage for a couple of months!  Hopefully this blast of winter weather lets up soon enough to let us drive back and forth for packing and moving!  



And a funny story to end this post.  On our recent trip to the Island, we stopped at a spit of land that went way out into the ocean.  It was extremely windy and cold, but we all piled out of the car momentarily to stretch our legs and catch the view.  As we were buckling the kids back into the van, a couple pulled up right beside us and started throwing birdseed out of their windows.  A flock of seagulls worthy of a starring role in Alfred Hitchcock's Bird movies swarmed the space between the passenger side of our van and the driver's side of theirs.  There was poop and feathers flying, and I turned back from my attempt to get from the driver side of our van, where I was putting T back into his seat, to my seat on the passenger side.  I managed to shout through the wind to hubby to meet me on the other side of the spit and pick me up.  So I ran through the elements and he drove over and picked me up.  It was rather hilarious - by that time, the couple had gotten out of their vehicle and were holding up fistfuls of birdseed in their hands for the gulls to eat.  To each their own in their pursuit of connecting with nature, I suppose!  They were giggling like kids and having the greatest time.  I was happier to be close to the rainbow, myself, and I can thank the bird lovers for the exhilarating run through the park in the rain and wind.  I just might have been giggling too.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Visit to Glass Beach!

Today all my wildest dreams came true.  Well, at least one of them.  We took a little vacation to the Island over the past few days to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary, which was wonderful.  While we were there, I remembered that the was a glass beach somewhere on the Island.  Lo and behold, it was only about twenty kilometres away from where we were staying.  We made plans to stop at the beach on the way back to the ferry on our way home.  We didn't get very much time to explore when we stopped - a combination of a cranky baby, needing to catch the ferry, and only finding parking that allowed for fifteen minutes.  Nevertheless, the experience did not disappoint.  I found plenty of interesting pieces of glass in a variety of colours, and even time-worn broken pieces of pottery and white milk-glass.  My time was so short there, I rather frenetically switched back and forth between stuffing my jacket pockets full of wet, sandy pieces of glass, and trying to snap up some pictures.  I can't wait to go back again some day, this time armed with plenty of time, some containers for collecting glass, and better photography skills.  Perhaps this summer?
Did I mention in a previous post that glass beaches are a result of former garbage dumps along the beach? People used to toss garbage into the ocean, including all sorts of glass containers.  Decades later, it has left pockets of beaches full of worn glass.  Beauty created from garbage.






Our house finally sold!  The subjects were removed the day before Christmas Eve, so it was a timely Christmas gift of relief that we didn't buy a lemon of a house after all.  I was beginning to wonder.  The price we got for the house was not so much of a gift, but that's just the way the economy is right now.  Now it's time to finish the daunting task of packing everything up and putting it into storage until we find a new home in which to live.
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