Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Four Years Today.

Last night Fenner woke up at 2:00 am from a dream. Just about the exact time she was born 4 years ago. I snuck out of my bed to curl up with her and fell asleep with her cheek pressed against mine. The first time since Marlowe was born and we tangled up the way we like and fell asleep in the warmth of her bed.

Logically, I recognize that I should not be amazed this delicious little pork bun who made me a fierce Mom.

Picture taken by the fabulous Jacquie Blackman

Grew into this little baby with a charming disposition.

Picture by Michelle Hotchin

This amazing little person who travels easily (as long as we let her roam). Charming the pants off of the most hardened of stewards and passengers. Be it by plane, car or boat she has got game.

Not only is she game for adventure but she has become this insatiably curious person who loves to check out the world around her. A person who loves to be at the cottage in all seasons and climes.
On cold days with appropriate gear she's endless for the outside.
To be able to watch this person trying out the world on her own schedule widens my perspective and expands my own horizons. To see her strike out in the unknown gives me courage to try new things and to practice what is hard to do at first go.

I know that these are all the natural stepping stones of humanity and that given proper care and treatment all kids go through these stages.

It just seems so very dangerous and unlikely. She was so small and helpless it seems impossible that they could make it through the gauntlet of my clumsiness and of life's twists. For god's sake her head was so big her spine couldn't hold it up and her feet were only ONE INCH LONG.

Such questionable engineering that leads to such a magical person.

Look at her now. Happy Fourth Fenner.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Enter the Pie Man

The Pie Man woke up on Saturday with the a craving to transform the Good Food Box bag of apples into a pie. Now that there are two kids at play and interrupted sleep at night, projects like this are more fun as family effort and require far less wine when both of us are home.

The last time he felt this hankering he delivered a homemade spectacular Lemon Meringue Pie.
We do not get in the way of the Pie Man.

The process is not so solitary now - he will start it up but then Fenner gets in to "help" and I come in to help the four year old 'help' thus preventing foul language of frustration from the chef and Fenner. Turns out the kid is aces at pastry work in her 3 minute window of focus.
Marlowe passed out in her rocker and required picking up only when we were engaged in dough rolling, cutting, peeling or whatever else. The point being, it's impossible to deliver a project from start to finish without interruption anymore.

Once Marlowe engages, I'm tagged out and Fenner starts to 'help' me. This usually involves some story reading to the two of them. If Fenner is lucky, a puzzle gets pulled out. She recently informed me that I can no longer play Strawberry Shortcake because I don't do it right.

I'm so totally cool with that rejection.

This pie crust presented Jason a couple of opportunities:: his first lattice work and the first time using Lard from the Flying Pigs Farm. If it wasn't for the recent vaginal delivery of a 9 lb baby I would have totally put out. That shit is sexy yo.
At this point it has taken two adults and the questionably defined aid of a four year old almost three hours to bake a pie.

Give in to the reality that this is slow cooking at it's best.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Better late than never

A few weeks ago we drove up to the cottage for an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving weekend.

The whole family gathers with a couple of close friends for dinner and walks in the woods. It is my favourite weekend at the cottage. This is the weekend that keeps me chasing the dragon of the perfect long cottage weekend.
The weekend includes everything that is priceless about having a family cottage. The Ontario landscape, fresh air, space to explore and the family to explore it with. We relive Thanksgiving turkey hijinks from years gone by. Like the year it snowed 6 inches and we lost power intermittently so that we had to move the turkey from oven to barbecue and back again every time the power flickered. The old folks estimate that the bird of 1991 still had more mileage on it than my family who had driven over 1000 km to the cottage did.

There was also the first year we barbecued the turkey over an open fire. With a broomstick...and lots of beer for the person responsible for turning the spit.

But mostly I love the majestic foliage. It takes my breath away.
Inspiration springs eternal in fall. The moss is lush, the forest explorable and Echo Rock gets climbed from the woods instead of the lake giving us a completely different experience of a rock that we've been climbing all our lives.

It's too cold for swimming which inspires creative exploration of the forest which had been ignored throughout the hot summer.

The fresh air knocks everyone out in front of the fire, books get read, knitting gets knit and quiet moments are fully appreciated.
After all, when you wake up from your nap you are engulfed by the almost two dozen people waiting to snuggle, 'discuss', cook and opine with you.

Ah, c'est la belle vie!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


it's the whiskey talking or that episode of Community I just watched. I am overtaken by the desperate urge to learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons.

Jason flat out refused. I think he's missing out.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Out of practise

I am sorely out of practice. Managing house and home, family and friends, food and budget. Juggling it all and feeling like an engaged and critically thinking adult is a skillset that is cultivated and groomed.

When it all goes right there is nothing that feels more victorious. I'm sure I'll get into the swing of it again but this week feels a lot like a grind. It took four days to recover from a long weekend away. No food, no money, no energy.

Not sure what I was thinking when I set up a play date on the first day back with an empty fridge and my mushed up mind. It's Friday tomorrow and if I play my cards right tonight I might be ready for the weekend.

Yeesh. Someone out there needs to buy their local Mom a cocktail. At least these two are mostly so sweet..

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bird by Bird

Apparently, I need to get back into the habit of writing thoughts outside of my head. Here is my first night back at it.

On September 13th at 11:17 Marlowe Francis was born. Sixteen days past her estimated date of confinement. At home. It was amazing. She is four weeks old today and my memories of her birth are starting to get romantic. I have a shitty first draft of her birth story that I am working on and have been since I started maternity leave.

If you'd like to read about the experience from our Doula's perspective you can check it out on my dear friend Steph's website.

Maybe one day I'll share it here. All I will say, is that the name of this blog has never been more appropriate.

Meet Marlowe.