Friday, April 29, 2011

Making

So. What else have we been up to?
Here are some of my favourite make-y projects from the past year.

woolcraft
I made a whole raft of these hats for Christmas presents. They give one's head a unique acorn shape, which is quite charming, in my opinion; the boys weren't that impressed.

woodcraft
Sanded my sewing desk and gave it some hardware love.
paper craft
We made about a million of these between Advent and March, and hung them from every possible outcropping.

egg craft
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Eggs were dyed with red cabbage and yellow onion skins, which is as creative as we got this Easter. Someday we will take up the family torch and do pysanky, but there's only so much beeswax, fire, and permanent dye I wish to give my under-fives. Here's the onion peeling party:

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--which brings me to pants. Below are Matthias' Sunday trousers (oops—getting a bit small. I swear, they fit him last week!) in the skinny-pants fashion. Although nothing looks that skinny over a cloth diaper.

Wrapping a stick

Pants for small people are so easy to make. Anyone with a sewing machine can whip 'em up in about half an hour, using some folded fabric, an elastic, and a pair of old pants for the pattern. I'll post a tutorial soon.
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Linen beach trousers, for baby Hazel June. And if you think I'm mentioning them just because I like to say her name, Hazel June, you're absolutely right.
They're made of old linen dishtowels and napkins. Sported here by handsome Matthias, who will hopefully come to forgive me for all this cross-dressing. (They're a couple sizes too small for him, but—you see how a big baby is crammed into small pants? Pure quality.)

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And best of all: Will crafted a totally awesome bunk bed out of junk he'd been hoarding in the garage.
You can't tell in this picture, but it's as sturdy as a rock. It doubles as a jungle gym, castle, ship, cliff face, theatre, and many other bizarre uses.
I believe that's a fireman scaling a burning house, in an unnaturally tidy room. Who made those beds? Would that person like to return and live with us?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

May 2011



It's been 11 months. Close enough for someone who loves blogging this much.

And what happened to the time? Who gave my children permission to grow like that? Oh right, I did—I stipulated a certain quota of maturity before I could return to this page.

And did it happen? Did they ripen into big, intelligent, kids? Yes! Beyond what I could imagine 11 months ago.

Willie is indeed a "full-blown, rational kid". Hugh is fully independent in the bathroom and (almost) done having tantrums. Matthias too is a fully independent, grown-up kid—or so he believes. He is my most daring, dashing, exploring, self-propelled baby yet.

As you can see by his bump and bruise collection here...

The big lump over his left eye is a haemangioma, or vascular growth, which is supposed to start disappearing around age two. The rest he came by honestly.

We got our car on the road at Christmas, just in time for the big dump of snow that cut short our biking lifestyle. (Will continued to bike to classes all year). A full eight months of biking with three kids. It stretched our outer limits of comfort, especially when the weather turned cold, saved a lot of money, shrunk our "footprint," got us back in shape. It was a fantastic experience, and it might just become a yearly tradition.

And Spring is upon us once again, and it is bike season! We are sooooo happy to be outside and car-free. Here are some pictures from the early days of spring.







































































Will begins his graduate studies at University of Toronto this Fall.
So in addition to being handsome and completely brilliant, he is now completely happy. It is wonderful to hear him stomping around reciting Beowulf or the Iliad in his loudest voice (which is pretty loud—ask anyone who lives here.) He'll be commuting to Toronto about 3 days a week next year. Since this isn't his blog, I can write with just pride: he passed both MA and PhD Latin exams (a series of grueling sight-translations) with minimal preparation. And he was one of only five to pass! For us, that means that he won't have to be traveling to classes every day. For him, that means he can study what he wants. (More Latin, incidentally. Chacun a sont gout!)

Our other exciting news is a completely welcome and joyous SURPRISE—we are expecting another baby this Fall! Of course we are thrilled and everybody is starting to get busy, making room in our hearts and lives and house for this newest babe. (There will probably be a drawer or laundry basket for new baby sleep in. Something comfortable with a sheepskin, of course.)

On the subject of making room, this baby hammock is coming in a suitcase with my totally rad aunt Marie (thank you, Auntie!) all the way from New Zealand this summer.
Isn't it lovely? I'm anticipating being able to lull the baby back to sleep with a mere flick of the wrist, during those early sleepless nights when I'm all "nursed out." I'll let you know how it goes.

It looks like a great summer coming up. We have a big family wedding for a very beloved sister and auntie. An exciting home renovation. Bike trips up river. Sleeping in tents. Knitting and sewing and plastering and painting and gardening and hopefully a little bit of lying on the beach, too.