Another day

After work today I took Baby J out for a stroll with the dog. Just to get out and clear my head. Within minutes I was freezing, having underestimating the sunshine’s effect at 5pm, untangling the leash from the stroller every few steps, listening to J’s squawks of protest. Once I hit the sidewalk and started off in the familiar circle, we all settled down and started walking, and thinking. I gripped the handle tightly and went over the day in my head.

I was up at 5:40am with an upset, teething baby. We managed to clean out the fridge, have coffee and breakfast and both get dressed by 8:45 when Daddy takes over for the day, stumbling up after his late work night. They watch a little old school Sesame Street and I start working. The day is busy, Baby J naps early, Tyler gets a couple hours in practicing songs for a wedding he is playing tomorrow, and I run out to get groceries at lunch, just unpacking them before it’s time to work again. I have to head upstairs, a sobbing kid (his toenails are both coming off, he’s tired, and when oh when will his eye teeth pop through) in my wake.

It’s go-go-go all afternoon for all of us, and I finally break away to eat something a bit after 3pm. I can hear sounds of fun in Julian’s room so I peek in and see them playing happily in his crib. He catches my eye and gets so excited that he bonks his chin on his railing. At least I can to hug and comfort, and I don’t notice the blood on my shirt sleeve until almost 5pm, when I’m done for the day and trade off baby duty so Tyler can record his daily song before he has to go to his gig at 6:15pm. I cut up a bunch of broccoli to toss in the steamer, J helping me fill it up with water, and head out the door for some air.

After our walk, we bring the dog and stroller home, and explore a bit. I’m tired and my unwashed hair is coming out in wisps, I’m still chilled but I’m feeling so happy and thankful too. Grateful that there was a hat for Baby J tucked into the stroller. Loving his rosy nose and cheeks and delighted grin as he spots a branchful of leaves quivering in the wind.

Some days are just so up and down, but they go by in such a quick blur that I can’t worry about every bump and scratch. I have to chose what to focus on and that’s being happy in the moment. Feeling tired and down and stretched too thin, watching my neighbour with her yoga mat a bit wistfully, worrying about the pile of dishes and dog food all over the floor is easy to give into. I never really realized before just how frazzled you can get once you have another little person depending fully on you.

Luckily, pushing it aside for the stories on the couch before bed, snuggled together under a fuzzy blanket is easy to do. There’s a small head, velvety soft, leaning on my shoulder as I croon a couple of lullabies, arms wound around my neck and then just one more, one more kiss before he dozes off. There’s a batch of clean, fresh smelling laundry to fold, inside my nice warm house, there’s tea with honey, and a new Masterchef to watch.

Tomorrow’s another day. And today wasn’t really so bad.

Just moving and going til we get there

Some things, like writing (!!) seem out of my grasp lately, stringing together sentences that mean something and that I won’t mind re-reading later on.

It’s because of this fuzzy around the edges tired feeling I’ve had lately, when you realize you’re there in your skin, same as always, but not quite right. Like when the cashier asks if you want bags and you say no, then stare dumbfoundedly at your scattered groceries sitting, unpacked in front of you, cause you didn’t bring any bags, either. Or when you find yourself in front of the dryer, realizing confusedly that even though you got a load washed, you still somehow forgot to turn it on hours ago.

My allergies have been so, so bad this year. Aside from being normally busy, running around, doing errands, working, making dinners and reading stories, wiping noses (usually my own) I haven’t been sleeping well. Just stress and to-do lists, with the arrival of cooler weather it seems to bring a whole new host of things that just can’t wait any longer. And still I long to put them off. So then when I can’t sleep – when my nose is so plugged, my head feels stone-heavy, and my eyes are itching, I drift into thinking and worrying mode. Then in the daytime, my brain feels like it’s leaking out of my ears as I try to process and push forward, going through the motions of normal.

All this aside, it’s just life, and it passes, and we’ll get there, wherever there ends up to be. I can still make a good meal, or decorate my house. Catch up with a friend over coffee, and go shopping. And it’s still enjoyable, even if I’m not quite myself. There are so many things to look forward to, like a week off in September, my sister’s wedding, family Thanksgiving, and Halloween. There’s coffee, lots of coffee.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying some little moments with my funniest little guy.

Relaxing after a busy weekend, and my sister’s bridal shower. I had to keep moving after all of the brunch guests left my house yesterday, or I’d drop. So we walked, sans stroller, stopping to inspect each leaf, feeling them crunch under our shoes, picking up green acorns and tiny crabapples, and laying in the grass to stare up at the vast blue sky.

We reached the park eventually, and I realized that my little baby, who this time last year had just started to shuffling along, beginning to army crawl, can climb up the stairs and then sit, scooting carefully, to go down the slide all by himself. He’s getting to be such a big kid, and still such a sweet boy. He’s enjoying every moment and I should be, too.

the sky



A Walk in the Woods

This space has been a bit blank lately. It’s not that I don’t have things to say – I often find myself snapping a photo or two of a great recipe or noting things in my head as I want to record them later – but the summer is just slipping past on the road, in the sky, working, cleaning, feeding, all the daily routines sped up. With some sunshine sneaking in, too, luckily.

I have much to catch up on, but for today, I got up early with my little fellow. We had a great breakfast, got dressed, walked the dog, and then with the essentials taken care of, took a trip to the superstore. It’s a bit out of the way for me, but carries some pretty cute and well-priced kids apparel, and Baby J’s toes are sticking over the edge of his sandals.

So we shopped and he was a doll, letting me try shoes on him, laughing at the sweet grey hat I plopped on his head, humouring me while I tried on pair after pair of sunglasses to replace my recently lost ones.

On the way home, a sign for a trail caught my eye, and I pulled in, deciding on the spur of the moment that a bit of a romp in the woods would be a great way to pass the rest of the pre-nap morning time. And it’s this quick walk in the woods that’s made me really sit down and let the words pour out again.

It’s also the weekend – so I’ll add my ten things of thankful here. I am so thankful for the woods and this morning – an ordinary little memory, meaningless in itself and in the big picture, but a snapshot of the good and happy in life as it is now. So here we go!

1.) It’s been raining a lot lately, chilly at the edges of the evening, prompting a bemoaning of “Aug-tober” weather and the early end of summer. It was raining when we set out, when we loaded the car, but the sky stayed dry for the whole hour or so that we walked, ran, and explored.

2.) Because of said weather we had the place to ourselves. A family dressed in ponchos was leaving as we arrived, but other than that we didn’t meet a single soul besides the chipmunks that kept darting out inquisitively along the path.

Sarsparilla trail

3.) Baby J found a long stick and starting dragging it, first pulling it behind him, then pushing it ahead, and while part of me was thinking – what is he trips and hurts himself with that giant stick?? another part told me to let him go and play, and you know what? He was fine. He was actually squeaking with joy while he made designs in the dirt with it, so I’m glad I didn’t take that away from him.

walking stick

4.) We reached a small picnic area which I could see would be bustling on a sunny Saturday morning, but was quiet today. Baby J noticed the leafy bushes lining the area and did a little happy dance on the rocks, brushing his hand over the leaves. I’m thankful that little things are still so enjoyable to him – it makes me smile.

5.) Also thankful that the brush and greenery didn’t turn out to be poison oak or ivy – I think I’d recognize the plants but I wasn’t really thinking about it while watching him dance around with glee!

6.) I called his name as he started to go further into the woods past the picnic space, cautioning him about the sticks and tiny branches that would scratch his face, and he turned, came right back over and planted a slobbery wet kiss on me. Now that’s happy – both of us!

7.) Even though he’s still in the between baby and boy stage, he’s pretty good about exploring and is fairly cautious. Rocks don’t go in his mouth anymore, he can entertain himself a bit, but he’s more aware that we belong together (so he doesn’t take off running full speed away from me). This means in turn I can relax a little and don’t have to hover over him like a hawk. I can take in the scenery and breath deeply and take a few pictures too.

goldenrod ottawa

8.) The fresh, clean air. It’s one thing I always notice when I get outside away from the city streets and the hint of rain when you inhale this morning just adds to the fresh smell.

9.) Making me focus on the here and now. Unclogging my head a bit from thinking about the all the things that haven’t yet been done, the lists that nag at me, and the time I don’t seem to have to do things. I wasn’t wearing walking shoes, the blackflies were sticking to my lip gloss, but watching my kid roam and turn his face up to the sky in total awe makes me not care about anything else but that moment.


10.) That we have places like this a stone’s throw from home, natural Ontario beauty in a protected, sprawling Greenbelt area, simple but idyllic, just perfect for a small kid learning the world.

That’s my list for today – it’s nice to have an hour or two that make you forget the meh mornings that might happen throughout the week. I wish you all a beautiful weekend full of simple moments to treasure!