Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Next Chapter

We move into the new house this weekend. Taking a break packing earlier, I got to thinking about Jude and wondering how much of this old house he will remember. Sophie won't remember anything I'm sure and Luke obviously won't know anything but what he sees in pictures. But Jude? He'll remember things that happened here. Maybe last Christmas, or singing happy birthday. He might remember his car bed and the sandbox out back.

I was just about a year older than Jude when we moved out to Whitby. I don't have many memories of the old house. I can remember what it looked like from the outside. Vaguely. I remember it had blue carpet and my dad flooded the backyard one winter to make an ice rink. I can picture my mum sitting in the kitchen drinking a cup of tea.
I remember moving day a bit more clearly. I can hear the sound of my footsteps running up the ramp into the moving truck. I can see it parked in the carport at the new place. I don't remember packing up the old house - which must have been stressful, I know I'm feeling the pressure right now.

I was thinking about a memory I had of my parent's basement. From before my dad finished it and only now, when I put myself in Jude's shoes to try and imagine what part of this whole experience is going to resonate with him in his long term memory, do I realize that what I am remembering must be from before my parents bought the place. I've always had a picture in my head when I think back to the early years there of cinder block shelves filled with books I hadn't read.
So what will Jude remember? Will he remember playing in the backyard while Justin walked around with the Home Inspector? Will he remember that there was a piano in the living room and wonder where it went?

It's been a while since I posted anything. I guess a few things have changed around here...

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Last March, Justin and I stood in the pediatrician’s office with Sophie. She was a mere 6 or 7 days old. I remember so clearly Justin expressing concern over the fact that Sophie cried all the time. She didn’t really cry all the time, but when she did cry it was so intense, so full of fury that hearing 30 seconds of this ear piercing stomach clenching screaming was akin to about 10 minutes of your typical newborn cries.
Our pediatrician smiled in her laid back way, shrugged her shoulders and said (as much to us as to the writhing, kicking, purple ball of rage that was Sophie, naked on the weight scale) that she was just “feisty”.
Justin and I smiled at each other. We liked that, feisty. A year later Sophie has proved herself to be just that. Feisty. Or to borrow a term from Tyra Banks: she’s fierce.
Sophie is not afraid to stand up to Jude. We went through a phase where Jude wouldn’t let Sophie play with any of his toys. He’s still not much for sharing, but Miss Sophie girl can more than take care of herself.
(As I type this, they are bickering over Mr. Potato Head. Sophie as usual, is wining).
In a rare move last night, I made us a dessert to eat for after dinner. I made cherry Jell-O with grapes inside. Justin fed Sophie her Jell-O and he literally could not scoop the Jell-O in to her mouth fast enough. He would give her a spoonful, and then try to take one from his own dish. Before he could get his spoon to his mouth, Sophie was hollering at him. She’s not talking yet, but does she ever know what she’s saying. And we’d better figure it out fast, if we know what’s good for us.
Sophie has moments when absolutely nothing or no one will substitute for mummy. Sometimes I am just not able to take her at these times and Justin will have to do until I finish whatever it is I am doing. During these times, Sophie will scream and scream and then when I become available she will get over to me as fast as she can and more often than not she will stop to turn around and yell at her father a few times. The tears are gone, the sobbing has stopped but this girl is still angry. And she is not afraid to let it be known.
Now, I don’t want to paint a negative picture of Sophie.
She is the sweetest, most cuddly baby you’ll ever meet. She smiles at anyone who smiles at her. She flirts with people in restaurants; she will rest her head on your shoulder if you pick her up. She will wave hello when she hears the front door open regardless of where she is in the house. She will share her last bite of cookie with you and give you a wet kiss on the nose, cheek and chin.
She plays peek-a-boo with strangers and laughs at all her brother’s knock knock jokes. She is so proud of herself when she accomplishes things and when she is allowed to do things she sees her brother doing. She gets up and dances at the first sound of music – whether it’s on the radio, TV or if she’s hearing one of us singing. She will blow on any exposed bit of belly she sees.
She is my pretty baby girl, the prettiest baby in the world and it breaks my heart that I have to leave her (and her brother) in a week and a half to go back to work. I know I should just be thankful I got to spend this year with her, to get to know her and watch her develop into this distinctive little personality that she is but I can’t help being selfish. I don’t want to leave either of them.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Sophie Girl

She's walking! Sophie started walking last week. She's taking it slow, she doesn't walk every day, but she loves to stand and absolutely loves to sway back and forth to music.

We've been hit by the Wiggles bug in our house so we do a lot of singing and dancing. Jude loves to rock out, but Sophie girl, she loves to dance.
Here she is dancing (note Jude: rocking out)
Sophie playing the tambourine
It's hard to tell in pictures, but she's actually walking in this sequence

Actual Conversation at Breakfast

Me: Jude! Breakfast!
Jude: (scampering in from living room) Oh! Mummy! (sits on stool) Did you make this yourself?
Me: Yes I did.
Jude: (takes a taste) I can't believe it!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

a wee bit more

And just a quick update:

Sophie girl is months old today. She is still not walking, but man! Can she ever crawl like the wind. She's fast. Especially if she's got one of Jude's toys and she's trying to get away from him.

She is crawling up and down the stairs with ease, she knows to back off the couch and my bed. She's getting there. I think it's in her nature to hold off on doing something until she knows how to do it right. She was slow to roll over, but when she did there were no quarter turns for her. She went from motionless to 360 rolling in a day. Same with crawling. She didn't do the commando style pull herself along or push backwards, she just crawled. (There may have been a bit of bum crawling, but not for more than a few days).

Honestly, I think she can walk. She just doesn't want to do the precarious tottering. When she lets go, she'll be gone.

She can also hold her own against her big brother. The other night Justin and watched the two of them struggling over something. We didn't know what they were fighting over, but we were curious to see how it would end. Suddenly, Jude went down and Sophie made a grab for something. When she came up she crawled away and sat up a little ways from Jude. In her hand was a box of raisins.

Unfortunately the box was closed so before she could eat her spoils, Jude composed himself and came over and snatched them. We gave her her own box after that.

wow! More than a month

Since my last post.

This one will be light. Justin is at school all weekend so I am going into my 7th day in a row with the kids by myself.

As usual last night I was taking requests for the bedtime nursery rhyme singalong. Jude requested one of his favourites, Mary Had a Little Lamb. So I start singing and Jude yells out,

"No! Steve!"

Um, what? I rack my brain trying to come up with a song that has the name Steve in it. Of course I draw a blank.

"Are you saying 'Steve'?" I have to ask for clarification.

"Yeah, Steve," Jude confirms.

Uhhhh. "Sing it?"

Jude starts mumbling something to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb.

"You want me to sing, 'Steve Had a Little Lamb'?"

"Yeah!" Jude nods enthusiastically.

And that is how I came to sing, "Steve Had a Little Lamb" as a bedtime song to Jude last night.

For the record, we have no idea why of all the names he could have chosen he decided to go with Steve.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The other night Jude and Justin were lying around chatting. Then things got ugly. Justin had the nerve to suggest that Jude was a "nose picker" - he may have sung a song about it. Jude was understandably offended and lashed out at Justin in response to the allegations.
"YOU'RE a nose picker too," my young two year old son said.
And I couldn't have been more delighted. I felt like maybe just maybe, the grammar battle I fight every day with Justin isn't in vain.