tea

Sincerely, your something or other.

cc: everyone else.


food

Shiny and new

Ada is ten days old today. She's 10% heavier than at birth, doing all the infant things, looking around a bunch, and has completely skipped "newborn" as a clothing size. I think I have the transition to parental leave more or less down this time — a few days of leave before the birth were a nice ease-in, and now I'm definitely coffee-powered but I've more or less hit my stride. I've been getting out on errands and park adventures with the kids and look forward to hanging out with lovely people (and their kids where applicable) in local parks. The older kids are having some adjustment pains — Viv is angling for mama cuddles and frustrated when there's a baby in the way, and both of them require a long wind down to sleep at the end of the day.

We have a nice steel roof! We had our moments when we thought we'd get a baby first, but the contractors pulled through and got it done. We had a stressful week or so where work had disrupted electricity to most of the upstairs including our phone and Internet plug — we had a solution involving an extension cord to the kids' room, but we weren't going to leave it plugged in while they slept, so we had greatly reduced communications — in a situation where we might've wanted to round up midwives and child care on short notice, it wasn't the best time for forced simplification, but in the end the contractors' electrician got things working before we really needed them.

The garden delay due to workers was actually a boon to us as the tomato plants weren't in the ground on those chilly nights after Victoria Day. Now we have a nice variety in (thanks for the swaps, wisewomanjudith!) as well as some fancy peppers and eggplant and some humdrum-but-tasty squash (bought from Sarah's new outfit, Beat Greens Gardens).

One small downer is that my allergies are pretty wild lately, even with desloratadine and drops. Maybe it's time to switch meds. What're people finding good these days? Drowsiness hasn't been a side effect I get; Reactine kept me up.

In general, I'm in a groove — a tired one but a good one — and life is pretty good and full of possibilities.

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beautiful

Booyah, baby! Also, booyah anniversary!

Baby Ada's birth was the home birth we'd been planning for — kids safely at their grandparents, midwives we knew, intensity and joy and healthy everyone at the end. Elizabeth was very independent for most of labour, as she has been before — I fetched things, let midwives in, helped keep things clean and was just being present up into late pushing. We'd talked about my maybe catching Ada, but in the end I was busy holding Elizabeth and crying a bit as she pushed the last few times. I got to cut the cord, as I have for Oscar and Vivien. At home in our space was a nice place for a birth, and I felt quite involved.

Ada is pretty laid-back so far, and looking around a lot. She has a powerful suck, curious hands and neck and a variety of unconvinced facial expressions. She also sleeps really well in the baby carrier!

Elizabeth and I got a chance to give the baby carrier a whirl yesterday when our friend Seema generously offered to take the older two over to her place for a couple of hours. Thanks to her, we got to walk over to Brasseurs du Temps and have a little anniversary lunch date. Seven years of vaguely sacrilegious matrimony and crazy adventures! Our conversation was more sleep-deprived than deep, but it was really nice to make some time for our little dyad, and Ada helpfully snoozed almost the whole time. Also, BDT has really gotten comfortable in its skin and gotten into a refined and interesting beer groove. There was one unfortunate server comment about "ladies' beer" – La Grande Rivière is a tart, citrusy smacker of a beer that happens to be pink (and delicious to me and not Elizabeth's thing). Silly server. The presence of a tasty 2.4% session IPA (good for easing back into regular beer after 9 months on the pregnancy wagon) was exciting, though.

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relaxed, family, happy

Ada Snow Hortop

…was born in the wee hours of the morning yesterday at home with the help of two awesome midwives, Johanne and Éloïse. Ada weighed 4 kilograms at birth and is 58 centimetres long. She and Elizabeth are both healthy and resting at home.

Baby Ada.

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beautiful

End of April varia

Note to self and allergist: I'm getting eye allergy symptoms for the first time this year; oral meds seem to take the edge off for now but I have drops if I need them.

We had a midwife appointment today; got the home birth kit and a clean bill of health for fetus and mama.

Roofing materials are appearing in our driveway. Our midwife doesn't think roof work will cramp her style.

Stewarding is busy lately. It is performance agreement season. Correlation noted.

I am feeling pretty happy with and connected to people at work. I will miss them over parental leave; I hope we will find time to hang out.

In other news, I gave bow tie advice to a barista yesterday; that was fun.

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body, health

Maintenance and gametes

I've been on a routine maintenance kick lately — I started with a physical for my pension buyback, got my allergies assessed, blood checked out, shots updated. I probably have one more bunch of paper to pick up, then I'm done outside of flu shots for three years. Aside from that: eat well and be active as usual, but take some B12 to help my red blood cells keep up with the rigours of life — no need to be more exhausted than strictly necessary!

I considered signing up for a vasectomy after our third baby is born — three is a good number for us, I think. The week of not lifting kids or walking unnecessarily during recovery sounds like something better scheduled for when everyone is in school, though. I have my referral; maybe I can call it in in 2020. Meanwhile: maybe someone needs some proven-fertile (and, judging from our kids, smart, energetic and funny) genetic material? I am out of the blood system but maybe qualifying to give sperm is within reach — although an initial web search indicates that Canada doesn't have much of a sperm bank system outside of one operation in Toronto… possibly due to strict laws against the sale of sperm. It seems that all abject terror of markets for sperm has done is atrophy the collection system. I've read about egg donation, and it is kind of terrifying, risky and probably did need measures in place to discourage exploitation of broke people with ovaries. I'm also a bit mystified that there aren't enough potential donors to support a centre in a major-ish urban area. Surely there are many people who are fertile and who wouldn't mind sharing the wealth with people having difficulties or lacking an easier source of sperm. As it is, apparently it is completely legal to buy gametes from the States and abroad: there's something a little off about that.

I don't know that I have any good conclusions, but it is a little odd and frustrating.

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tea

(no subject)

Shortly after she got back from her hockey-filled trip to Texas, [personal profile] commodorified gathered a bunch of us together at a pho place and snapped this picture of Oscar.

He's getting a bit better at staying in his high chair, and at home we can even convince him to stay there as we run around the kitchen, if we give him something interesting to munch on up there.

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Tags: ,

tea

Oscar picture post

Not much to write right now, but here are some Oscar photos from the past week or two:

Oscar rearranging the cupboard
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Tags: ,

tea

Exciting news and an picture

So, I guess it's time to mention it in here — Oscar will probably have a sibling in late August sometime! A sibling was always in the plan, and we won't be too used to getting sleep with Oscar just coming up on two years old. We've got midwives lined up at the Maison de Naissance (the same birthing centre where Oscar was born).

Oscar is having a rough teething week, but he should be out of teeth soon: his canines are all quite poked through, and his molars seem to be on the way. In general we're getting him to bed earlier, so Elizabeth and I can have a bit of time to ourselves a bit more easily. I'm having more success putting him to sleep, too, which is nice when Elizabeth is teaching late into the evening.

My parents' friends and neighbours gave Oscar a glorious hooded sweater for Christmas, and he's a bit more grown into it now (with the sleeves rolled up). Here he is in it; what you can't see is a positively medieval long pointy hood in the back:

Oscar in a glorious sweater
click on the picture for a bigger version

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tea

questions make me post

stalkingsilence provided me with seven questions:

What is your current favourite song?
I think "Shake it Out", by Florence + The Machine. It's ludicrously catchy, anyway.
What is your ultiamate comfort food?
Galumptious Mac and Cheese, or maybe a bit too much Bridge Mixture. But there is lots of good comfort food out there, so it is hard to choose.
What book are you currently reading? Or what book would you like to read but haven't yet?
I just finished The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood. It was a fun read; I think the characters were more relatable and had more interesting problems than in Oryx and Crake, but Atwood was still having the same sort of parody-dystopia-building fun.
What's your favourite part of being a dad?
Being a toddler amusement park is pretty fun, and so is realizing that my learning curve is starting to catch up with his (for now).
Favourite Canadian museum that you've visited?
I have a soft spot of the National Gallery. When I didn't live here, I would take a couple of hours to visit it almost every time I came up. I should go back more often now that I live here. It's too bad it isn't free like it used to be — it's a bit of a disincentive, particularly if I may be with an awake toddler with a short attention span, to pay by the visit. Maybe they could charge by the hour!
Describe the best holiday you ever had.
I think our cross-country train trip (wow, I didn't really blog that — here are some pictures, behind Facebook security in Elizabeth's account) may have been a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
What does a typical day off for you look like?
Breakfast could be the usual toast or baked goods, coffee and juice, or Elizabeth might make biscuits or pancakes. I'll manage to get some unstructured time to myself for reading or Internetting while Elizabeth and Oscar take a nap. I'll take Oscar with me on some errands to give Elizabeth a break to practice music. We may go as a family off to some happening out of the house, and we'll almost certainly get some Oscar playtime. I'll catch up on laundry, cat boxes and other chores, and Elizabeth will probably clean a bit and get the dishes under control. It's usually a pretty low-key sort of day off, but it's a nice change of pace.

If you want some questions to get your writing juices flowing, let me know in the comments!

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tea

Life without car ownership

Life without owning a car is something that gets enough questions asked of me that I thought I'd post a few things about it. Also, I like reading this sort of thing from other people (hi, asimplelife!), so I thought I'd give back.

So, for starters, here's the situation: I live with my wife and toddler son in an older residential neighbourhood in Hull. We're within walking distance of most of the basic necessities of life, none of us have any mobility-reducing disabilities. I've got the lone driver's license in the household.

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When Oscar was on the way, we heard predictions that we'd be buying a car (or maybe even a minivan!) soon 'cause young kids require cars — we (well, mostly I) did consider getting one (by buying or hand-me-down), but so far we're managing pretty well with a toddler and all the options we have. I know of one co-worker who's thriving with school-aged children and no car, too, so apparently parents in the right situation can manage with multiple kids and not owning a car.

I guess that's a fairly broad picture of how we manage transportation in our little family. I've been wanting to write that out for a while, I hope it's useful or interesting to some people out there...

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