Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hike Day

Yesterday I foolishly let the boys sleep in, because I am tired of fighting with them and making them get up every morning. And then I imagined what bed time would be like, panicked, and announced that we were going on a BIG HIKE. There's a park about ten minutes away which runs out into a series of ravines and trails that cross a good part of the city, heading from the south-east out to the north-west. So we walked up to the park, headed into the ravine, and I watched to make sure the girls were not falling into the creek.
No one drowned even once. Not anyone at all.

I didn't lose anyone. We met about fifteen dogs, ran into a bunch of other homeschoolers who were doing the pine project (which I dearly, dearly want Nat and Thomas to do in another year or so), and got very tired and hot.

Thomas fell into the creek once, but I don't think he drank any of the water, and I washed him off when he got home. No casualties aside from his sweater, which I had to toss because it was saturated with creek water and I didn't have anywhere I could put it where it wouldn't come into contact with food.

I think I'll do it again with just the boys in a week or so. The girls had a great time, but the boys and I could have covered a lot more territory, and it would be fun to hike all the way up past the Don Valley.

The most significant time-waster was that every five to ten steps I had to stop the stroller so whichever child was suddenly DYING OF HUNGER could dip into the bag of trail mix. Shouting at all of them to stop didn't have any noticeable effect.

We walked for about two hours on the trail, had another half hour at the playground, and then went home. And I collapsed and was useless for the rest of the day. But full of motherly virtue because darn it, they got fresh air and exercise.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Head so full of stuff

I feel jittery and anxious and full of decisions. And I am literally dreaming of home renovations, as we wait for a survey so we can start the hardcore planning. Well, mostly dreaming of the construction. Last night, just before waking this morning, I dreamed of some horrible illness that was turning people into mummies, slowly dessicating them, rendering their behaviour irrational, and turning some of them blue. Of course my parents got it, my father worse, and I think eventually he was put in a small box? There was a lot of wandering around at a building like a hospital, and an extra subplot with some kind of dim world domination scheme, probably related to the illness.

I didn't like that very much. I hate mummies.

Because I am distracted and anxious, I am sucking badly at feeding people. Yesterday, for the kids' lunch, I realized I had served four or five kinds of specifically orange finger food- goldfish crackers, baby carrots, Doritos, sweet potato chips, and Cheezies because I love them. Geoff doesn't think they're a food. They're probably not. Anyway, I'm glad I didn't have anyone coming by to photograph the rainbow that my kids are eating, because wow, it's monochrome.

But today maybe I'll do better. I think I'll haul the boys out of bed and make them go on a hike with me through Taylor Creek, by the end of which I will be fit for nothing, grumpy, and very tired. But with any luck I will have counteracted their sleeping in, and they will go to bed before TEN, which is when they fell asleep last night.
The Doctor is ready
So anyway, I should go. Definitely. And wake them up. And thus disturb the relative peace of Elizabeth weeping because Miriam got to put the teabags in the teapot. Even though it's so very much quieter when the boys are asleep. Cheerio and have a nice day.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Reading Cloud Atlas

Which is good, not too confusing, but quite slow. I'm also always, always doing house planning in my head. I'm trying not to turn into a profoundly boring person about it, but it's proving difficult. Not leaving a lot of head space for anything else.

And that reminds me that instead of writing any blog posts, I should be working on chainmail. Right now. More sparkly things. Even though I just sat down after tidying the kitchen and wrangling the downstairs pantry, I should be working. Right now the children are hypnotized with some silly Nick jr show, and I should be capitalizing on the brief moment of quiet. But it's so nice to sit right here and fritter the time away. I feel like Elizabeth, struggling with the complexity of her pajamas, tryign to organize a thousand things at once.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Haven't blogged in a week

Because I have been furiously working- okay, Geoff has been furiously working- on my shop logo, and I've been taking the kids on trips, and also we're working on the plans for my Dad's house renovation. Which is huge, and scary. And just about as huge and scary- yesterday I went to the lawyer with him, and now I officially own half his house. I am one of the tenants. It's both heady and scary, because I rent. I'm a renter. And housing prices in Toronto are stupid. Seriously, the house we live in, which is perfectly okay but not amazing, is worth about $600,000. A newly renovated house is worth $600K-$800K. That is dumb, for a three bedroom. So I wasn't likely to buy, because we are impoverished. But now I own half of a house that, if the reno goes well, will be a REALLY NICE HOUSE, with FIVE bedrooms, or four and a study.

It's very hard to get my head around that.

Also I get to design a kitchen. I am so excited about that I can't tell you. Wow.

Oh, and today I took the kids to the ROM. Obligatory cute shots below.

Yesterday at the park

Nat got to pull everyone in the cart

And then Elizabeth took over

Isn't Mim's outfit terrific? She's like Revenge of the Loud Patterns

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


We were supposed to go to the park and meet friends this afternoon. Forecast- rain rain rain rain. Drat. Okay- I can either invite the friends over here, or we can manage some kind of alternate plan that will be less damp.

On the bright side, last Friday we did this:

So I don't think my children have been everlastingly denied sunshine and fresh air. And perhaps today we'll go to the ROM or the science centre or something. But before that we will struggle through doing some school and I will glumly put away laundry and wrestle with the living room, which is not organized to my satisfaction. And I will be comforted knowing that tonight, because it's a dojo night for Geoff, it will be frozen pizza and chicken fingers and possibly, possibly salad for dinner, which means almost no work.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

I mopped the floor

It's not even nine, and I mopped the floor. I am so impressed with myself. Okay, I mopped the kitchen. Okay, I mopped the kitchen because the children have been outside every day, in the yard, and two or three times have had mud fights, which they have tracked into the house. The back door is through the kitchen.

But I had help!
So after I've finished mopping up the extra water they have generously spread around, I will have another cup of tea, and tackle the rest of the day. Cheerio!

Thursday, May 07, 2015


Yesterday Geoff and I went over to Dad's and met our architect friend Stephen to discuss planning about the house, and to start measuring parts. Hoo boy. I have no idea what I'm doing, and this is so big. We are impoverished and not used to doing anything bigger than, oh, buying groceries.

Dad still seems to be on board, and has gotten almost chatty when he comes over for dinner. Dinner which is endured patiently last night, even though it was Foreign (butter chicken and a vegetable curry), and he doesn't like Foreign.

It will take about a year, probably, depending on a whole lot of moving parts. We'll be adding a full-house addition all the way up the back, which will give me and Geoff a bedroom, Dad a ground floor bedroom, and add a lot to the basement, which will become the play room/TV room/school room/office.

Stephen was asking me about colour preferences, and siding materials, and building styles, and I realized that while I have preferences they're inchoate, and because I've lived in rentals since we got married I am used to taking a space, shrugging a little, and then adapting myself to it. The idea of getting to choose what my bedroom or kitchen (kitchen! KITCHEN! I COULD HAVE AN UNDERMOUNTED SINK!) looks like is both heady and overwhelming.

What does a perfect house look like in my head? Wood, cream paint, warm coloured furniture that doesn't show dirt a lot, and lots and lots of bookshelves. Lots.

So big.