By miranda | December 11, 2010
I’m almost certain I’ve posted something with a very similar title before… but the truism is even more true when you’re taking care of two little time-suckers – I mean children.
Much has come and passed in the past three months. Desmond is now a full-fledged walker. The grin on his face when he toddles purposefully towards me is priceless. He’s still faster crawling, but he’s starting to prefer being upright. I think he likes having his hands free to grab things or carry toys. One of his favourite things to grab is Bruce Cambpell, who is not smart enough to run away, even when I pry his little grippers off her hide. It’s really funny to see Desmond go after Bruce and hear Sophie yell “Run away!” in imitation of me. I think she just really likes giving orders.
Sophie’s really turning into quite the little girl. Her vocabulary is quite expansive, and her current thing is to chatter all the time, describing what we are doing, what we have done, how she feels about what we’ve done, what she wants to do, who we’re going to do it with, who we’re going to see, who they are going to see, what pets they have, what sounds the pets make, … and anything else that crosses her wonderful mind. She recently decided to get potty-trained, and to our delight, it’s going really well, with diapers only overnight now. Incredible! She also likes to help Mummy do dishes and sweep the floor, two habits I’m going to encourage in any way I can. Try to keep it fun, somehow.
Christmas this year will be in Ottawa with Grandmere, we’re leaving soon and I’m looking forward to it, though the Christmas preparations have felt really rushed, since I feel obligated to have most of it all ready way early. I’m looking forward to all the visiting to come, and hoping that there will be at least a little bit of relaxation involved too.
Merry Christmas all! (a little early, but that’s how I’m doing it this year)
By miranda | September 15, 2010
In it’s third year of production, CasaAnnett Winery had it’s biggest crush yet, so much so that we had to call in the troops to help out. Sunday, September 12th (beautiful Kim’s birthday) we invited a few of our favourite people over for an evening of de-stemming. In exchange for their labours, the lucky few will be presented with some of the final product, for which we have high hopes of drinkability (for those assistants under the age of majority, you will get to watch your parents enjoy the wine). This year’s addition to our cellar will include two carboys of Zinfandel, fermented with different yeasts as an experiment. We also plan on making a demijohn of a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend. This year we were much better prepared for the harvest season and reserved our grapes ahead of time. We picked them up right away and there was an obvious quality difference between this year’s offerings and the past two years, when we basically got what was left after others had had their pick. The Cab and Merlot grapes in particular were of good quality and ripeness.
We’re going to be bottling our wine from last year sometime this week, and tasting notes will be updated as we test it. Every year we learn a little bit more, and this year in particular we got a few great tips from two wonderful sources, Lawrence at Herder Winery in Keremeos and the ladies at Bosa Grape in Burnaby. With these insights and Harry and my construction of a lab bench in the basement, we have really transformed the wine-making experience here at CasaAnnett, bringing it to the next level (whatever level that may be). Monday as I was testing and measuring and weighing and buretting and pipetting in the lab, I was reminded of how much I like chemistry. It’s been years since my Bachelor of Science was completed and all that wonderful knowledge has been laying (for the most part) dormant in my brain. Monday night I flexed those old neural pathways, and it really felt great. Harry’s suggestion that we build the lab area in the basement was an excellent one, and even after only two days’ use, it has already been worth it. Also, it was a construction and organization project that made use of some of our new skills as home renovators: electrical, drywalling, and cabinet-making.
With all of this, I’m feeling better than I have been, even though a bone-tiredness seems to have set in on me. Thanks again to those whom we asked for help, it made for a great day, and many hands did indeed make light work. (Pictures are up in the gallery)
By admin | August 24, 2010
Adding to Miranda’s post, Desmond has his first tooth. He’s crawling and is teaching himself to walk… lets see if he figures it out in the next 6 weeks.
By miranda | August 20, 2010
Well, really just quite a bit to catch up on, since life has been busy enough to take many pictures, thus leaving little time to upload them. Totally understandable.
There are many more pictures in the July album, cataloguing a few birthday parties, a great visit from Grandmere, some birthday cakes, outdoor fun, and much more. I then created an August album to chronicle the first few weeks of this month, which included the arrival of the passenger (aka Fiona Mecready), the Edmonton Folk Fest, Rose family reunion, more cuteness, (sadly missing the fringe, as we did not bring our camera), and a visit with friend Griffin.
I could write about it, but this time I’ll let the photos do the talking.
By harry | July 26, 2010
Lil Miss Sophie celebrated her second birthday this past week with style. On Thursday we dined with loved ones to mark her turning 2. It was the start of her sugar bender which concluded on Sunday night after her BBQ party for friends. We are hoping that her recovery from her sweet long weekend will be quick.
Happy birthday my love.
By miranda | July 10, 2010
This is just a quick post to let you all know that there are some new photos up in a July Album in the gallery. There’s one of me, doing my best to show off my new hairstlyle, followed by many pictures of the two little ones, as usual. Desmond has now started crawling meaning that looking after him is now more than a one-room-at-a-time job. He’s still pretty shaky, but he is determined to stretch his legs, and when he sets his eye on something in the distance now, he has a means of getting to it. This means that we have to go through Sophie’s toybox and re-proof it for the baby stage where everything goes hand to mouth. There have also been some adventures in food, as the pictures will show. Desmond’s appetite is quite healthy, and he seems to enjoy most everything we put in front of him.
By miranda | June 30, 2010
Another long hiatus, and many more details in our ever exciting lives… We returned safely from Orlando, tired but intact. It was my first -certainly not last- trip where I truly realized that travelling with children is all of a sudden not very relaxing. Well, there are relaxing moments, but it is definitely not restful. We only had a short time at home and then we were off North to the Fontaine-Gnass wedding, which was a very lovely affair. The weather co-operated and our decision to stay in the hotel in High Prairie turned out to be a good one, as I got to see a bit more of Simon and Jess (among others), though I did miss some one-on-one time with my Kim.
Our home stay after the wedding was even more brief, as we then left for a two-week camping/wine holiday in B.C. that bracketed my Grandparents’ 60th Wedding Anniversary celebration. There were many kilometers in car seats for the kids, and they held up really quite well, thankfully. We tried to pace ourselves for the most part, and I think it worked out well. Lucky for us, the weather was gorgeous while we were in the Okannagan, as they have been having a pretty wet and cool spring. Our campsite was right next to another young family with two little girls, a 5-year-old and the other just about Sophie’s age. Sophie and Julie hit it off right away, she spent a lot of time at their campsite, which allowed Harry and I to get ours nicely set up with only Desmond to worry about, and he was mostly amusing himself eating grass.
Vancouver was the next stop, with a couple of good visiting nights while we were there. We saw Oriana the first night, and got to taste a couple of the Downtown’s delights with her (a fantastic and affordable italian place and a chocolate cafe, both of which we need to get the names of so they can be revisited). The next night Simon hosted us and Marian and Todd for a home-cooked meal at his casa. It was a nice visit before the busy weekend filled up with all the other family members. Harry and I made it to the island a full day ahead of the horde, so we had the pleasure of spending a night just us and Nana and Grandad, they enjoyed meeting Desmond and re-aquainting themselves with Sophie. Unfortunately the big party was downscaled considerably when Nana hurt herself the next day, but the smaller affair was still a good oportunity to see the extended family.
On our return we again stopped in the Okannagan, revisiting a few favourite wineries and stocking up for the year to come. Once again we picked up an insane amount of wine, and once again we surprised ourselves with our improved packing skills. Anyone who wants to sample some of our stock just has to find a way to get invited over to the house. We’re exclusive, but not picky, so it’s not that hard to get on the guest list.
I also have many new pictures to add to the gallery, it has been a while. That shall be my next task, so check it out.
By miranda | May 15, 2010
Big breath in, big breath out. The past three days have been a whirlwind of activity, non-stop inertia that carried us through to the launch and beyond. So many firsts (and lasts) have been crammed into the past 65 or so hours that it is hard to sum up. It was our first flight with two children (two flights, I suppose, with the connections), and we couldn’t even sit together because we both had infants in laps and the airplane only has one extra oxygen mask per row. Our seat-mates for the first leg of the journey largely ignored us and seemed to be trying to pretend they were somewhere else, but on the second leg we both ended up beside amicable persons willing to interact, which was nice. I was seated with a gentleman who grew up in Kissimmee (where we’re staying) and another gentleman from Edmonton who was coming to Orlando for the same reason we were. I asked Todd (from Kissimmee) for good restaurant suggestions and Kevin (from Edmonton) and I discussed the experience of trying to secure tickets for the launch viewing. Harry was seated beside a young man with a lap top who was willing to check the hockey scores for him (wi-fi on planes now!) (go habs, go!) and an older lady who was very understanding about sitting beside an energetic almost-two-year-old. If it weren’t for the fact that due to many delays at each leg of the trip from Minneapolis on we only finally gained access to our hotel room at 3:30am I could have said it was a pretty good day. In the end, it was a long day… longer even than expected.
Our “cushion” day was spent getting a couple of basic supplies to stock our kitchen and doing a trial run out to the Kennedy Space Center, then we visited Chris and Char at their villa for a nice BBQ supper. We retired early as we had an early arrival time at the KSC and we were hoping to get some sleep before making the trek out there. Thankfully our trip the next morning (starting at 5am) went smoothly and we arrived without incident. We staked out what we hoped was a good viewing spot for ourselves and C&C, who were scheduled to arrive later in the day. My stress about getting there safely and on time was over with, but unfortunately for C&C, theirs was not. They hit heavy traffic on the last leg of their journey and sat in traffic for almost two hours fretting that they would not make it. As we were in contact via text messaging, I was sick to my stomach for them, and was overjoyed when I got a message saying that they had made it after all.
What can I say… I witnessed history yesterday. A one-of-a-kind space program being shut down for good. I grew up wanting to be an astronaut. I remember watching launches on TV and aching to be in those seats with them, shooting for the stars. All day long, there was always the possibility that the launch might be delayed, so I didn’t let myself believe it until we started the final 10 second countdown, and watched the engines ignite. Sure, we weren’t close (7 miles away) and probably would have had a closer shot if we’d viewed it on TV, but there is something in the fact of BEING there. Not seeing it through a camera lens (well, I did take pictures, but… you know). BEING there! Hearing and feeling the rumble of the shock-wave from the takeoff several seconds after witnessing the event. Seeing that small, man-made tin can propelled away from the earth at amazing speeds (the phrase that comes to mind comes from my brother, though I know not it’s original origin: “Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth”). Twin tears rolled down my cheeks as I tried to catch my breath.
There is so much more to say, but it can wait. And, thanks to the wonder of Google, here is the source of the above quote:
John Gillespie Magee, Jr
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of –Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
Godspeed, Atlantis. And goodnight.
By admin | April 28, 2010
Miranda sent me this message yesterday and it plastered a smile on my face:
Sophie has dressed her doll up in Desmond’s socks (“aukz, aukz”), one of his coats (“teeet! teeet!) and then put it’s feet in a pair of your shoes (“le shoo, le shoo).
Hoping to make you smile,
By miranda | April 14, 2010
Well, well. Another month gone by. I honestly mean to post more often, but time is a pretty valuable commodity. It’s not that I’m run off my feet (most days) but to find a chunk of time when I can sit quietly and put together a narrative is not so easy. Life is busy, caring for two amazing kids. Every now and then I look at Sophie and she is doing something normal, but it comes to mind that even her normal acts are special to me. I think I’m seeing her in a new way since my eyes are tuned to the bright and fabulous moments with Desmond. Her vocabulary is starting to expand, she’s started repeating more words right after she hears them. Desmond doesn’t have a vocabulary, per se, but he sure does like to vocalize. He’s such a coo-er and a laugher. I don’t remember Sophie being this vocal at this age, it will be interesting to see how his personality develops, growing up with a big sister. He’s very strong, he rolls onto his belly almost immediately if we leave him lying on his back. Once there, he’ll kick strongly with his legs and wiggle on forward with his nose buried in the ground. Lovely to watch.
We’ve been enjoying the products of a year’s worth of working on the house. Everytime I stop to look at my kitchen I give myself (and Harry) a mental pat on the back. It’s functional and GORGEOUS! Now that the snow is gone we’re looking forward to enjoying the outdoors even more. I know that I would like to spend a lot of time out in the yard these comming months. I know Sophie will want to be a big help with the gardening, we’ll see how much extra work that creates (in laundry alone, I’m sure).
All in all, a nice start to spring. Oh yes, and there are new pictures up in the March and April albums of the gallery.
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