Posted by: mindyourknitting | July 20, 2010


Once again I’ve neglected to write a post in about forty-eleven years.  Alright it’s only been just over a couple of weeks, but it feels like much longer and every time I let it go this long I simultaneously think “I have so much to write about!” and “what the hell am I going to write about now?”  So I’ll ease back into things (again) by giving you a brief recap of what we’ve been up to lately, since we’ve been doing all manner of things both interesting and mundane.  I’ll try to keep this light on the mundane.

1.  Canada Day!

We hosted a brunch for some lovely friends, and this was followed by a trip down the street to the outdoor activities put on by our community association.  Abigail pet a snake. 

Doesn't she look excited about it?

It was a pretty quiet Canada Day, but I love that we can celebrate in our neighbourhood rather than fighting the crowds on Parliament Hill.  I’ve spent many past Canada Days in the middle of the crush of humanity that is Canada Day in downtown Ottawa, but with a two-year old in tow it just isn’t all that appealing, not to mention that the forty-degree plus heat we’ve been having lately doesn’t make me all that enthusiastic about spending long periods outside.  Plus, I think it’s great that we can get Abigail excited about our wonderful nation without leaving our backyard or neighbourhood (there’s something wrong with that statement, but I’m too tired to figure it out right now.)

2.  Fourth of July!

There are precious few perks to my husband’s job (if you don’t count the slavishly long hours and skull-cracking level of stress) but every now and then we score an invitation to something, like this, from which we otherwise would be barred at the gate.  We, along with approximately four thousand other people, were invited to the Fourth of July party at the Ottawa residence of the US Ambassador, David Jacobson.  The theme of the party was “A Taste of Illinois,” and although I had my doubts about this theme (pizza?  baseball?), it was a brilliant party smartly organized around a cohesive theme.  The huge front lawn of the very impressive residence featured a large white tent with linen-draped tables, there were several food (Mexican Influence, Benvenuti in Italia, Traditions of Poland, Take me out to the Ballgame, and – my personal fave – Chicago Sweets) and beverage tents, and a stage to host the various talking heads as well as the truly awesome Chicago band Lynne Jordan and the Shivers.  Point of pride:  I drank a ton of water on account of the heat, and yet I managed to resist the port-o-potties (and no, I didn’t pee in the bushes.  I just called on my bladder of steel – which is somewhat weakened by pregnancy hormones, but whatever).  I always think that nothing kills fancy atmosphere like port-o-potties, even if they’re tucked away to one side under some trees.  Anyway, there were marching bands and marines (yum) and bagpipers (double yum).  There was much red, white, and blue in the form of flags, bunting, and table centrepieces, of course.  But best of all, they saluted the flag with a flag made of cupcakes!

Mmmm nationalistic goodness!

We had a great time – it was a beautiful (but once again stinking hot) afternoon and we relished the few hours we got to spend together simply enjoying ourselves. 

3. Mah Birthday!

I turned thirty-(*cough*)five on the 14th of this month.  I don’t have many hang-ups about getting older, although I did have a twinge about being thirty-five and pregnant, for some reason.  I guess when I was young and (more) stupid I thought I’d be well past having babies at this age.  Because, you know, thirty-five is ancient.  Or so I thought.  Anyway, I got to go to the spa for a mani/pedi and enjoy dinner with friends at a local charcuterie, Murray Street.  The food was lovely, but it is perhaps not a destination for vegetarians.  On the way out we saw a huge hog’s head coming out of the kitchen.  That’s right, they offer a cooked hog’s head, ears, snout and all, on the menu ($80 and it has to be ordered two days in advance).  Of course we wondered who the hell would order such a thing (a true gastonomie?) but once I spotted the long table of twelve or so men dressed in matching bachelor party t-shirts, I got my answer.  Meatheads.

4.  Vacation!

Erik and I have been on vacation since the beginning of last week, and I can honestly say it feels like I’ve been away from work forever.  You know how sometimes it takes a while to decompress from your job and the first few days of a vacation don’t feel like a break at all?  That has not been the case for me.  The minute I left work a week ago Friday I shed my workaday concerns and took up a concerted effort to play with Abigail, nap, and relax as enthusiastically as possible for the duration of our time off.  We decided to stay home for this vacation – the road trip to Nova Scotia last summer was wonderful, but we weren’t sure Abigail would tolerate the drive as well this time around, and frankly I wasn’t sure I wanted to put my 15-weeks-pregnant butt in a car for 12 or 15 hours straight (’cause that’s how we do long-distance drives – a straight shot to our destination).  This was the best decision ever.  We’ve had time to relax, I’ve read a ton of books (ohmigod, The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson – READ IT) do some things around the house (yay, closet door back on hinges! Backyard jungle tamed!), and see friends and family without feeling like we’re trying to cram everything into a small amount of time.  I’ve started going to the library, which has worked well for Abigail and I with one exception from a few days ago.  Abigail bcame particularly enamoured of the book Ten in the Bed, and when I returned it to the library on the way to run errands she burst into tears as she saw it go down the return chute.  If she had thrown a tantrum that would have been one thing, but she wailed like I had just chucked her bedtime giraffe and bunny, wrapped in her blankie, studded with her soothers, into that chute. We tried to tell her we had to share the book with other kids and we’d get it back later, but she was heartbroken.  She kept keening and wailing “Ten in Bed?  Ten IN BED?  Whaaaaaa”  so we made an emergency trip to Chapters and bought her the book.  This is why I resisted using libraries, because I kind of feel like that when I have to return a book I LOVE.  Whaaaa!  But overall it’s been a good thing, and I had always said if Abigail really loved a book we got from the library we’d get her a copy, and out of the twenty or so we’ve gone through that’s the first she’s really fussed over.  And Abigail has had had a great vacation  – lots of time outside and at the park, visits with friends and family, and plenty of just hanging out with her parents, playing with her toys.

My precious!

Our vacation has been so low-key that I consider it big news that I’ve had an afternoon nap almost every single day, which is probably my most favourite part of this vacation but will obviously bite me in the ass when I go back to work unless I can successfully pitch the afternoon siesta as part of our collective agreement. 

5.  Potty Toilet Training Update

We’ve run into a few snags that have led us to believe that Abigail is not quite ready for big-girl panties.  First, she refuses to wear big-girl panties and demands diapers.  First we tried the thick training pants, which she hated, so I bought some little paper-thin cotton panties with Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony on them (shut up).  We had a potty in each bathroom, pull-ups for nap and bedtimes, and I busted out my inner kindergarten teacher and made her a sticker-strewn potty chart to track her progress.  I managed to cajole her into a pair of her new underpants a few times, but it was spectacularly unsuccessful.  She pooped on the floor next to the potty, peed next to the potty for the babysitter, and finally, after being asked a gajillion times one morning if she needed to go pee, happily sat in a puddle while she ate her breakfast.  When I picked her up out of her chair and realized she had been sitting merrily in a puddle of her own urine for at least a half an hour without saying a thing, I concluded that we would retire the underwear for now, and try again later.  I don’t care if she has accidents, but if she shows zero interest or concern for keeping herself dry or going potty in the potty, why push it?

6.  Next!

Abigail’s birthday is tomorrow, so I’ll have a whole post dedicated to that at some point later in the week.  My god I can’t believe she’s two.  And Erik and I are off to a B&B in Wakefield overnight – one lovely, kid-free night!  It’s the first time we’ve been away without the munchkin, we plan to go to a nice restaurant for dinner, and of course I can’t drink, where’s the justice??  In the meanwhile, I hope that you are having a lovely summer – do tell me what you’ve been up to!

And a question: For those of you who have had more than one kid, did you take any sort of refresher prenatal classes?  I kind of feel like it might be redundant,and I have all the materials, but it has been a couple of years since I last gave birth, and that was under rather extreme circumstances so I didn’t really use anything I learned in class.  I wonder if anything has changed…


  1. Mmmmm…..Pizza…..Baseball….Sounds like Illinois to me.

  2. […] be returned when she gets bored with them (except for Ten in the Bed, of course, which was a whole other story – and we don’t dare whisper that title in our house now, since the blasted book has of course […]

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