why can't every day be just this good?

the weather has been great, or at least sunny and blue but also cold, so very very cold. it happened so fast too, it seems like it was just last week we were basking in the heat and lounging on patios...wasn't it? now i am contemplating a snowsuit for cohen, one of those ones i saw two weeks ago at mec and sarcastically said, who would need this in vancouver? i underestimated my paranoia about my baby being too cold. but still the sun has encouraged us to get out and romp.

yesterday involved copious amounts of romping. it all started at the reifel bird sanctuary in ladner where grandma was adamant about having cohen experience ducks up close and personal. yes that is him sitting there amongst the birds. not unlike his first meeting with the horse, he was indifferent to the whole thing. sure he reached over and tried to grab a few feathers causing me to have small but gut wrenching heart attacks but the birds were on their toes (or webbed feet i suppose) and never allowed his saliva filled paws to touch them. i thought the whole thing was slightly absurd but funny none the less and will some day make a good story, pictures included. plus the birds got some seed (the tool used to entice them into cohen's personal space) and most importantly we all made it out unscathed...phew.

next up was a trip to the pumpkin farm on westham island. we didn't actually want to buy pumpkins, nor anything else from the farm really. the reason we were there was to get some pictures of cohen with some big orange round vegetables, so that we would feel festive and involved. so we headed out in the muddy field and cobbled together a group of pumpkins in a way to make them look candid (although now that i have told you that i suppose they don't look candid at all) and leaned him in for the pose. the whole thing was slightly ridiculous (in case my tone didn't give that away!) but it would have made for great photos were it not for the bright sun over our heads. sun makes for great picnics or camping trips, but great pictures it does not. after three near tips into the mud we chose to move our photo op to the manicured portion of the farm. the place where the pumpkins were carved and theme parkesque. so we came and we saw and we left feeling festive and involved, our arms filled with photographs to make us feel like we achieved something. plus it smelled good on that farm, the air so crisp and new. i love autumn.

then of course it was off to the airport to get cohen's baka (grandma). she was meeting cohen, her first grandchild, for the first time. there were tears and hugs and kisses, lots and lots of kisses. both grandma's were there and so cohen was showered with a ridiculous amount of affection and he loved every minute of it. i wonder if a kid could get used to a thing like that? i don't know if i will have enough love to fill the void in a month when baka goes back home. or maybe i underestimate my ability to love, i have been known to tell him it has no limits. i guess time will test me on that!

so that brings us to tonight. cohen and i decided to go out with our friends dreena and mike for a walk in the neighbourhood to see pumpkins carved and children costumed. there is an area near us that goes all out for the occasion. it takes up only a couple of blocks but almost every house is decorated with lights and cobwebs and pumpkins. it seemed like every kid from far and wide showed up to these dozen homes for the loot, lineups down stairs a common site. it was a great experience. you see, i have always had this nagging voice in my head telling me how bad it is to raise a child in the city, reminding me of all of the things they will miss out on. on that list was halloween. i just couldn't imagine actually allowing my child to trick or treat and i also didn't think there were many in these parts that would give candy out. tonight i was proven wrong on both counts. all the laughter and smiles, well it reminded me that no matter where you go it is always possible to have community, you just have to nurture it and participate. there is definitely a community here and tonight it felt like a great place to raise a family. for me this realization was so much sweeter than any candy i could have had (of course i did have some candy too).

happy halloween!


i thought we were in the trust tree in the nest, were we not?

so today we went to stanley park with my brother elton and my two nieces reidun and kyla. earlier in the day the weather was wet and windy and the possibility of a nice walk seemed unlikely but then the clouds parted and the sun came out, so off we went. cohen got to hang out in the backpack carrier for the first time and loved being up high looking out at everyone. we walked through the trees and then by the water, it was a really great day! one thing worth noting is that we saw 8 raccoons in the park, something i found more than a little disheartening given the large number of small children running loose on the trails. it seemed to me that the city has a problem on their hands. the raccoons weren't scared of humans in the least.

due to all the excitement cohen didn't get his early or late afternoon nap today.
normally he would sleep in the stroller or front carrier when i take him out but today he was too entranced by all he could see that he wasn't interested in sleep. he was quite grouchy on the ride home and fell asleep almost immediately upon our return at 6. his bedtime is usually 8. it is 8 now and he is still napping. i am hoping this means he is asleep for the night but something tells me he might wake in a bit and not fall asleep for awhile. routines are important, especially for ones so little. we will see how it all plays out. wish me luck!

tonight is a big night around here. it is our last night without marko's mom here. she arrives tomorrow night for a month long visit. it is going to be exciting for cohen to meet his baka for the first time! he is the first grandson so i know it is going to be quite an emotional scene at the airport, it should be great. so marko and i are both spending time doing that which brings us smiles. for me that means a dark chocolate toblerone and old school on the laptop (and did you know that meredith from grey's anatomy is in old school???). for marko it is battlestar gallactica and sour worms. for cohen, it hopefully means lots and lots of sleep!


we did the mash, we did the monster mash...

well it looks like this post is going to be heavy on the photos again but i am sure you don't mind...right? this afternoon cohen and i and three of my mom friends, marita, aja, and thea all headed with our costumed babes to the mt. pleasant community centre for a little community fun. we had all been wondering just where it was that mom's of babies take their too - young - to - understandlings on halloween? the answer is turns out is the community centre.

this particular outing took a little bit of letting go of the cool to appreciate as there were puppets and singing, lots of singing and some more puppets and little toddlers swaying to the beluga song (no not that beluga song but another equally as riveting one). it was an enormous helping of the dish i have come to refer to as "i am a mom now". but cohen loved it. his eyes lit up (although these pictures don't really do it justice) as he watched the kids dance and the university student/singing troup girls do their thing (with the puppets). maybe it was because their shtick was songs about fish and the sea or maybe it was just all the excitement but he had fun, lot's of it. so how could i not? as aja said, this reminds me of what halloween is supposed to be.

i am assuming she meant candy...right?

here are some more pictures to check out. the rest of them are here

my friend thea's daughter mary jane in her zebra costume, she is very serious about halloween!

marita holding cohen so that i can get a picture, even big and fuzzy, his hand is yummy

cohen using his tail as a third leg for stability...look mom, i'm sitting!

atticus and cohen trying to figure out if they like the "entertainment", at first all the commotion was puzzling i think

thanks to marita for suggesting this angle!


i'll tell you one thing, it's better when we're together

so today was all about the park. cohen and i went for a walk with the other two mom's in my building, aja and marita and on our way back we stopped at a park to swing on the toddler swing. atticus was an old pro but it was a new thing for fin and cohen. this picture is a little misleading. i took it moments after he got in the contraption and then i put the camera down and pushed him and made funny faces as he approached me over and over and over. he giggled the whole time. it was great. here he looks uncertain and slightly menacing which when coupled with gushingly (i made that up, you like?) happy makes for the perfect menage of emotions. the world continues to be his oyster, only less fish and in this case more metalic and plastic.

now i will bombard you with other cute pictures of people that are not cohen.

aja and fin trying to look nonchalant for the camera

atticus displaying his best "higher mommy higher" eyes

marita and atticus, don't they look happy?

"look at me, no hands!" fin chillaxin in the swing

i bet you wish you were with us, don't you?

the rest of the photos from today can be found here.

there were three little monkeys jumping on the bed

so i did it, i waded through the mess and came out the winner. the clothes are clean, the sheets are fresh, the closet clean, the garbage has been taken out and so has the recycling and clothes for goodwill. it took all day and most of tonight but i managed to talk myself into the task. as i sit here amongst clean sheets i am thinking about how the state of my house affects my mood. when it is disheveled i feel anxious and tired, depressed and completely unmotivated. but when things are clean and in their place i feel this great calm, i am more creative and at ease. it is a tough equation though, since it is mostly messy and when it is messy i am too depressed to clean. i think there is an analogy for life in there somewhere. but enough talk about clean, let's talk more about cohen, who is currently fast asleep in his crib.

this is big news around these parts, him sleeping in his crib that is. we have been co-sleeping since the beginning, him tucked in by my side, the smell of his freshly washed hair lulling me to sleep. oh don't get me wrong, we did try and get him into his crib, which is beside our bed, a few times, but each time it just seemed like more hassle then it was worth. he woke more often, had a tougher time getting to sleep and just seemed less happy. so was i. but about a month ago we started on a schedule, nighttime and nap times come like clock work now and his ability to occupy two thirds of our already too small bed is starting to get old so we thought it might be a good time to try him in his own bed again. much to our pleasing he took to it and fell asleep without problem. he doesn't wake more often and falls right back to sleep after his midnight snack. it is working out well. so now we all have a little place of our own to sleep and there are no more legs and ankles and necks hanging off the bed.

still, it feels a little empty in there without him.


you're either lost or you're found there's not much in between

i am procrastinating, big time. i know, i know, how can a stay at home mom be procrastinating? it mostly involves the entire contents of our bedroom closet strewn all over the floor/bed/rocking chair and a pile of laundry as big as everest blocking the door into the bathroom. i don't want to do it. i want all the stuff to magically float into the closet and organize itself and for the laundry to piss off. so instead of crawling into bed (where there are no sheets right now) and watching arrested development (will i ever get to finish season 2??) i am writing this in the middle of the rubble. i like to call that compromise.

so what is with the pictures you ask? well it turns out cohen is "that kid from the peanuts" as marko has been prone to saying. he is all about the blankie. he likes to sleep with it covering his entire head and he plays with it tucked nicely up against his ear. he sucks on it, kisses it and in general lays a lot of love on it, or i should say them, since he is not yet blanket specific. i don't know if i should be concerned? he seems aware of it and in fact when i move it away from his face he moves it back, in his sleep, like a robot programmed for just such an action. i think he's alright. maybe he just likes the feel of flannel and really...who can blame him?

or maybe he is just sick and tired of looking at this mess...sigh.


things seem brighter on the other side

today was a good day! we woke up early and headed out to the aquarium with cohen. we had always talked about getting an annual membership, thinking it would make sense when he is older, but lately he has been taking a keen interest in our tank at home and so we thought we would take him and see. turns out he loved it and i am really starting to wonder if he wasn't a fish in a previous life. get him anywhere near water and he is all giggles. we had joked about him being an oceanographer when he was still on the inside and there was some banter about a deep sea diver, little did we know just how interested he would be in both those things. now i know you are saying it is a little early to tie him down to a profession and you may be right. still i think this is something that is worth nuturing.

so what about the big fish and the mammals, did he freak out? suprisingly he didn't. well maybe not all that surprising since he doesn't truely have a comprehension of it yet but when enormous fish came within 6 inches of his face through the glass he mostly just stared in awe. the only exception would be the beluga whales. he still stared in awe, but with a mildly concerning look on his face. i think it was me telling him that they eat babies for breakfast that did it though.

so now we have a membership and it is only one bus away so i think we will start going more often. it was fun to try and take pictures (although quite challenging with the low light) and to watch all the people. but mostly it was just great to see cohen laughing and exploring and seeing all of these new things for the first time. there is such a big world out there to see. i love showing it to him, one fish at a time.


four months

to celebrate the day we decided to jump in the jumper and exercise in the exersaucer


don't talk back just drive the car

tonight my flickr account got slightly narcissistic, for that i apologize. i am not one of those people that constantly takes pictures of themselves, sometimes in mirrors or on subways or while standing in front of a water foutain pouting. or if i am it is something i try to keep mostly hidden. but today i did indulge just a little. you see lately i have been feeling emotional, not as in weepy and scattered (although those probably describe me as well) but more just filled with a lot of emotions of all kinds. this has caused me some stress which has meant i have had to:

move furniture
clean compulsively
try and sew a stuffed rabbit (and i will god damn it, even if it kills me)
get all my hair cut off, well most of it

and then today i chose to dye my hair dark brown.

i hate to think of myself as a trend follower but the dark hair seems to be a trend this year so i guess i am. i think i like it. better than the other anyway. but i think all i was really looking for was change which is strange because my whole life has been changed lately, you would think it enough. maybe it is my brains way of rebelling. all of the big changes, the baby, the staying home, the finding myself within a whole new identity...well my brain didn't have a choice in all of that. so maybe the rearranging of the house and my head is my way of gaining control. hard to say. the pictures were me trying to get used to the new look, some of them turned out ok so i thought i would share. i guess i just felt i needed to explain, so that you wouldn't think me a narcissist because clearly being this, a mumbling buffoon, is much better.

*the first one is me pretending to be a rockstar, at which i am failing miserably. the second is so that you know that the left side of my face isn't horribly disfigured (which, now that i think about it, would be a much better explanation for why one would make themselves look like i do in the first picture). wow! i am full of explaining myself tonight huh? gulp


seventeen weeks

inquisitive, content, exciting, energetic, talkative, innocent, adaptable, snuggly, serious, sleepy, beautiful, unknown, charming, inspiring, fascinating, illuminating and of course perfect. seventeen words for seventeen amazing weeks.


if i was your best friend, i'd want you 'round all the time

so we've been sick. it started with cohen last weekend. he had a runny nose and then a bit of a cough. his temperature went just over 38.5, but then it went down and his cough subsided and the nights went back to being filled with sleep and the world was better. then i got it. it hasn't been terrible, mostly just stuffed up and achey. i think the worst was that tonight at dinner i thought my roasted purple potatoes were bland, despite having roasted garlic and onions in with them. i didn't understand. but then marko went and got me a mocha from joes downstairs and it didn't taste like anything either and while he was gone i leaned in to cohen to smell his freshly washed hair and smelled nothing. now i get it. stupid cold.

i am not sure if there have been pictures of atticus on the blog before. surely i have mentioned him but i think until now his mug has been left off the page. atticus is the son of my friend marita. marita and atticus (and kevin) live in our building just one floor up and atticus has quickly become cohen's best friend. the four of us go on long walks together at least once a week and just recently we started doing a babysitting exchange. i take the boys one morning a week and marita the another. i think we were both a little nervous about having two monsters to look after but it didn't take me long to realize that i had nothing to worry about.

so far it has been nothing but fun for me. oh sure there are moments when they both cry at the same time and you don't know who to pick up. usually i just start dancing like a clown when that happens and then they both stop to stare at me with disdain. i suppose that isn't exactly true, atticus, as it turns out, happens to be very fond of loud beat driven music accompanied by a crazy lady dancing. i wonder if it makes him think of his mom? they like to share toys and laugh and poke each other but mostly i just think they like the company and the mom's...well they like the time to themselves once a week. it is nice when things work out like that. i look forward to watching these two grow together. who knows maybe one day they will dance along with me and we will all be clowns together. i can't wait!

*i just now realized that atticus has been here before. how could i forget?


all the things i am thankful for

a year ago today i started a journal on my pregnancy with cohen. i only maintained it for a couple of months, i guess that is a good sign.

this was my first entry

"well here we are at the start. gound zero of the journey. i don't know how much of it has sunk in yet, there is all the happiness and hope but none of the hesitation. this can only mean that the reality of it is wandering around the outer edges of my being. i am grateful for this for now. there will be so much time for the other later.

i was inspired to start this today as i was standing in line at the grocery store. i thought to myself, this is the last thanksgiving marko and i will spend as a twosome. and in this i remembered all the lasts i had last time. the last christmas and easter. and how after maia died i realized almost immediately that all of those lasts became firsts. the first christmas without her. i told myself then that when the time came to try again i wouldn't say "this is the last.." and it only took two 3 days to say it. as though i am compelled to quantify my life into segments. i should know better but today i am thinking that the next time the leaves change i will be holding you, whoever you will be. next year i am going to sit with you on thanksgiving and show you pictures of turkeys, we'll eat pumpkin pie together and remember all the things we have to be thankful for.

no matter what i think it is better to hope than to doubt."

so that was the start and today is the first and for that i am thankful.


sixteen weeks

earlier when i posted the animation of cohen playing the piano it was a more a joke than anything. it was new, the piano, and we thought it was funny that he was interested. it seemed like he was making the connection between hitting the keys and the sounds, yet it also seemed too early for him to really be getting it. still it made for funny animation and afterwards we joked about our baby the maestro.

but the thing is, and i know he is not unique in this at all, i think he might actually be playing the piano. is that a crazy notion? i guess it is. but almost everynight him and his dad sit down in front of that keyboard and he gets this look on his face, this serious "i mean business" look as he fervently bangs away at the keys. it has gone from being a bit of a joke with us to an actual question, do you think?

well we won't make any judgments too soon, after all it is just banging done by a baby, but maybe over time this video will be worth something? for right now though it is only worth a laugh. enjoy!

p.s. thanks to marita for inspiring me to open a youtube account and make this video sharing easier on everyone!


high up above or down below

it's been a big couple of days around here! cohen is rolling now. well sort of anyway. he can go from his back to his tummy no problem but then he usually flails like an overturned beetle, arms waving, face firmly planted in the blanket. at this point he usually gurgles with agitation and so i need to come turn him sunny side up again. but sometimes he calms for only a moment and finds the clarity to get himself back to his back. it won't be long. it's a strange feeling watching your baby grow and learn and become something older and wiser and altogether more human (though he still has a long ways to go on the truely older and truely wiser front, but you know what i mean!). i feel satisfied and excited, yet scared and apprehensive. to be expected i guess. i wish i had video of him rolling, i tried...honest. but everytime i took out the camera he would stop and start laughing at me. like i said, wiser.

i do have some recent video though, for those that are into that kind of thing. one is a bouncing good time and the other, well the other is filled with face smushing cuteness...or so says me but i may be a little bias. as always they use quicktime and are of a file size large enough that you wouldn't want to attempt it with dial up. enjoy!

irish jig anyone?
make mine a double double


when you get what you want but not what you need

today was one of those days that knocks you on your ass and refuses to let you get back up. right from the very beginning it was sour and as much as i tried to shake it, i couldn't. of course no one died, or even got hurt and the things that went down were minor, incidental really, but to me it was something and i am glad it is almost over. you know what i am talking about right? the kind of day that you know almost instantly should be spent in bed but instead you try to conquer it, resolved that with a little perseverence it will turn around. it never does and everytime i tell myself that next time i will listen. next time i will stay in bed.

it all started when i woke up from a terrible nightmare sometime around 3:30 and had to stay up long enough to shake the thoughts from my head. tv used to be great for that, infomercials in the wee hours of the morning would always offer enough of a distraction so as to ward off the demons in my brain. we don't have tv anymore though so i came out and sat on the couch and attempted to read. it took a lot of concentration, to put it mildly. of course i fell asleep in the end, luckily the dream didn't come back.

when i woke up for the day though i felt off, i would like to think it was the dream but i am sure hormones are closer to the truth. i struggled to get out of bed but the bed won. cohen and i stayed tucked in until almost 2 (and yes it turns out he is the perfect baby to have if you are feeling depressed). then i forced myself up and out and we went for a walk. the walk was fine. of course i came across some shitty rude people and inevitably i went into a store where the stroller knocked over a small but carefully placed display. these things are par for the course though. i guess it was just that today i was feeling particularily vulnerable and so the little things were stinging. then there was the tar on the roof of the iga which gave me a pulsing headache and the way too expensive steaks that i overcooked on the grill despite watching them like a hawk the entire time and the baked potatoes which ended up grossly undercooked despite being in the oven almost two hours. the after dinner coffees from the shop downstairs which were blah and the woman in the building who not only didn't open the door for me downstairs when i had coffees in my hand but also chose to leave on the elevator without waiting for me.

but then there is also the way cohen looks just when he first gets in the bath, naked and new and smiling from ear to ear. there is my husband who sits beside me on the couch and hugs me even when i cry for no good reason at all and tells me he loves me, that dinner was perfect and that i don't have to do it all. there is the cat who sits with me in the kitchen, purring while i make dinner and my family whom i love and hold close. there is tons to be thankful for, i know that. just some days it feels like my world is falling apart. even when in truth i know it couldn't be stronger.


happy birthday marita! cohen and i both hope you have a great day!