Summer Bucket List

  • Have an early dinner and then bike down to River Landing --
  • Buy Eleanor a bike or a scooter or something else wheelie --
  • Make banana splits --
  • Go to the Ex --
  • Go to Canada Day in Diefenbaker --
  • Go to Ribfest --
  • Go to A Taste of Saskatoon --
  • Go camping --
  • Run through the sprinklers --
  • Build a water wall --
  • Make watermelon juice --
  • Go to the massive playground by the zoo --
  • Go to the zoo --
  • Visit the pelican statue --
  • Get ice cream from the bus --
  • Make our own ice cream --
  • Go to the River Landing splash park --
  • Go to Josie's splash park --
  • Find a new splash park --
  • Go the Berry Barn for berry picking and waffles

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We are well.

Friends, you are so kind. And I don't want you to think we aren't doing ok. We have had a SPLENDID summer. We have THRILLING PLANS for fall. And we have excellent friends. Last night, Joel was on call out of town, so Josie invited us out for a park BBQ with her husband and kids, her parents, her friend Jen who is also my second cousin, Jen's husband and kids. It was a CROWD. 

And Josie's mom held my baby while I fed my toddler a hot dog, and everyone romped in the park. And as we're leaving, right at the moment that I'm packing the stroller into the car and thinking, This is the point at which it is useful to have two sets of hands, Josie is there saying, Hey Eleanor, let's get you into the car.

Also, Geneva has gone from being a liability that I'm just trying to make sleep all the time to an ACTUAL HUMAN PERSON who laughs at basically everything (but mostly Eleanor) and whose likes include STANDING and LOOKING AROUND AT STUFF and REALLY INEXPERTLY GRABBING AT THINGS. She puts herself to sleep under her own power, and after I've tumbled both my children into bed in the evening and am sitting down with some ice cream, listening to them both murmel themselves to sleep, I feel like a parenting badass.

Also, I gave Geneva a pear slice to suck on, and I kept trying to take it away and she kept being like, NO, GIVE IT ME. She's not that far from eating Proper Real Foods, which will decrease the number of times per day I have to suckle her. Eat that pear, Geneva Wren. Eat it good.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy photos, sad talkings.

I got my hands on Joel's camping photos. You love it.

So here is a thing: I have mild Post-Partum Anxiety. This is a different thing from Post-Partum Depression, and is also not a thing I knew existed until I had it. You know what ELSE I didn't know existed? Dysmorphic Milk Ejection Reflex, which I have just been referring to as the Breastfeeding Sads because it's shorter and I can never remember all the words in that first thing. But instead of feeling majestic and triumphant and kind of smug when I breastfeed, I feel horribly, horribly sad. Also, like I might barf. I remember telling Joel, shortly after Geneva was born, I think I'm SICK or possibly PREGNANT AGAIN. I feel nauseated ALL the TIME.

Between the anxiety and the feeling overwhelmingly depressed at (what felt like) random times (because I'm not just sad when I breastfeed, I'm sad about 30 seconds before WHENEVER my milk lets down, so there I am, walking along and trying to figure out when I'll have to feed Geneva next and if I have time to go to the store first and then boom, feelings of cavernous hole in chest, feelings of barfiness, and then the boobs go off), I started to think I should maybe tell someone. Then Robin Williams killed himself and I made an appointment with my doctor.

There's nothing really you can do, either, except for the things you do for regular depression. Go outside, get exercise, get rest. But I have these two kids, and Joel is gone a lot right now, so I don't have a lot of time for either exercise or rest. And because of the anxiety, I don't WANT to go outside. If it hadn't been summer, if I hadn't been so opposed to missing out on the best season in Saskatoon, if I hadn't had a toddler who needed frequent airings, I would just have stayed inside with my nerves and read Pride and Prejudice.

D-MER has only been recognized as a Thing, medically, for the last couple of years, so there isn't a lot of research about treatment through drugs. Plus I don't feel like I'm going to hurt myself or my kids, I don't feel like I can't cope, and it's mostly for 10-15 minutes at a time, a few times a day. I DO feel like locking myself in the baby's room because Eleanor keeps talking at me and I'm just trying to feel sad and feed Geneva at the same time. Sorry, Eleanor.

And it's too bad, because I kind of love breastfeeding. I thought I would hate it, before I had kids, but it's so satisfying and HILARIOUS. Geneva always gets all like HNNNNN HNN HNNN HNNNNN with frantic delight when I sit down with her across my lap, and then goes at the boob with ferocity. But the thing that helps me cope with this more than anything else is the finiteness, because if it never gets better on its own, it will at least get better in about eight months when I wean this baby.

So...there's that.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Festival season lives on.

We went to Saskatoon's first Food Truck Festival (food trucks only having been a legal thing in Saskatoon for about a year). I put a bow in Eleanor's hair. It lasted about half an hour, but look how adorable she is.

Geneva was like, Ha ha why is it so cold though are we camping again?

The Shreyer's BBQ Smoke Shack truck broke down and couldn't make it (dammit), and Saskatoon doesn't really have a thriving food truck culture yet (OBVIOUSLY) so it was mostly just the fancy hot dog truck and the popcorn truck and Big O's, who show up to everything which is why we get poutine at everything.

Hella long line, though.

And then we got a sloppy burger because man cannot live on poutine alone (though, one of these days, man is gonna try)

and I am totally going to get the Death by Donuts from Big O's ONE OF THESE DAYS but this day of long lines was not the day, and besides, they were totally running out of shit already and the line-up at the ice cream place was extremely non-existant so we got ice cream.

OH YES, and Geneva turned 4 months old yesterday. Happy birthday, Geneva.

Keep working on that soother.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I put Eleanor in gymnastics for the fall because she'll need some sort of physical outlet once the weather turns, and if NOTHING ELSE that child is going to learn to roll down a hill.

I feel like I've failed so far in my duties as a parent. ON THE OTHER HAND, that drop into the foam. Right? That's, like, several times her height. So brave.

Also, her Koala Bear Hang is pretty great.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Cold Camping

Cold camping is the worst.

You wear the same outfit for two and a half days because you only brought one pair of pants, one hoodie, and besides, getting changed is so miserable.

It isn't warm anywhere.

You have to take your hoodie and shirt off in the morning to change from your nursing-while-sleeping bra to your nursing-while-awake bra, and you are like, This is hell. Hell hath frozen over.

Nursing is also hell. You have to unzip your hoodie, and then your neck and your chest and your one boob are so, so cold.

The baby has cold hands and she keeps PUTTING THEM on you.

Nursing at night, you pull the sleeping bag up over the both of your heads and just hope the baby doesn't smother. Your husband wakes up and pulls the bag off of your heads because he's more worried about smothering than about your cold neck. You wake up and pull it back up.

We meant to go camping on Monday, but we looked at the weather report on Saturday and Sunday was supposed to be the Last Good Day, so we rush-packed and booted it out the door Saturday afternoon.

Look at that kid. She's wearing a skirt and flip flops. That was the last time we were even close to warm.

Saturday evening clouded over, and Sunday drizzled until it outright rained, stopping for a few hours in the afternoon so we could go (hurriedly, briefly) to the beach for Eleanor's sake.

Sunday night rained and rained, and Eleanor had to pee in the middle of the night so we ran to the bathroom in the rain, and her only warm jammies are the kind that zip up all the way and have to be almost completely removed for bathroom breaks. Oooooh, she says, sooooo chillllllly.

Our tent leaks when it rains, and we keep not buying a tent because we HAVE a tent, only now we don't have a tent because we threw that piece of shit away rather than pack it up. GOOD RIDDANCE.

Last year, our second camping trip started out in the rain and gradually improved. This year, it got colder and wetter and we had a whole second child to deal with.

And Joel and I are looking at each other grimly, saying Let's just survive this, and then Eleanor, who is sitting in her CAMPING CHAIR! and eating a NECTARINE! from the FARMER'S MARKET! looks up from her chomping and declares, WE. ARE. CAMPING.

This is why we bring her to things.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Fall is falling.

There's an undertone of cold in the air, now. And I love fall as much as the next white girl wearing yoga pants, but winter is coming omg and it's sort of hampering my boots-and-sweaters excitement. I'm trying to love fall for fall, and not hate it for a harbinger. Because rain is kind of fun, right?

And we still have a garden.

And it's not too cold to go in the pool on its last day (thanks for staying open until Labor Day, Kinsmen Park), but it's cold enough that you need a sweater after.

And because it's still technically summer, we're wiping a few last items off the bucket list.

Find new splash park: we just picked one off the map one morning and oh man, Parkridge is a run-down splash pad.

Plus the adjacent playground is for kids like five years older than Eleanor, so everything was too big. Whatever, live and learn.

Eat an early supper and then bike down to River Landing afterward: one of my favorite things about last summer was biking down to River Landing in the evening when the heat of the day had burned off and the crowds had dispersed. We have SO MANY KIDS now, and Joel's schedule has been so erratic that this was the first (and last) time we managed to have dinner by 5:30 and get our butts down there.

Oh Geneva, you goof.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Big girls are the best girls.

These are Eleanor's friends from the park.

Not the belligerent-looking girl in the middle. She just glommed onto us that day, and was all, I GET TO BE IN THE PICTURE, TOO, and then she and Tekia got into a slap fight about it, and then the daycare worker came over and was like, I'm sure it's not a big deal if she's in the picture, and then looked over at me like, Right? So obviously I couldn't be like, Well actually...

But then we took a silly picture and Cranky Pants wanted no part of it so, good. These are my nine-year-olds, my unpaid park-based babysitters. To be honest, they exhaust me a bit, because whenever we show up they swarm Geneva (if she's sleeping, they peek on her until I tell them to stop. If I'm holding her, they swarm ME), but they also play this game with Eleanor where one of them pushes her on the swing, and the other ones pretend like she's kicking them over.

It's amazing.

We didn't see them all last winter, and now that the pool's closed, we probably won't see them until next summer, when they are ten. Hopefully they're still SUPER into toddlers.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Dribs and drabs.

Geneva's feeties are always plotting something.

Eleanor's new thing is to creep into Geneva's car seat and then drape herself with blankets.


I remember when Eleanor was a baby being like, HOWWWW am I supposed to amuse you all the time? But with Geneva, half my work is done for me.

Lotta sistering going on.

Some whatever this is going on, too.

What're you doing, Eleanor?

You want to bite this face, you know you do.

Nightgown, literal crocs, backwards sweater.

Killing it.