The talented parent in the family (hint: not me) held a photo shoot of our two little girls last week and they turned out beautifully.
Enjoy (and send donations to The Boss’s photography fund via me – I’ll, uh, see that she gets it).
I started this blog post on Dec. 23, 2010.
That was two days after the 6 p.m. on the Winter Solstice birth of Jace Ashlee (in honour of Aunts Janine Ashley and Shantel Lee), our second beautiful daughter.
Every day since I have told myself that I should finally write a blog post about her arrival, the very unique way she got here (home birth), and all the, uh, fun we’ve had trying to keep Jace healthy while living through a Category 5 Hurricane 13 hours every day.
But the thought of a new blog post passes quickly, like breast milk through a newborn. Between family Christmases, sleep deprivation, general family life, shouldering (hopefully) some of the load in the household so The Boss doesn’t get too worn down, keeping The Hurricane occupied and out of Jace and Mom’s face once in a while, hockey, an unnecessarily nasty Jan. 1 hangover, and returning to work, I just haven’t had the energy, or motivation, to sit at the computer to do anything but look up tutorials and easy songs to play on the guitar, in my futile attempt to be cool and fulfill a lifelong New Year’s resolution of shredding the axe (see, I’m cool now, right?).
Someday I will probably feel guilty about not immediately documenting Jace’s triumphant arrival, when the adrenaline was pumping and I was flying high. That’s what I did for Layne, which I’m thankful for when I look back at her baby book, which was essentially my now-defunct blog from my former employer (which I cannot find a surviving piece of anywhere on the Internet when I am… uh… not… uh… Googling myself). Luckily, I printed all Layne-related material before leaving, so I have my post from July 3, 2007, when she arrived, and the dozens of related posts in the years to follow. Everything from her first couple of years is at my fingertips, in immense detail. I don’t need it now, but it will be wonderful to have someday.
So far, I have no such thing with Jacey. I don’t like that feeling. I know Aunt Shan over in England is none too happy about that either, as she keeps my blog hits existent by checking every day for a scrap of information or even a new picture of her newest niece, whom she’ll meet in a couple of weeks. I have to make time to write about the minutiae of our daily lives as a new family of four. And I need to do it for me, Amy, Layne and Jace, because I know, although ridiculous overkill now, these posts are our family history. How else will I tell embarrassing stories at their wedding, which, by then, I hope are paid for by the groom’s family – or, at the very least, after the dowry system has been reinstituted, since it appears I’m in the girl-making business.
Oh, and she was 6 lbs. 5 oz and 19.5 inches. And healthy. And gorgeous, like her Mom and sister.
Forgive me Internet, for I have sinned.
It has been a month-and-a-half since my last post.
(And yes, I realize this prolonged absence came barely a month after my two passionate posts about my desperate need to write and preserve my family’s history via the Interweb).
But we’ve been busy. In fact, we – and by ‘we’ I mean highly-skilled tradesmen and my talented wife – turned this…
and finally into this…
So yeah, I guess we’ve been busy with the renovations, the move, the unpacking, the setting up, and the cleaning, with plenty more to go.
Plus, The Hurricane is skating, just finished swimming, and going a million miles an hour in anticipation of Santa’s arrival, as well as the arrival of her new baby brother or sister, which could coincide with each other.
But now that life is seemingly returning to ‘normal’, if there is such a thing, I hope to find some more time to write about our family and all the fun things we do, and all the trials and tribulations that are just part of life, whether we want them to be or not.
And, since it’s my blog, I guess I don’t need to make any more excuses!
Life that is.
It’s flying by, whether I want it to or not.
Some things can’t get here soon enough – like the still unlaid hardwood floors in our new-to-us house, which is preventing us from moving in anytime soon – while other things can just fuck the hell off, like The Hurricane becoming too old to want to her Mom and Dad hanging around all the time.
Today was the first step on that inevitable journey – Junior Kindergarten registration day.
She’s three years and three months old, and more than 10 months away from actually attending class, but this is heavy.
She’s going to school next year.
For the first time, with at least another 13 years to follow, someone we don’t know is going to play a major role in deciding my daughter’s future, whether that be by encouraging her to embrace her free spirit and tapping into her obvious intelligence, or pigeon-holing her as a troublemaker because of that free spirit and deeming her not worth the hassle, and just pushing her through so she can become another teacher’s problem the next year.
Think it doesn’t happen? Take a stroll down memory lane and picture the kids in your elementary class who were the ‘bad-asses’. Were they stupid or unteachable? Probably not. In fact, the ‘trouble’ kids I grew up with are some of the savviest, most intelligent people I know today, they just didn’t have much love for books and classrooms. Despite their intelligence, they barely scratched their way through school, because their reputation always preceded them, and they played it up and eventually the teachers let them be, rightly or wrongly, on both sides, in hindsight.
I’m pretty sure The Hurricane will get along great at school – she’s extremely bright, plays well with other kids and will be a teacher’s pet, because she is such a ‘Mom’ and will end up babysitting her classmates more than learning beside them.
In fact, at registration today, the early childhood educator who will be assisting with The Hurricane’s class had a one-on-one chat with her at the meet and greet. The idea was to see where the future students are in their development, a year before class begins.
The woman asked, “What’s your name?”
“Layne,” came the reply. “L-A-Y-N-E.”
So I think she’ll be OK, but it just doesn’t feel right. She’s my baby. She can’t be going to school next year. She can’t be growing up this fast.
The days are long and the years are short.
A ‘regular’ life is on the horizon.
Barring an unforseen disaster during our home renovations – our carpenter is finishing up drywall, and The Boss is painting the upstairs like a trooper despite being six months pregnant – we should be moving our stuff into our new house on Oct. 1.
The flooring and kitchen are both slated to arrive late next week, although we expect to get nothing accomplished next weekend because it’s Ripley Fall Fair, the most wonderful time of the year. Except for the Sunday… for some reason it generally sucks, although no 3 1/2 hour drive to Port Hope this year makes it seem less daunting.
That means we’ll soon be able to unpack our boxes, bother to put up our bed frame, find our kitchen utensils and begin our life in the home we’re going to raise our soon-to-be larger family.
There’s a good chance this is the house our kids will graduate high school from, if I dare to think that far in advance. Of course, you never know, we may sell the house along the way, but that’s my thought process going into this new house. For the first time in my adult life, I will have a home.
Our first house in Edson, Alberta, was never going to be more than a stopover and a great investment, and it did both jobs very well. Our condo in Kincardine sufficed for our childless year there, but I knew in my gut we wouldn’t be spending too long there, and sure enough it was a year to the day when I started my new job in Cobourg. Our Port Hope house was simple yet perfect for our young family, but it never felt 100% like home to me, despite the wonderful time our family had while we lived there (led by The Hurricane’s birth, and first three years of her life).
It came close, but I never day-dreamed about Layne getting her diploma from Port Hope High.
But this time, it’s for real. And it feels right. As things come together and the house begins to look more habitable, I’ve started to think about things like the positioning of our streetlights and how they will affect road hockey games, or putting a rink in the backyard each winter, or walking Layne to school, or charting Layne’s height on an upstairs wall, or who in the neighbourhood will make a good babysitter for the next 10 years (and they MUST be within walking distance, because why get a babysitter if you have to drive them home? Am I right?).
I have always had a penchant for looking towards the next opportunity, instead of living in the moment and enjoying life in the now. I was too young to know any different when living out west – oh to have back those many Sundays spent on the couch recovering when I should have been hiking in the mountains! – and I spent a better portion of our time in Kincardine and Port Hope plotting our next move.
But no more.
Oh, I’ll still dream big, and long to see parts of the world many wouldn’t give a first thought, but now it doesn’t involve packing everyone up and relocating again.
It just feels right to be home.