Friday, March 29, 2013

Always red

Last week I crafted a little sorting toy for Heiko. It's just a cardboard box with some holes cut out and a bit of acrylic paint, plus some faux wood-paneling slapped on there for good measure. We've been trying it out with an assortment of red and green objects. He has totally grasped the idea of putting things into the box, but so far everything, really everything, has gone into the red hole.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Another week, another WHAT

It is What Heiko Ate Thursday (WHAT). Should of course be, What Heiko Did Not Eat Thursday, but WHDNET doesn't sound as good.
The weather has turned lovely, so here are some thematic bonus pics: waltzing guys (not weather related, but sunshine does inspire dancing I think), a pine cone moving kind of afternoon, signs of spring with bicycle marked boots, me enjoying the fresh air but almost wishing for shade-providing leaves on the trees, and one worn-out little boy.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nakedy guy on the go and stuff

Heiko is a pretty fast crawler (Captain Crawly.... for the Downton watchers), but he's extra fast when naked. He's
also not sleeping, not eating and not super happy these days... but he IS getting tooth #1. Uh, yay? How many of these things does he get again? Bah.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Wet Flapping Object

Last year, in a pre-baby fit of decluttering, I transferred some old VHS cassettes to DVD. I know what you are thinking, it was my Princess Bride era movie collection. But no. It was the record of some of my own attempts at film making. Film making. Here is a very early work (this is more than 15 years old!), collaborative with the one and only elder sister Ross. In fact, this was shot in Temagami on 8mm film-film, using only in-camera edits.  Then it was transferred to VHS, and then to DVD and now, the big little blog screen. It was loosely based on a Harlequin Romance novel. Quite loose, clearly. We had some lighting issues here and there, as you can see. Oh, and it is a silent film, so don't worry about turning up the volume (you can look forward to the non-silent later works, which feature homemade techno!).

OK, I'll quit this preamble stuff.  Now, I present to you, A Wet, Flapping Object.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Garburator, eh?

So, did you know that the word "garburator" is only used in Canada? Maybe you don't even know what a garburator is. Otherwise known as a garbage disposal unit , it churns up any bits of food in your sink and flushes them down the drain. And we have one, or at least, we had one. It has never really worked beyond emitting a high pitched "eeeeee" sound, plus we've always been skeptical of pureeing all those food scraps and sending them down into the sewer. David Suzuki says no to garburators. Anyway, yesterday I broke it. Which is fine, since it was broken to begin with, but, BUT! I also broke the dishwasher dun dun DUN! There was a big spark and little ding and then it was all over.

I'm just going to go housewife for a moment to say that I really truly love my dishwasher. Plus, Patrick and I figured out yesterday that we have actually never lived together without a dishwasher. It is possible that this is a marital crisis. This could be what is holding us together! (Correlation/causation fail).

I promptly called Jim and Dave's Appliances this morning, but had some communication difficulties when it came to describing the problem with the garburator. "What's a garburator? I've never heard of that" said receptionist Mary. Which of course sent me googling around, and now I know. It's a Canadian thing. Anyway, hopefully it will all soon be straightened out, now that I've got the terminology down.
In other Oh Canada news, Heiko loves his French book about Les Couleurs that we got in Quebec City. He especially loves the red page -- Du rouge dans la ville -- and always turns back to look at that page no matter how enticing we think the Dans le jardin vert clair or L'hiver tout blanc pages are. Look how happy he is once he's navigated back there! By the way, fire trucks go Pin-pon! in French.
We are hoping to help little H learn some French, or at least some French sounds oui oui in the next few years. We're in the market for some new Frenchy board books, and some musique! Also in the market for improved French for maman, but that is a different story, isn't it?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Slow Sunday

Here are a few instagram pics from our sunny, snowy Sunday. My fast run has been preempted by the snow, as has just about everything else. Except coffees, sweater wearing, smiles, slow and fast dancing, long walks, breakfast burritos for lunch, quilt making (it's on!), DIY toy making, more coffee, and you get the idea.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Hello people. I have a few little things to share. For one thing, we found some biggie-boy shoes at the thrift store yesterday! Now the fellow just needs to take his first steps so that he can wear them. Currently H has placed one of his new shoes on a chair and is pushing that around the dining room, which is one thing to do with new shoes, I guess.

In other news, I did a craft. It has been a long while since I've done a non-knitting craft project. The only reason I have been remotely productive on the knitting front is that I can knit while doing something else, for example, watching Downton. But it has been ages since I've done a sewing project. This week, with Patrick on break, I decided to make a little something. It is from Elizabeth Hartman's "Perfect Zip Bag" pattern, which I was reluctant to pay $10 for, but now I'm pleased I did. I feel empowered to make many many zip bags with lovely zippers, my favourite part of this small bag.

I also took the opportunity to do a little patchwork for the front. See, I have always really loved patchwork, but I bit off more than I could chew with the Penrose Nerd-Quilt mega-project, so I haven't felt like I could do any other patchwork projects until that was complete. Ughh... look at this.

Well, that thing is far from complete (add it to the list....), and may never be. I thought briefly about turning it into a baby quilt, but well, it is really pink for one thing, and we are on the verge of having a toddler not a baby (ahhhhhh!). So now it is just a pile of tiles. I'm taking suggestions for non-quilt uses for this geeky piece of patchwork.

That is all by way of saying that it was fun to piece together the front of this pouch. I used some vintage fabric which has fuzzy dots on it. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, although I don't like the strap. We'll see about that. Plus it was satisfying to start and finish something. I see more quilty bags in the future. And I may liberate myself from my commitment to a project I don't like in favour of something much more simple and less hand-stitchy.

Finally, we have another winter storm here on this first weekend of spring. So we are hibernating, doing projects and drinking coffee. Not a bad way to spend the days.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Seven years ago

Yesterday Heiko was working on one of his normal normal projects, pulling books off of shelves. This time he pulled out one of my old sketchbooks/journals, and all of the papers and envelopes and mementos that were tucked inside spilled out over the floor. Gathering them up, I noticed one big folded up drawing. When I unfolded it, I was transported back in time....
[I'm sorry for the very poor quality of these photos by the way, the drawing is very light]

It is me! Seven years ago. A collaborative drawing (with P) to investigate my job/life/future prospects. This was the state of my life at that time, working an admin position at a venture capital firm:

The PhD was on the table:

So was an MFA, which totally surprises me, looking back. I wonder what would have happened if I had done an MFA at York instead of that PhD..... Note that in this picture, an MFA clearly leads to a root cellar which has wine in it. This should have made the choice obvious, no?

Other options were also presented. Oh, I miss Roxy, our late tail-less kitteh. I'm not sure why the dashed line to the future says "webtool" on it.

It is so interesting to me to look back on this, now that one branch of the mind map thingie has come to pass. I can say that my brain currently does not feel like it has lightening bolts of intelligent thought zinging out of it. Nope. But I am happy that one of the big bubbles is now in the past, and also that the soul-sucking pipeline of that old job is simply a very distant memory. And, while we don't have a root cellar exactly, we do have a creepy crawlspace. There is no wine in there, but I think there is at least a bucket of homemade beer in progress.

I think it might be about time to create a new map. Sadly I'm not sure it will be any more clear than the one above. But perhaps in another seven years it will provide some giggles, if not also a little insight into Elissa2013. E-13. And of course, this guy will be on the new schematic.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A windy wind

It has been windy here. Blustery and cool. We drove down to Denver to talk to the border protection folks about the car (not going to bother with the boring details on that one), and decided to have a picnic lunch at a nearby state park. However the wind whipped us back into the car for the return trip faster than we had planned.
There has been a lot of car drama. Between importing the car, transferring ownership, obtaining insurance, getting Colorado license plates (parenthetical rant: I'm soooo sick of those "respect life" vanity plates people have here. They make me feel sick to my stomach, especially when I see them parked in the teacher spots at our nearby elementary school. Just over half the states seem to have variations on the choose/respect life plates, and only four have pro-choice plates. Just madness.), getting drivers licenses (one down, one to go), and getting a new car seat for Mr. Long and Lean, it seems like the car to-do list is long. But it is a good little vehicle. Especially when piloted while listening to 95.7 The Party. Don't let the dial slide though friends, 95.3 is Praise FM. Probably the perfect soundtrack for those respect life plates. OK, I'm stopping.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

This post is experimental

Nothing big to say today. I'm just trying to work out some technical things with my camera, my blog, and arrangements to post photos and musings to my blog without lugging around my dinosaur of a computer. I figured out this morning that my computer is over five years old, which sadly is quite ancient in the tech world. I hope to get a few more years out of it. It is actually still going strong, with it's Frankenstein RAM, and whatnot. But it isn't coming with me this summer. Have you noticed that the summer grows near?

Anyway, it is a lazy Sunday here. Just hanging around. Here is my little guy.

Friday, March 15, 2013

You dropped your baby

Well first of all, let me put your mind at ease, I didn't drop my baby. It's just Friday, it is the day before the start of spring break in a college town (which happens to coincide with March break for the kiddies), and we are enjoying a strangely glorious warm spell here in Fort Collins. I walked downtown to do some errands in sandals and my t-shirt billowed in the warm breeze. Ahhhh.... lovely.
But all this change does something to people. All of a sudden the car-yellers come out of the woodwork and/or their parents' basements. I guess it just seems like the right time to drive around and yell at people. Anyway, today some guy thought it would be hilarious to tell me (repeatedly) that I'd dropped my baby (Heiko was in the stroller). It wasn't hilarious, and it actually kind of stressed me out.

That is the whole story/complaint. Otherwise, life is good. I'm happy it is Friday, that the weather is beautiful, and that it is the start of spring break. We have big plans for the week. Some car-related administration, buying a new car seat for the lank factory H-man, some crafts, some ferments, some house stuff, possibly starting on a DIY play kitchen for Heiko, some travel planning, and perhaps a mini-roadtrip or two. Maybe we'll do some car-yelling. No, probably not that.

Weekend on, dudes.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Driving and R.I.C.E.-ing

Yesterday I drove down to Boulder to go shopping. Yep. Shopping in Boulder. You see I have a wedding to go to this summer (so excited for sw + mm!) plus I'm trying to assemble a capsule wardrobe for our upcoming travel adventures this summer. How little can I get away with? Not so little that I don't need to buy new things, apparently (and by need, of course I mean want).

Anyway, have you ever noticed how awful driving is? I'm kind of a newbie driver in some ways so I'm still getting used to the whole driving thing. Last night I had a dream that I was driving in the darkness and none of the other drivers were using headlights. It was terrible (and not so far from the truth -- many drivers around here don't seem to turn their lights on until well into the dusky period of the evening). Anyway, the real driving wasn't as bad as all that, but it is still just such a terrible use of time. I spent almost all of the day in the car. And, what is worse, when I got home I stubbed my toe and it turned black. OK, the toe thing has nothing to do with driving, I just wanted to mention it. Fine, complain about it. I'm R.I.C.E-ing it though, so, it should be fine soon. The 'E' in R.I.C.E is exercise, right? I'm running in miles now, so... I have to go farther.

But back to cars. I'm still surprised by how drive-y a place Fort Collins is. Despite the great bicycle infrastructure, the idea of not having a car is jaw-droppingly weird to foco residents. I've heard a lot of folks talking about the sacrifices involved in being a one car family/household/couple. People here also speak about how "close" they live to downtown (or groceries, or chicken feed or whatever), but they don't actually mean close in any reasonable human terms, they just mean within 15 minutes drive.

All that said, we are super lucky to have a car now, since things like late night trips to urgent care for H's ear infections would be mighty tricky without it. And in a sort of hypocritical turn, it allows us to explore more of Colorado's truly beautiful great outdoors. Still though, I feel that every time I strap Heiko into his car seat I am doing something irresponsible. Why should I expose him to the risks of car travel? Especially when doing silly things like piloting to Boulder for shopping trips. From now on I think I'll save myself the white knuckle stress and bad dreams and spend a little more on shipping costs to order my capsule wardrobe elements and special dress online. And I'll look forward to someday living in a real city again where a car is not such a necessity.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Remember how I said that I was okay with H entering the double digits at ten months? Well, here we are at 11 months and I feel like my heart will explode. I feel like I'm in the passenger seat of a too-fast moving car (i.e. any car, by definition...) doing that futile and instinctive leg braking thing. I just want to slow it all down. 
A few fun things happened this month. The man learned how to clap, for one thing. That is pretty cute. Just seeing the look on his face as he delights in his own accomplishment is amazing. He met a dog named Benny that he really liked. 
He got his first ever ear infection, and his first ever prescription. He had his first, and possibly second allergic reactions (peanuts, then penicillin). OK, those parts weren't so fun. Let's get back to fun. 
One of my favourite things about Heiko is his quiet screams. When he gets really excited he screams, but really really quietly. Like whisper screams.  Ahhhhhhh!
I'm starting to find myself with a tiny bit more time on my hands. H will move around the house, exploring all of the things. The bookshelves, the dishwasher, the dryer, what's cooking in the oven?, the dining room chairs need to be rearranged, these shoelaces are interesting, ohmygash a spoon!, and so on. He is getting to be so independent, at least some of the time. 
Mealtimes continue to be fun but frustrating. He seems to eat so very little. He has started doing a funny thing though. We will pass him a piece of food, and he will pass it back. It is quite cute. He is fully competent with the sippy cup now, although he likes it when we hold it for him. He also loves taking big boy sips from real glasses or my water bottle. Still no teeth yet. 

Also, still no walking! I actually thought he'd be walking long ago, but it seems he is taking his time with that piece, which is just fine by me. The thing is that he is super efficient at getting around on his knees, so perhaps his motivation is low. He does watch toddlers and older children with great interest however. We'll see what the next month holds!