Gone Coastal

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This and that

For those of you waiting with bated breath since my last post, we're staying put. I think we've now talked to all three of my regular readers, and so I don't need to go into details on why. Just know the Bear is taking whatever project work he finds and pounding the virtual pavement.

Eli and I both got a clean checkout from our maternity doc last week. At seven weeks four days he weighed 14 lbs 1.5 oz. For those who love statistics and comparison, he was 95th percentile for weight, 90th for head size, and off the charts for length. I actually missed the doc's length measurement, but the week before I measured him down at the health unit and he was 62 cm.

Yesterday I had one of those moments where some fact that you know already just becomes so incredibly obvious that it jumps up and slaps you in the face. I was nursing Eli. His body was cradled against my left arm, and his legs were draped over my right leg. I looked down at the real estate he was covering and was duly impressed. He's huge!!

And on the topic of large heads, I got a good chuckle this morning when Trin picked up a hat that the Bear's step dad had left on the table. It fit her perfectly, as did two other of Larry's hats that she found.

Tweetie is learning all sorts of things these days and it's fascinating to watch. She understands more and more of the things we tell her. Sometimes she even does what we ask ;) Sometimes she's surprisingly clever, or sneaky. Like after breakfast when I asked her to turn around so I could wash her face. She promptly complied, turning around and giving me a sly smile as she passed and completed a full 360 to face away again.

She loves to climb, and run and explore. She's getting more creative at finding ways to express herself. When she gets hurt, which happens a lot when you combine the earlier mentioned loves with a body that keeps changing, she's more able to let us know what hurts, which is helpful when it's not so obvious as a bloody knee. And recently she has her own special variation on magic kisses. She'll offer a finger on each hand to be kissed better, and then plant the kiss appropriately herself.

But just now, before I came down to check on Eli and finish this post, she melted my heart as only your own child can do. We're at Grandma's right now in the Kootenays, and there are lots of doors here. Trin likes to open and close doors, so I've had to bolt the front door at times and keep an eye on her around other doors. The way a few of the doors are hung, they also tend to slam rather loudly in the hands of a not quite two year old, which I've been trying to discourage. Now, the Bear had come up and made his coffee, so I was going to head down and leave Trin with him. On opening the door to the stairs, Trin was right there wanting to follow me (she was giving a much more detailed explanation in her own language, but I'm not that fluent yet). I knelt down to explain that I was going downstairs to wait for her brother to wake up, but that if she came down with me, he'd be awake much sooner and that wasn't necessarily what I wanted. I think she was mostly listening, because her next move was to close the door for me. I was still squatting in the doorway, however, so the door was stopped by my knee. It didn't actually hurt - she hadn't built any momentum to the swing, yet, but I thought this was a good opportunity to reinforce what we'd been working on with closing doors gently, and watching for other people or animals.
"Ow, that's my knee, Trin."
She pulled the door back fully open, stepped toward me, grasped my leg, bent over and kissed my knee better.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A change in direction

The compass is pointing north for us. Okay, the compass needle, if it's working, always points to magnetic north. So, let's just say that if we turn and face down the only path that seems to go anywhere, we'd be facing roughly north-northwest.

Some of you know it's been a dry winter for us. Well, except for the flood in the upstairs bathroom, which made everything below it rather wet. But as far as the Bear's work and the company, the things that we were expecting to take us through the winter just dried up. So between whatever small jobs came up here and there, and doing some major sorting and purging of all our stuff - a very good thing if you need to know - the Bear has been pounding the virtual pavement looking for steady work close to home. Some really exciting possibilities came up along the way, and he proved himself very adept at jumping through whatever hoops people put up for him, but every time there's been some kind of roadblock at the end.
And now, finally, it looks like there's an open door for us. The Bear has a job offer up north. It's a good job. It would be a stretch for the Bear, with a steep learning curve, which makes him nervous, but I think he could pull it off. It's also a long way from what has really started to feel like home, and we're struggling to come to grips with all that entails, and to determine if this is going to be a good move for us.
The north has been on our radar for quite awhile now, due mostly to our connections with the Badger and Goddess, and the contract work the Bear has done up there over the last couple of years. And I've been open to relocating, at least in theory. But there's a lot involved for us, especially now that we've got two kids to take along. I'm just longing for some sense that this is truly where we're supposed to go. That we're not simply trading my good job here - which I'd be back to in a year - for a potentially good job up there for the Bear.
I talked to my managers this past week about taking an additional year's leave after my maternity leave, so that we'd have enough time to give the new job and northern life a fair shot. I'd hoped for some clear sign from that, but things went very predictably: they'll look into it and start the process. We'll be waiting on that still, as neither the Bear nor I are comfortable cutting ties with my employer without some much clearer sign that this is more than another detour.
I also have to consider what life will be like up there when I'm home with the kids. Things have so far gone far more smoothly with the second baby than they did the first time around. Some of that is simply due to some seasoning on my part - I've been there, done that. But a lot of it is also the network I've begun to build up of moms, and some of the little things that are available nearby here. Wonderful daycare just down the street. Clinic, groceries, pharmacy, a number of parks and playgrounds plus other distractions, all within walking distance. All that of course really translates to 'something to do to get out of the house with the kids and keep from losing my mind.' The lack of certain conveniences I think I can adjust to. But I'm wary of circumstances that might make me susceptible to post partum depression again, when things have gone so well so far this time.
Now I should be very clear here. I don't see heading north as all negative, or just a great sacrifice for a job. One thing I especially look forward to is regular face time with the Goddess. We've swapped so many e-mails over the last few years that included wishes that we could just get together over a cuppa. And I smile every time I do another of those blasted Likeness quizzes on crackbook and the Goddess again gets the highest match score with me.
I've also often thought it would be good for our kids to spend at least some of their growing up years outside the mainstream homogenized city life, to know first hand that there's something else. And to be exposed to a different culture than our own, simply so that 'different' becomes quite normal to them and they look beyond that to the individual people.
And I think there is something to be said for the slower pace of northern life - though I'll admit it may take me a bit to throttle back. So we shall see. We'll be heading up later this week for a few days to allow me to check things out and evaluate whether we can make this work. Officially, the Bear's acceptance is contingent on my giving the OK.

A final note:
This has been a hard post to get out. Initially, it was just finding the time to start it. But once I started, I rattled off a few paragraphs, and quickly got to a point where I wasn't completely sure where my heart was at. Or the thoughts on some aspect weren't complete and I couldn't put together a balanced picture. I'd come back to it in the morning, or the end of the day, write a bit more and get lost again. And some of that is ongoing, but I think it's helped push me through the process and define what is really important for me as we look at heading up there and eventually making final decisions.

I'll keep you posted.