Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Deck Dynasty

I keep meaning to post, I truly do, but I find that the days are voraciously consumed by the voracious consumption habits of the wonder twins. Before I know it, it's night time and I have nothing to show for it but sleeping babies with full tummies, a nap, and a home-cooked dinner if I'm really knocking it out of the ballpark.  

We are spending a lot of time on the new deck:

Please pardon the house it is attached to

She's a beauty.  Cedar and pressure-treated (the cedar is all the parts you can see) with big, beautiful wide steps and a cedar screen to hide our neighbours' siding.  When we sit on the deck or lie on the deck, the giant tree in our neighbour's yard makes it feel like you're at the cottage, and the wide expanse of the cedar dropping off at the edge makes it feel like a giant dock (the deck is about 280 square feet).  We love it out there.  What was born out of a sleepless night of fevered, pregnancy-induced nesting home-improvement inspiration turns out to be one of the best things we've ever done - and that's even given the fact that we spent a good chunk of change on a deck during the rainiest summer in recent memory.  

The screen will be a home to some vertical gardening, and maybe a cedar bench next summer that I will build in the spring.  Or maybe the bench will go on the other side.  I'm definitely going to get our electrician to provide power out there next summer and then I'm going to string some globe string lights out there, to mimic every patio in Williamsburg.  From the concrete pad, we've got a lovely stage and eventually, we'll hang a sheet and get a projector and do late night movie nights for the neighbourhood kidlets.  Already, it kills me when the Big Yam climbs on the chairs along the side and conspires with our neighbour kids.  It's so cute.  Talking to your friends through a fence is part of that romanticised Norman Rockwell upbringing that I so want to deliver to my progeny.    

Anyway, by the time the day is done, there hasn't been time for the following three things I'm trying to fit into my schedule: exercise/stretching, working on my quilt, and blogging.  I'm getting some time in for reading, we watch some TV (currently, The Sopranos) or a movie, we've been taking the Big Yam for a daily dip in the pool/splash in the pad/run in the wading pool, and we've been hosting a slew of visitors.  I shouldn't feel guilty but I do have some low-level anxiety when I see the pile of fabric begging to be cut into pieces and feel my atrophying muscles.

Today is the first day we've had the Big Yam home with us.  The Dotytron took him to the Science Centre.  I'm cautiously optimistic.  I figure one morning outing that provides us with a solid 2 hour afternoon nap brings us to the time we would have picked him up from daycare anyway.

This weekend was lovely.  On Friday night our neighbours took the Big Yam for Friday Night movie night - so cute - behold:

Saturday morning Momma D came over and watched the wonder twins so we could take the Big Yam on an epic bike ride around the Leslie Spit (aka Tommy Thompson Park).  It feels so good to be back on the ye olde steed again!  I've missed my bike, so!  Then we had Dr. Rei and Hanbo over for a dinner of oysters, lobster, corn, potato salad, salad, and Hanbo's famous chocolate cake on the deck.  It was so nice.  The Big Yam was pretty well behaved, but he's been doing this thing that breaks our hearts. We've had so many people over lately that at a certain point, he gets bored of the dinner conversation and goes back into the house.  He'll be okay for a time but then he'll come to the screen door and say, "Baba? I want something" and when we ask him what he wants, he shrugs his shoulders.  If we keep pressing him, he'll walk back towards the living room doing his sad shoulder shrugs.  It KILLS US.  He doesn't want to say what he wants (us to spend time with him) because he's afraid we're going to say no!  TELL ME THAT DOESN'T SLAY YOU!  He's getting confused between asking for TV (where we almost always say no) and asking for us to just spend time with him.  The sad shoulder shrugs are so sweet/heartbreaking.

One of my favorite moments from the past few weeks was early when we had brought the twerps home.  The Big Yam loves a good toot joke.  Any time someone toots, he grins this wide grin, looks at you, and asks, "Who TOOTED?!" and then we all laugh.  A few days after we brought the babies home, the Big Yam was put in time out for being a maniac of some form or another.  He was sitting on the stairs in time out, I was on the couch, and from the kitchen, we heard a big toot (the tooter shall remain anonymous to protect the innocent).  The Big Yam looked over at me, and I caught his eye, but he didn't dare say anything because he was in time out, so we just shared a significant, knowing look and it still makes me laugh to this day.

Anyway, on Saturday we ate with Dr. Rei and Hanbo and laughed and talked about Edward Snowdon and looked up Danzig videos and checked out Anthony Kiedis' moobs and their "moobility" (Dotytron's lingo) in the Under the Bridge video to see if he was working out.  You know, the usual stuff. Hanbo was like, "which one is the baby that always looks scared?" and the Dotytron was like, "I don't know what you're talking about," which is weird, because it's CLEARLY Professor Turtle.  To wit, check out this Vine that the Dotytron made, which captures Professor Turtle as he is, 90% of the time: 

We've taken to calling L, Gantok, because he looks EXACTLY like this character, Gantok the Turtle from this picture book we love, called Pomelo Begins to Grow.  See for yourself:

Here is a photo of Q's Jean Chretien lip in full effect:

Sunday we met the roomie at our closest farmer's market and I ate a delicious jerk chicken sandwich and some gluten and dairy free sweet potato doughnuts.  We saw our neighbours there and so we went home and posse'd up and took the kids to the splash pad.  Then our friends S & P came over for dinner and we visited with them and had takeout from this gas station barbecue place, Leslieville Pumps, that makes the most amazing fried pickles, poutine, and pretty tasty smoked chicken, pulled pork, and pulled brisket sandwiches.  I also cheated and had some of the dessert that S & P brought.  I've been testing the dairy-free limits lately, with small amounts of dairy in baked goods.  I haven't eaten a chunk of cheese or chugged a glass of milk, but I figure 1 cup of sour cream in a cake or some butter in the crust of one serving of a tart is okay.  We've been watching the babies afterwards and they don't seem to be spitting up more.  We started testing them on a few bottles of my dairy-contaminated freezer milk yesterday and so far, it's been okay.  I don't think the spitting up that we've seen can be attributed to the dairy and not to putting them down after a big feed.  Still nervous about resuming eating dairy, but so far, so good.

The weather was so beautiful on the weekend and I was so elated from being back on my bike and going to the farmer's market and doing all these wonderful things in my 'hood that I totally got all PLUR and spent the whole weekend talking about how much I love my city and my 'hood.  To the Dotytron.  Who is already WELL AWARE of how much I love my city and my 'hood and I think was getting all weirded out.  Look, I get stir-crazy being cooped up inside the house, okay?

On Monday, our friends R & R came over and brought their sweet little babby, M, who has the longest eyelashes in the world.  They brought us lunch.  This is how they roll:

Yup, a delicious, seared salmon composed Nicoise salad. All beautifully plated on to their own platters. Those guys are crazy!  Not pictured: the delicious, lard-crust strawberry rhubarb tarlettes they made.  

This is all to say that we have the best friends and so far, a pretty darned good summer, even if I'm not getting a chance to run or work on my quilt.


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