Tuesday is church bazaar day. Not every week, but often, I head off with Twinkle Toes to the town 30 minutes away where the church bazaar is open from 12:30-4:00. There is another used clothing store and a secondhand bookstore as well, so we do our thrifting rounds.

I started doing this semi-regularly on Tuesdays since I started maternity leave. For just about as long, I have noticed another woman and her daughter doing the same rounds as us. I’d run into her in the church bazaar, and later we’d run into each other at the NOVA store.

One time, oh, 6 months or so ago, the other baby girl was out of her stroller and crawling around on the ground. Twinkle Toes was seated in her stroller, staring at the other girl with an expression that can only be described as the baby equivalent to WTF? It appeared to dawn on her that it was possible to NOT be in a stroller while shopping, and this was a revelation, indeed. But I kept Twinkle Toes seated and attached. Aside from acknowledging each other, the woman and I never spoke — until this week.

As we’d already been through the church bazaar, Twinkle Toes was mighty fed up with being in her stroller by the time we got to the NOVA store. (I’m sure her wet diaper wasn’t helping matters.) So we were toodling around, looking at clothes for me, and dishes, saving the toys for last, when along comes the other woman and the other little girl. Oh, Twinkle Toes so badly wanted to get out of the stroller! The two girls were intent on looking at each other. Who is this curious other person who is the same size as me? They both seemed to be thinking. Feeling somewhat self-conscious about keeping Twinkle Toes in her seat, I decided I’d give her a chance to walk around, too.

What followed was magical:

Twinkle Toes stood up and the two girls stood facing each other for quite some time just looking at each other. TT looked a little confused about it at first, but the other girl had a perma-grin on her face. She came closer, and they sized each other up. Tentatively, TT reached out to touch Other Girl. She touched her dark hair. Her fingers went to Other Girl’s eyes and cheeks, but gently. TT took a couple of steps and OG followed, presenting herself and standing in TT’s trajectory as if to say “pay attention to me”. They kind of circled each other this way, facing each other, TT looking at me occasionally, but totally taken with OG. Then, slowly, gently, tenderly, TT reached toward OG with her hands on her shoulders and bent forward and gave her a hug. She gave her a kiss on the cheek, and a hug. This was repeated a few times, and a few times required some motherly support so the two didn’t topple. They did eventually plunk down on their bums — one by accident, the other to join her — and stood up together, and poked each other’s belly buttons, and tried to find their own belly buttons. Eventually, this became a game as one imitated the other, aware that they were communicating with their actions. They made very few sounds. TT tapped a plastic bag I had slung over the stroller handles. She grinned and laughed, and OG came over and did the same. Then TT laughed, and OG laughed. Then TT took OG’s hand, and they started walking (TT leading) through the aisle.

It was adorable and magical. They looked at the necklaces together, they imitated each other with putting them on, and took hands and walked some more.

I’ve never seen something like this before!

OG is two weeks older than TT, who is 15 months old. Unfortunately I didn’t have any way to take a picture of their hugs and new friendship. But I’m hoping to see them again next week, and I’d like to give OG’s mom my phone number. Maybe a play date?

As I type this, TT is in bed — has been for 2 hours now — and has woken up already 3 times. With a stuffy nose. Is it too early to start blaming her friends? Yeah, I’m saying it’s all OGs fault. She had a runny nose on Tuesday. Now Twinkle Toes is all stuffed up. I’m totally placing the blame.😉

 

 

And these days, there’s a lot of doors closing loudly, and being opened, and being closed again, loudly. All of it seems to be loud.

Here we have our new, nicely draft-proof doors.

Let me tell you a little something about them:

  • They don’t swing open on their own in the night with a strong breeze.
  • They don’t let in icy drafts from all edges.
  • The handles turn the way they should.
  • The keys turn in the deadlocks the way they should.
  • They open with THE SAME KEY!

Oooooh, and look! A doorbell!

Ooooooh and look! An outside light!

Ah, yes, you’ll notice that the wood edge has not yet been covered. It will, never fear. And the wood will survive just fine until next month. Also, the cement edge below the door frame was skillfully built up by Rupert.

The old decrepit light had been home to a robin family. I’m sad to say they’ve been evicted. They left their mark on the wall above the light, though (peer closer, you can see it, yes you can). The nest came down, and in it — until the nest got bumped and dropped from where I was saving it to take a picture — was a perfect little blue egg which hadn’t hatched. Here’s the post-catastrophe nest-and-egg reconstruction:

There are also doors on all the rooms upstairs. In hindsight, door handles (as opposed to knobs) were perhaps not the most baby-friendly choice. Twinkle Toes has mastered the art of stretching to reach the handle, pulling the door open, getting her body to the other side of the open door (this move is key, for some reason), stepping back, and pushing the door shut with a loud bang. Then she usually turns and looks at me with a mix of wonder and self-satisfaction.

Little birdie, you won’t be flying away any time soon. You can’t reach the deadbolt yet.🙂


Ah, this morning started off as a foggy continuation of last night. Rupert and I watched a movie until nearly midnight. Twinkle Toes had been feverish since the late afternoon, but after the movie ended, she woke up with a very high fever. I nursed her, gave her some Tylenol and worried over her, then finally put her into bed. As I got into bed myself, I heard the unmistakable blurping sound from Twinkle Toes which could only mean one thing: she’d just thrown up. I went in to console her, and as I picked her up, she threw up all over my shoulder and down my back.😦

Rupert bustled about cleaning us up and changing the bed while I nursed Twinkle Toes some more and rocked her back to sleep. Unfortunately, that was the last dose of Tylenol in the house. She’d just evicted it from her body.😦 Poor little thing was awake and uncomfortable most of the night. As a result, so was I. When the Master of Home Renovation showed up at 8 this morning, Rupert and I were still trying to cling to the last tendrils of sleep.

Just the same, by noon we had this: Rupert is learning from the master how to tile a floor.

 

And a close up (Little Miss was the stand-in photographer while I rocked and rocked and rocked Twinkle Toes):

And really, in no time, we had this:

Which was followed by this masterful creation. More to continue with tomorrow, and some work staining and varnishing, and putting in trim, but wow are we ever pleased with ourselves. Points for effort go to Young Jedi who seemed to think that by closing his door when he went to bed meant he could get away with reading instead of sleeping. The glow from around the edges of the door was like something out of poltergeist. Busted!

And now, everyone is asleep, except me. Twinkle Toes is feeling better, and I’m sitting in front of the wood stove enjoying these precious few minutes of peace and quiet. And also fearing that as soon as I lay my exhausted head on my pillow, someone else will throw up.

We have lovely new soffits! We also have new fascia, and a nifty thing called a drip lip. In the process, Rupert removed the wiring which ran from the old antenna (outside, along the wanna-be soffits) and was so motoring along so well tearing down old stuff and cutting off wires that he cut the phone line, too. So we (I because Rupert was still demolishing) called Bell from my cell phone (which would lose reception after I’d finally gotten through to an agent after being on hold for 10 minutes)… long story short, we survived the 24 hours without a phone or internet. By Sunday morning the work on the soffits was complete, and Rupert turned his attention to the inside, and a problem with the floor joists in the kitchen area.

We have arranged for someone to install a seamless eavestrough (yay!), have eliminated one of the on-ramps to the mouse-squirrel-bat super highway, found two dessicated squirrel bodies and have bandied about plans to change the windows and cover the house in vinyl.

After some discussion and a couple of rye and gingers, we decided that next weekend (yes, folks, two days from now) we will 1) put in door frames and doors to all the bedrooms — hey, we won’t have walls, but we will have a door! — and 2) finish the upstairs bathroom. You know what that meant: I had to go shopping.

After two solid days of running around Home Depot and Reno Depot, we have a toilet, a sink, tiles, a light fixture, and doorknobs for all the upstairs doors. Wowee! I’m so excited to be getting a finished bathroom upstairs, that I’m not sure I can believe it will really happen. Maybe it won’t. (But maybe it will! And then I won’t have to stumble down 14 then 4 then 9 stairs in the dark.)

Ah, that last picture? Me trying to take a photo of myself to update my linkedin profile. Seems pictures of me are of three kinds: Terrible expression, child somewhere too close to my face to crop out, or fat because I’m pregnant.

And the purple flowers? Something managed to bloom! (I thought they were yellow and brown flowers, more like black-eyed Susans. They’re aren’t, but they’re pretty, anyway.)

 

First, he assembled the scaffolding. Rupert did this while I was away with Twinkle Toes buying groceries at the farmer’s market and getting pants for Young Jedi, and generally killing time so as not to be home to witness Rupert fall and get pinned under the scaffolding. I was pleasantly surprised when I returned home. Scaffolding was up, Rupert was alive and well.

The old eaves and wanna-be soffits etc have been removed. We can see the insulation — what is it, R5?

All kinds of ugly here:

Closer shot of the insulation. You can see part of a hole in it. There were many many holes in the insulation. That means many many little animals found their way in over the years. (Ask me how I know. Go on. Ask.)

Someone attempted, at some point, to replace the old stuff with pink batting. 

Only a small sampling of the bird nests and wasp nests that fell down. 

The Fat Max crow bar-wielding hero and lord-master of home renovations: Rupert. 

Here, he is doing his part to keep the Red Army alive. 

Ever seen one of these? EW. So gross, it is still outside. But too fascinating to chuck. I want the kids to see this. Apparently, our home was home to TWO different kinds of wasps. These guys, the mud builders, and the other papery nest wasps. 


These little boxer shorts remind me of sock monkeys.

They are made from three sweaters. One is a dark beige wool with red trim, the other a heavier cream-coloured wool, and the third, which covers the elasticized waist, is a lovely silk-cashmere blend in deep red.


These shorts would fit size 6-9 months, possibly smaller if baby is wearing a bulky cloth diaper.

Yesterday, we put most of the finishing touches on Young Jedi’s room.

There are still a few bits of trim to go on just as soon as we get our hot little hands on a coping saw. After that, there’s the door. and the door trim, but after 3 years in a room with no walls, what’s a missing door?

The room was finished enough that we could move Young Jedi (back) into his room! Yay!

(The kids refused to let me take normal pictures of the room. They kept jumping into the frame…)

(The room looks really small with us in it.)

(Young Jedi slept in his room last night and today I moved his desk in. I wanted to get his toys etc in and organized, but Twinkle Toes was having Napping Issues today. And just in case y’all are wondering, it’s not because I don’t want my kid to have to do some of the work of moving in and setting up. I want to do it alone due to the “disappearing” of items that has to happen while he’s not around. If you’re a parent, you know what I mean. Right? I’m not the only one, am I?)

 

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A little bird told me…

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