October 31st

A friend of mine of facebook linked to an article a few days ago about how there isn’t really Halloween music the way there is Christmas music. To that I say whateverrrrrrrrrrr, anyone who can’t find enough spoopy creppy songs to make a Halloween playlist isn’t trying hard enough. Mine is 4 1/2 hours long, the same as my Christmas playlist, and unlike the Christmas one, the Halloween playlist isn’t just 4 1/2 hours of different artists all doing the same songs!

Making a Halloween playlist is easy, you just need to find all the songs you can about dead people, ghosts, creeps and monsters. Here are a few to get you started…

I just added this to my playlist this week. I think that’s the key to making a good one, keep adding to it every time you find a creepy song.

I always forget about this song and it cracks me up every time it comes on. “He’s burned up like a weenie and his name is Fred!” The late 80s were a magical time in hiphop, truly.

This is an oldie but a creepy for sure. There’s also a version by The Meteors that might be even creepier.


I mean, this song is even CALLED Halloween, how are you gonna argue that there are’t any Halloween songs when this exists?


And of course who could forget:

What are your favourite Halloween songs?

October 29th

Overalls Timeline

October 20th: I order an adorable pair of overalls (or “dungarees with pocket,” whatever that means) for Gwen from Zara
October 27th: the overalls arrive, they are so cute I immediately wash them so I can dress Gwen in them the next day
October 28th, 8:30am: I dress Gwen in the overalls
October 28th, 8:31am: Gwen figures out how to unbutton the straps of the overalls
October 28th, 8:32am-8:44am: Gwen repeatedly unbuttons then asks me to rebutton the straps
October 28th, 8:45am: Gwen takes the overalls completely off
October 28th, 8:46am-8:59am: Gwen repeatedly takes the overalls off and asks me to put them back on her
October 28th, 9:00am: the buttonholes are now so stretched out the buttons won’t stay buttoned anymore
October 28th, 10:00am: I give up on the buttons and sew the straps to the front of the bib

Wolf Baby

Yesterday I finished making Gwen’s Halloween costume (the pic above was taken before I added the tail). After making the hood I kind of thought I might just put her in that with some grey sweats rather than making a whole furry outfit but in the end Taylor and Sym convinced me that I should just do it already. I’m glad I did, because Gwen looks adorable and she loves the suit; she wants to wear it constantly (she’s actually wearing it as I type this). I’m still considering making a pair of paw mittens with little claws but I might be sick of working with faux fur. No matter how carefully I slide the scissors along the backing to cut only it I still end up with a face full of loose fur fibres.

I used the pattern my mom helped me make, which was very simple: one piece for the body & two pieces for the sleeves. I made it even simpler by eschewing the zipper up the front and fastening it with snaps instead. Less sewing = less time, although I did smack my hand with a mallet while setting the snaps. Now I have a massive bruise with a weird blood blister in the middle of it. When I did it I was reminded of a scene in the second book in one of my fave dystopic future YA series, where one character plans to use a programable and very precise machine press to smash a tracking bracelet off his wrist (put there by the totalitarian government of course) and his friend warns him that if he miscalculates, the force of the press won’t just crush his hand, it’ll send a shockwave up his arm that will liquefact his bones. My actual first thought after hitting my hand was OH NO I’VE LIQUEFACTED MY BONES. Seriously, it really hurt.

Anyway, here is my favourite wolf-themed song for you to listen to this morning.

October 27th

Someone needs a bang trim. New hat from the Gap.
It’s really an amazing time for mosses, lichens and fungi rn.
Fallen maple leaves make perfect Georgie camouflage.
This tree was amazing, all mossy with ferns and tiny mushrooms growing up the branches. It was like a tiny magical fairyland ecosystem. I wish I could have gotten a better pic but alas, I’m not fifteen feet tall.
About a month ago I painted my nails with OPI’s St Peterburgundy and lamented that it wasn’t nearly as dark a red as I wanted. On the weekend I picked up Essie’s Wicked and this is it, EXACTLY the dark dark dark red I’d been looking for. I also got a deep navy blue from Quo by Orly called True Blue (on super clearance) that is also a perfect dark dark dark colour for fall, but I painted it on my toes and I’m not posting a pic of those because creeps.
I found these two branches that were completely hollowed out with the bark intact. I dried them in the oven for a couple hours on the lowest temperature and used them in my autumn vignette (below).
She had several total meltdowns on this walk, mostly because I wouldn’t let her just walk out into the street. SORRY I CARE ABOUT YOUR SAFETY, GWEN.

Back to Reality

After my impromptu 3-day weekend spent shopping, wandering around photographing mushrooms, setting up vignettes around the house, and lounging on the couch/bed/bath reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue I have to get back to my real life, and in my real life I need to make and ship about ten mini banners this week PLUS a pair of baby shoes PLUS Gwen’s Halloween costume, which I still haven’t made any progress on past the hood, oops. Time to hunker down and get to work.

All About the Teeth

Back in 2001 when I was pregnant with Symphony I had two wishes for my unborn baby: that she have her dad’s blue eyes and my teeth. Lol what a weird thing to wish for but dental work isn’t cheap and her dad has had a lot of tooth probs and my teeth are pretty great; they are very straight (a dentist once asked me if I’d had braces as a child which is a pretty good compliment I think) with strong enamel.

In the end she got my green eyes and tbh idek who’s teeth she has. She’s had a couple baby teeth that got wiggly but never came out on their own and need to be extracted (one was just last week) and she’s actually missing a couple of her adult teeth, like they just don’t exist. I think it’s her bicuspids that are missing, one on either side on the top? I forget.

At first the dentist hoped that with no adult teeth to break down the root of the baby teeth in those spots, the baby teeth could just stay, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Now there are two options: wait until she is older and get implants in the empty spaces, or use braces to pull her other teeth forward to fill the gaps (they are small spaces, remember, they just had baby teeth in them). Last week her dad took her to see the orthodontist, but the problem is too weird I guess so they were referred to another orthodontist that she’s gonna be seeing later this week. Hopefully this orthodontist will be able to tell us which option (implants or braces) will work best for Sym’s teeth, so we can start crying about the money lol.

PS My wishes for Gwen: Taylor’s blue eyes, my skin and MY TEETH GODDAMMIT.

October 25th

A blog reader made me this earwarmer/headband but it is a little small on my giant head/voluminous hair. It is great on Gwen though!
I had this hat in my etsy faves for literally years before buying it last fall, only to find out I hated it. I guess it was just my stupid short hair that was the problem though because this year I love it.

Semi-Unexpected Long Weekend

I ended up not having to work on Friday so it’s a long weekend for me. I would have liked to have slept in but Gwen had other ideas at 6am, so it really seemed like a long long long day (which would make this a long long long long weekend?). Gwen and I accompanied Taylor to Yaletown for his hair appointment and went to the playground to wait for him. We’ve taken Gwen to this playground before and she’s always hated it but after some time spent sitting on the bench with me she actually got up and played. Amazing! We got home so late that Gwen basically skipped her nap (oops) although she did sleep a little in her stroller. In lieu of sleep I took her shopping, which was a little too successful. Sometimes I wonder how much less money I’d spend if I didn’t live three blocks from the shopping district but then I remember the internet exists so probably I’d spend more once you factor in shipping costs (or the act of adding stuff to your cart until you pass the threshold for free shipping).

Ouch My Hubris

In what can only be described as a remarkable feat of hubris, I posited the other day that it might be a dry fall. Of course that meant on Thursday when I had to walk down and up the hill three times*, every time it was in pouring rain. I had the raincoat and pants situation sorted out but no rainboots, so on Friday I finally bit the bullet and got myself a pair of Hunters. YES YES I KNOW THEY ARE TOO EXPENSIVE TOO TRENDY THE HYPE BLAH BLAH BLAH but listen: over the past five years I’ve probably spent three to four hundred dollars on random rainboots that barely lasted a season, so REALLY it makes more sense to just buy the good boots in the first place. I polled my friends to make sure they really are worth it and everyone I spoke to agreed they were. I also went through this with raincoats, spending tons of money on jackets that were not even close to waterproof enough before I eventually splurged on my beloved Patagonia Torrentshell, which is still going strong three years later (such a wise investment!).

I’m Never Gonna Roast a Chicken

On Friday when I was out walking around it was SO COLD I started having a weird and inexplicable hankering for roast chicken. I was like “what a perfect thing to cook at this time of year, when I’ve just been running around buying rainboots and more wool socks and 2-for-$20 henleys! Much cozy, so comfort food, wowe!” Nevermind the fact that I’d never roasted a whole chicken before, like how hard can it really be, right?

Well it wasn’t hard but it was a LITERAL NIGHTMARE. One thing I was worried about was that problem I have where all the work that goes into preparing food, especially meat, grosses me out SO MUCH that I can’t eat it. That did happen but even worse than that, the chicken juices went crazy in the oven and spattered onto the element, causing the whole house to fill with smoke. This caused 4/5 of the smoke detectors to go off. I think it took about a half hour to fully air out every room and get them all to stop blaring. Because of this I had to take the chicken out of the oven like 5 minutes early so I was freaked out I was going to food poison us all. I didn’t, but I DID learn that no one in this house knows how to carve a bird. It was like a comedy of errors trying to get the stupid thing apart!

It was definitely more hassle than it was worth and I think it’s actually cheaper to just buy the cooked whole chickens from the deli, so yeah. NEVER AGAIN.


* Usually I just have to go down and up the hill twice a day but I made a special mid-day trip to the high school to drop off some forms Sym forgot. I hadn’t been in a high school in SO LONG, it was weird. Almost as weird as the fact that my kid is in high school tbh.

Aside: I’ve started using my tumblr more again, if you want to follow me you can find it here or just click the lil icon over there on the right ➼ ➼ ➼

October 23rd

The Evolution of the Boop Beep

A couple weeks ago I was out walking with Gwen in her stroller. We we crossing the street and a woman who crossed ahead of me stopped dead on the sidewalk, preventing me from pushing the stroller up the sloped part of the curb (aside: what are those parts of the sidewalk called? Curb slopes? Gutter ramps? idk but LISTEN PEOPLE you should give curb slope priority to the elderly, people with disabilities, people with baby strollers, and others who lack the ability to just step up onto the curb). I was stuck in the street so I said to her, very clearly, “boop beep.”



Obviously, I spend too much time with children. People who spend time with adults say “excuse me,” they don’t say boop beep. Why do I even say boop beep? I’m guessing I must have started by saying beep beep to kids when they were in my way, like a car. Car noises! Beeps! Kids love those things. At some point beep beep turned into boop beep; I don’t know why. Sometimes it’s a little song instead: BEE-bah-boo-BEEEEEEP. Thank god I didn’t say that to a stranger. That would be too much.

I Finally Understand

When we were packing up to go to the Island for Thanksgiving Taylor hit a snag when he discovered he no longer owns a duffle bag. He used to own one, it was hideous and he never used it so I may have encouraged him to get rid of it during a storage room purging session. Whatever the case, he’s now duffle-less, so he hinted that maybe a new duffle bag would be a cool thing to get him for Christmas. Since then I’ve been paying more attention to any cool duffle bags I’ve seen online (they pop up on my tumblr dashboard a lot because I’ve slowly been replacing every tumblr I used to follow with tumblrs that just post pictures of nature and artisanal foods and whimsical people who apparently use a lot of duffle bags). Last week a saw one I thought was great, so I made a mental note of the site it was from and of course I immediately forgot where it was from. A couple days later I spent too long wracking my brain trying to remember and I thought to myself “WHY DIDN’T YOU PIN THAT DUFFLE BAG YOU FOOL” and in that instant I finally understood the point of Pinterest. Happy ending: That cool duffle bag popped up on my tumblr dash again and I promptly pinned it to my brand new duffle bag pinboard, which is the only thing on my new Pinterest account.

Not a Baby, Not Yet Possessing the Ability to Form Words

Gwen is turning two in a couple weeks. In some ways she seems so much younger than that and in others, much older. She’s so tall, her size and her long hair have always made her seem less babyish than her true age, but now her speech delay makes her seem like she’s still a baby. I sometimes forget that she can understand perfectly what we are saying to her, can follow complicated directions and do so many things for herself now. It’s like a weird kind of cognitive dissonance; I see her speaking only in babbles and simple sounds and my brain thinks she is a baby when really, she’s not. I’m still waiting to hear from the community health office when her appointment with the speech therapist is going to be, which makes me SO GLAD I took her to the doctor and started this process in August instead of waiting until her second birthday.

In order to stop her from climbing on my desk and destroying my computer I have to keep the chair tied to the desk with a bungee cord. Yesterday I couldn’t find the bungee cord and I said “UGH WHERE IS THAT DUMB THING” aloud to myself. Gwen immediately ran over to the little play kitchen and retrieved the cord from the cupboard she’d hidden it in. I didn’t ask her to find it, I didn’t mention it by name, but by my actions she knew exactly what I was looking for and remembered where she’d put it. I bought her these cute new shoes with little fox faces on them and when I asked her to “go get your new shoes” she knew exactly which shoes I was talking about. Not her old shoes, not any of her boots, her new shoes.

She is starting to use more sounds on a regular basis but still no actual words. She rarely gets frustrated by her inability to communicate. If she wants something she’ll reach for it and say “la” (she used to say “ma” for this but now it’s la, idk why), if it’s in another room she’ll take our hands and lead us to it. If she hands us something like food or a book and shakes her head it means she doesn’t want us to give it back, she wants us to eat it or read it (whichever is more appropriate, decided on a case by case basis). If she walks up to me pulling the sides of she shirt/jacket/cardigan forward and saying “buh” I know she wants me to do up the buttons. If she is pulling on the back of her shirt/jacket/sweater I know she wants help getting the hood on, although since not every clothing item in the entire world has a hood this is sometimes not possible, which makes her angrier than not being able to communicate more effectively.


DIY: Baby & Toddler Halloween Animal Hood


I decided a while back that I wanted to dress Gwen as a wolf for Halloween, so when we went to my mom’s at Thanksgiving I asked her to help me make a pattern for a wolf costume like the bear and rabbit ones she made for us as kids. I’d actually hoped she’d just make the whole thing for me buuuuuuuut no luck, I have to do it myself. After a week and a half of procrastination I finally got around to starting it last night, and in my typical fashion I decided to redo the pattern. Instead of a one piece hooded suit I decided to make the hood a separate piece (so that if I don’t have time to finish the whole suit I can still just put the hood on Gwen with some grey sweats & a quick tail and still have a lil wolf puppy).

You’re probably thinking WOW TANIE HALLOWEEN IS IN A WEEK AND A HALF THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO START SEWING COSTUMES but this hood is super simple and if you have basic skills with a sewing machine you can whip it up in about ten minutes. If you don’t have basic sewing machine skills or maybe you have a weird fear of your sewing machine (cough*me*cough) it’ll take a couple of hours to sew by hand while watching Gilmore Girls (YOU KNOW YOU’RE WATCHING IT, WE’RE ALL WATCHING IT). Faux fur is very forgiving so if your hood turns out a little wonky it’ll still look great. I didn’t bother taking pictures of the sewing process because I had no idea if it was going to turn out or not, but I’ve tried to make the instructions as simple and clear as possible. If you need help please feel free to contact me.

The pattern is for the hood & ears only but I’ve included some quick sketches of different types of tails. The hood is a simple 3-piece pattern (two of the pieces need assembly, see below) with two 2-piece ears. The pattern is sized for Gwen, who is a larger-than-average two year old. For smaller children scale the pattern down in size, for larger children scale up. If your child has a very large head you might need to cut a larger face opening; it fits Gwen perfectly but the face hole is too small her lil friend who is about the same age/size but has a bigger head I guess, or maybe just a bigger face.

Supplies & equipment:

• printer & printer paper
• approx. 1/2 meter of faux fur (enough to make the hood and a tail of your own design)
• scissors
• fabric pen
• sewing machine OR needle & thread

Fur colour suggestions:
• wolf: any shade of grey/black/white
• bear/polar bear: brown/white
• tiger: orange & black stripes
• fox: orange & white for the tip of the tail
• cat: literally any colour
• lion: longer brown fur for the hood, shorter tan fur for the ears
• skunk: black for the head sides & ears, white for the head gusset

1. Download and print out the pattern. Cut out the 2 halves of the head gusset and 2 halves of the head side pieces and tape together at the dotted lines. Cut out the ear of your choosing.

2. Trace the pattern pieces onto the back of the faux fur, remembering to check the direction of the nap. You want it to run top-to-bottom on the head sides, front-to-back on the head gusset (top of the head) and bottom-to-top on the ears. If you make a tail the nap should run top-to-tail tip. You need one head gusset, two head sides (1 left and 1 right) and four ears (2 left and 2 right). Cut out all the pieces, including a slit in the top of each head side where the ears will go. When cutting faux fur you want to slide the scissors under the fur and cut just the backing otherwise you will be breathing in faux fur wisps forever.
PLEASE NOTE: the lines on this pattern are SEWING LINES not cutting lines. Please leave a 1cm seam allowance around the traced lines.

3. Pin together 1 left and 1 right ear piece, right (fur) sides together, matching the letters (A:A, B:B). Sew around the top of the ear from A to B, leaving the bottom open. Repeat with the second ear, then turn both ears right side out.

4. Pin one of the ears into the slit in one of the head sides, matching the letters (A:A, B:B). Insert the ear into the head side slit, right sides together, with the cut edge of the slit matching up with the open bottom of the ear. Sew across the slit and the bottom of the ear from A to B; repeat with the second ear and second head side.

5. Right sides facing, pin together the head gusset and sides, matching the letters (C:C x2, D:D x2, E:E, F:F). Sew each side of the head to the gusset from C to D, then sew the front of the sides together from E to F, leaving the face opening (between letters C and E) open.

6. Fold the edges of the face opening back 1cm and hem. Fold the bottom edge of the hood back 1cm and hem (optional; I didn’t bother hemming the bottom of Gwen’s hood and it’s fine). Turn the hood right side out and use a soft brush to gently loosen any fur that is caught in the seams.

October 20th

Not too matchy but a little matchy.

Socks & Boots

Saturday was the last West End Farmer’s Market of the year but all we got was breakfast from Pig on the Street before heading out to run errands. Taylor needed a new pair of boots as his not-even-that-old Doc Martens were literally disintegrating off his feet. I have to say the quality of Docs is atrocious now. I used to have a pair when I was like 18 or 19 that I got secondhand in great condition that I wore for years before giving away to a friend, still in decent shape.

I was on a search for some boot socks for Gwen. Her rainboots are a little big and tend to slip off too easily when worn with just her regular socks so I needed something thicker. I wanted the classic wool socks look (because I am an ass) and I was able to find exactly what I wanted at Roots. I also got her an A M A Z I N G hat? hood? cowl? that I will debut at a later date.

I took A LOT of pictures of the lagoon.
When I was going through my pictures I was like “why did I take this there’s nothing here-oh!”
Cute but scary and also sad because it’s obvious people have been feeding them.
This tree had ferns growing up almost every branch.
Blue sky to the south…
… grey sky to the north.

The Kuffle Kerfuffle

Sunday was sort-of sunny so I really wanted to go down to the park for what might be one of the last non-rainy days of the year (although it’s been pretty dry all year so who knows). On the way we stopped at Breka for muffins and kuffles. The kuffles were for Gwen and she was a big fan; every time we took her out of the stroller we had to brush massive quantities of kuffle crumbs off all of us.

I had hoped to actually walk in the woods with Gwen but she is a toddler with her own mind and she had different ideas, like pushing the stroller into the trees and running full-tilt in the opposite direction to where we were going. After a while we bribed her with another kuffle to get back in the stroller because otherwise we’d probably still be there.

October 17th

I meant to post earlier in the week but I’ve just been busy busy busy, no time to blog… but apparently plenty of time to waste an entire afternoon tweaking my layout? I wanted something a bit darker for fall but still suuuuuuuper simple. Sometimes I think I should like, get a REAL layout that I pay someone money to make and it’s really professional looking and functional but then I remember I just blog for funsies so nah. You can see the new look below (or click through from whatever reader you use)
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idk if you know this but I’m IN LOVE with that pic of me holding Kichou in the woods, I made it my new profile pic on every one of my social media platforms.

Anyway, fall. I guess it arrived over the weekend we were away, because last week I distinctly remember complaining that I couldn’t wear my flannels and scarves and boots and cool new coat because I’d end up sweating my face off and this week… it’s cold. Cold and rainy and just really autumnal. The punchline is I still can’t wear my new coat because I’ve had to wear my rain jacket almost every day this week. My raincoat is not cool, it is however very functional and practical so it wins out most days.

Now that I’ve discussed my blog and the weather I guess it’s time to move onto the gross part of this week, which is all about dog butts. On Monday night Georgie had a bottom problem and needed a bath, and as I was washing the area I noticed she had what was obviously an abscessed anal gland. In case you don’t know, anal glands are the thing they don’t tell you about dogs because they are SO GROSS no one would ever have a dog if they knew. Anyway they are just these lil glands that secrete whatever it is that dogs like to smell on each other’s butts, and sometimes they can become blocked and infected and it’s just the worst.

I won’t gross you out too much with what happened during that bath but the next day I had to take her to the vet to get the abscess LANCED AND DRAINED which is about as lovely as it sounds, and pay $300 for the pleasure. Everyone keeps saying “wow that is highway robbery!” but I would definitely not cut open a swollen pus sac on a dog’s ass and wash all the pus out for $300 so I feel like it was a great bargain. Now Georgie has to wear a cone all week and I have to give her medication and wash her butt with special antiseptic dog butt wash twice a day. GREAT. Her meds need to be taken with food but the cone makes her so miserable she won’t eat with it on unless I literally hand feed her, like put kibbles into her mouth one at a time, which is tedious. The cone just makes her really needy in general, she is following me around and clambering into my lap much more that usual. Overall, it sucks for everyone involved and I think we’ll all be much happier when it’s over.


October 14th

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Over the long weekend we took a trip to the Island to see my family for Thanksgiving. We hadn’t been there in a long time; I think Taylor had only been to my childhood home once and that was just for an afternoon, Sym not many more times and Gwen not at all. It’s kind of been a combination of things keeping us away: our schedules, the expense ($120 each way for the stupid ferry I COULD NOT believe it! PLUS we had to rent a car), and also a bunch of weird family stuff I’m not even going to get into. I actually always SAY I want to go but when it comes down to planning & paying for it I’m like ughhhhhhh, but this time I was like NOPE WE’RE GOING. Actually thank you to all the people who bought banners during September/the beginning of October because I put every penny towards the cost of this trip!

We went over on Saturday morning and came back Monday morning which gave us a lot of time to hang around on my mom’s nine couches, explore the property with the dogs, look through a dozen family photo albums and even take a walk down the train tracks to the beach. On that last one I learned that if you don’t spend your childhood walking along train tracks and over train bridges it is apparently terrifying as an adult; Taylor was completely paralyzed on the trestle over Bonnell Creek, which is only about 30 feet long and maybe 20 feet high (the trestle not the creek, the creek is actually completely dry right now) and I had to take the dogs across and then go back for him and Gwen.

Originally we planned this trip not because it was Thanksgiving but because it was a long weekend (Taylor’s work schedule makes regular weekend trips kind of impossible), but my mom invited tons relatives over for dinner on Sunday. It was weird because only my younger brother and sister were there so I was the oldest out of our sibling group, but a bunch of my nieces and nephews came, as well as my nephew’s daughter (it’s weird to think that I’m someone’s great aunt, haha). All told there were 20 people for dinner, many I hadn’t seen in years and years and some I hadn’t met at all (there are no pictures of dinner though as we were all too busy stuffing our faces). Sym had a good time hanging out with some of her cousins who are around the same age as her and even Gwen made friends with her cousin-once-removed Sydney, who is almost three years old and so tiny that they are around the same height even though Gwen is a year younger.

Here are a million pictures, no apologies.
Gwen loved being out on the deck on the ferry over; on the way back it was too windy for her.
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My mom made a pie using apples from the trees in the front yard.
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Explaining how I once slipped and fell while climbing down from the roof of the fort and had to hang from that tree for what felt like one thousand years until I was able to pull myself up.
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I found a skull in the woods.
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The swing in the bottom garden, unused and covered in lichen.
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Taylor said the bleak grey rocky beach at Nanoose Bay reminded him of The Road.
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October 10th

It’s starting to look like fall outside but every time I go out in my boots and coat I end up sweating my face off.
She only ate the fries, then deconstructed the sliders and used the buns and patties to make a tower.
Sym needed to print out some old pictures for a project at school and I can’t get over this one. Her sweet little face! This was just a few weeks after her second birthday, so a little older than Gwen is now.
A custom drippy banner for Halloween.
Literally the first time I successfully caramelized onions in my entire life.
Waking up daddy.

Happy Friday-before-the-long-weekend-we-all-need-and-deserve! At least I need it; this week has been interminable for some reason. We are going over to the Island to spend Thanksgiving with my mom & some of my family for the first time ever so today I need to clean the house and pack everything so we can catch the ferry at 8:30 tomorrow morning. (Aside: Taylor just used voice commands to turn off the Xbox, and I CAN’T WAIT until Gwen starts talking and learns how to turn it on and off all the time. I mailed all the paperwork back to the speech therapists but we don’t have an appointment for her to see one yet, although she is scheduled for a hearing test on December 1st. Also on December 1st I’m supposed to go off my thyroid medication to see if my thyroid is functioning normally on it’s own so that’s gonna be a fun month! Phew this was quite the aside.)


Tiny Acorns
Yesterday after school drop-off (now that the strike is over I’ve been looking after a kindergartener before & after school) Gwen and I went for coffee & took a walk on the Seawall with a woman I know from preschool drop-offs. Making friends when you are old and grizzled is hard and I’m happy to have made a new one who is local and a mom and idk, likes tiny stuff and crafts and coffee and dogs and the Seawall and living downtown but also imagining moving to the country. At one point on the walk Gwen became very fussy in her stroller so I let her out so she could bobble around in her little green boots and red coat. While we were standing there my new friend realized the trees we were under were some kinda ornamental oak trees and the ground was covered (COVERED) in teeny-tiny little acorns. We both love tiny things and Gwen loves picking up stuff off the ground so we all crouched down and started stuffing our pockets with little acorns & acorn caps. I’m sure we looked deranged to all the people walking by but who cares? Tiny acorns! Now I have a cup full of them and Im not exactly sure what to use them for. An autumnal display, I guess. A miniature pumpkin and some twigs with wild rose hips and a scattering of little acorns would be perfect.

The Tale of Elke
During my many years of doing childcare I’ve known lots of kids with a lovey toy they NEED to have in order to fall asleep, both at bedtime and at naptime. Usually it’s one of those toys that like a small blanket with a teddy bear head on one corner, and it needs to go back and forth between home and daycare or WOE BETIDE. I can’t even tell you how many times I had a parent knocking on my door at 8pm because they forgot the lovey here, or they’ve had to run home in the morning after dropping off their kid to fetch it because there is NO WAY a nap will be happening without that special sleepy-time friend.

When I was pregnant with Gwen I discussed this lovey situation very seriously with Taylor and we decided that whichever toy it was, we’d buy two. Not that Gwen would be going to daycare somewhere else but in the event of the lovey being misplaced or even just needing to be washed we’d have a backup. We chose one of those toys with the animal head on one corner, except instead of a bear it’s a deer. We named it Elke and Gwen took to it immediately.

Having two Elkes worked perfectly; if ever we couldn’t find one we’d have the other ready to tag in, and I was able to wash whichever one was dirty as needed (which was often because baby Gwen liked to chew on Elke’s nose, or just hold its nose to her nose, even when she had a cold). Then a few months ago, everything went to Hell. One morning Gwen woke up and brought Elke out to the living room with her. When it was naptime I couldn’t find Elke so I grabbed the spare and when she woke up from nap she brought that Elke out to the living room and we had a double-Elke situation. Taylor found the first Elke in the dining room and went to put it in the wash, but I told him it wasn’t dirty so instead he put it…

Somewhere. And we haven’t seen it since! Neither of us can remember where he put it, all we know is it’s somewhere in the house where Gwen couldn’t see it or reach it, and we’ve looked all those places! Every shelf, every cupboard, every drawer, every place has been searched. We’ve emptied boxes and bags and peered under beds with a flashlight. We’ve dug through closets full of clothes, craft supplies and camera equipment. No one can find this damn thing! This morning Taylor was putting Gwen’s bedclothes on to wash and he decided to pop the only remaining Elke in as well since it was supremely gross, and Gwen stood in front of the washing machine and cried and cried. We spent another couple hours searching all the places we’ve already searched and still had no luck.

My apartment isn’t that big, and there are a finite number of places what Gwen can’t get into. So. Where’s Elke?