Winter has come by in my neck of the woods. It is cold, just below freezing, and also it has started to snow daily for the past few days. The wind makes the temperatures feel like -10C easily, especially when I go running early in the morning. I usually go at 6:30 am, and it is quite dark at that time. My trail is not lit, and it does go through the forest for about 3 km or so, which is scary. Some of the other girls who run say it is all a mind game, as the only thing to be afraid around here is wild life, and I believe that the bears started hibernating already. It is only moose that we should fear, and perhaps the occasional wolf, although I have not seen or heard of any in town or around here.
A few nights ago I ran straight into a huge deer with gigantic antlers. I have a flashlight, and by the ghostly white light of my pencil flashlight, the deer looked imposing. I backed out respectfully and returned home. To be honest, I am more afraid of the bad spirits that might be lurking in the woods (you know, like the supernatural kind, as in Twin Peaks), than of the real animals. Those I know how to deal with by now. Back up slowly and they will usually ignore humans. The bad spirits on the other hand looked scary on the big screen and I don't want to see them in real life. Oh, there's also the Blair Witch sort as well. Good thing I don't watch TV anymore, as my imagination is the wildest beast of all, and I can't slowly back out of its way either.
As for the family, Daniel is growing, Emma is growing. Daniel likes to smile at everyone, and he is such a social human being, that everybody loves to hold him. Only occasionally he gets offended, and when he does, he cries for a long time and is upset with me for a bit. He seems to remember that he is angry with me and gives me the long lip for quite a few minutes. He is grabbing his toes, and started to roll from the back to the front. He also loves to listen to me reading to both him and Emma for long stretches of time. His attention span is actually very impressive. The funniest thing is when he bangs on the piano with joyful glee, looking like a mini-pianist giving a concert. Again the look of concentration on his face is really funny.
Emma is saying all sorts of funny things. This morning she was playing with her toy German Shepherd that looks like a wolf. She was pretending that the dog/wolf is saying "I'm gonna get you, big bad Red Riding Hood!". I laughed to myself at the confusion and made a note to re-tell the story, as to get the characters straight.
Winter is keeping us in the house a lot more, although we get out twice a day at least. We get bundled up, and will continue to add layers as the temperatures drop. I remember that it was weird to me that the people around here bring their babies out in winter, bundled up to the point of being hard to hold. I have become accustomed to the bundling up process to the point that I am finally not stressed out about it anymore. It takes a lot of coordination to dress two kids with hats, mittens, socks, boots, and snowsuits, not to mention dressing myself as well. As it is getting colder and colder, we will be adding balaclavas to cover up the faces, and also I will probably add a second coat over the first one, as well as a second hat, and gloves plus mittens. (When we get back into the house, we fill up an entire couch with the clothes that we are removing). I do think it is important to keep on getting out, just to feel free and not develop cabin fever. Winter is a 8 month affair around here, so the sooner we adapt to it, the better.