Sunday, 31 July 2011

The colours of friendship

These came to me from Spain and Nepal via Coquitlam:

And I love them.  They make me think of lazy summers on comfortable couches, eating homemade chocolate cake from a mix, watching made for TV romantic comedies, and talking about idle gossip until the wee hours of the morning.  They make me long for old friends and the comforts of having them home again soon.

But mostly they make me feel blessed, and loved, and special.

Thank you Judy, Alicia and Heidi.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Days off

I work three days a week, and on every one of these three days I sit at my desk and wish I was at home playing with, entertaining, or just plain being with my boy.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my work. I like that it gives me a little oasis which allows me the time and space to do something different, something that interests me and occupies me that isn't related to being a mom. 

But every time I come home I swear he has grown just a little taller, his hair is just a little longer, and  he's gotten just a little wiser than when I left him in the morning. And I wonder, is it worth it spending all this time away from him? I know a lot of mothers do it.  They go to work, they enjoy it, take pride in it, and wouldn't change a moment of the fine balance they've woven between their work and family life.  Most days I feel the same.  I am content with our routine, pleased that we all adjusted to it so well.

Other days, I just miss my boy...

Lately, I feel like he is growing and changing so much. Every day he seems to be transitioning farther away from being my baby and closer to being a big boy.  Soon he will be going to preschool, then kindergarten, before you know it he'll be embarrassed to have me walk beside him in the school yard, and won't want me tucking him in at night any more, or snuggling him close when he is sad, tired, hurt or just because.  In the meantime, I want to soak up every one of these moments where I am the center of his world, and he is the center of mine. I want to be there to watch him absorb and discover every inch of this big wonderful world around him. Forgive me for being cheesy but I don't wanna miss a thing, and these days are passing so quickly.

This week on my days off, we spent our lazy summer hours at the beach, going to coffee shops and toy stores with my sister and her littles, enjoying surprise visits from second cousins, and discovering that soccer is the newest coolest way to pass those long hours between nap time and daddy's highly anticipated return home from work. 

Ronaldo ain't got nothin' on this Boyd!
Happy Long Weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Back to Baking

I love baking.  I used to bake all kinds of things after work, on weekends, early mornings so we could munch on warm baked goods with our morning coffee.  But since I had my son I have to confess that I have gotten into the bad habit of not baking, or cheating with boxed cake and brownie mixes I find on sale at the store, or worse just buying a carton of muffins.  I always feel guilty when I sink my teeth into those slightly too greasy, but oh so delicious muffins from a plastic box.

But these days I am determined to get back into the swing of things.  I have a list of good old favorite recipes I have resolved to bring back into my home: banana milk chocolate chip muffins, low fat but still tasty chocolate chip cookies, zucchini loaf delicious enough to trick Jake into eating his vegetables.  The list is long, and my apron crisp and ready.

I made my baking comeback several days ago with a new muffin recipe I have never tried but always wanted to.  I got it from my mother-in-law.  She makes these muffins all the time, and whenever she arrives for a visit you can always rest assured a giant zip loc baggy of at least a dozen of these babies will arrive with her.  We always look forward to it, and Jake just loves them.  He can down one of these muffins in one minute flat if I am not watching closely.  He'll stuff half the thing into his mouth and give you his innocent wide eyed look as he tries to get out the word "nack" (his word for "snack") between clumps of half chewed muffin in his mouth.

Anyway, they are delicious, easy and healthy and I feed them to my family without feeling an ounce of guilt.  I thought I would share:

Orange Muffin Recipe
In a blender puree:
3/4 cups sultana raisins
1/2 cup canola oil
2 whole oranges with skin, cut into pieces seeds removed (I use organic)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda

In a large bowl mix:

1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Add pureed mixture to dry ingredients and mix well.  Fill muffin tins with paper cups 2/3 full and bake about 20-25 minutes at *375F.
Makes about 18 muffins.

 Cool muffins. Boil water. Steep tea. Sit in your most comfortable chair. Enjoy.

Back to baking challenge #1.  Seeing as they were all gone within 48 hours I would say it was a success!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Summer days

Around these parts summer has been virtually non existent.  While the rest of the country is pulling wet and sticky cotton off their sweaty chests and backs, drinking ice cold anythings, and b-lining it to the nearest air conditioned mall before the locks are off the entrance doors, we have been double layering, and ordering our morning coffees hot, not frapped. It has been cool at best, and down right miserable at worst.  Some days the sun teased us into thinking summer might finally be here, only to shy away again behind the usual rain clouds short hours later.

April showers lingered into May, June and parts of July.  But this weekend.  This weekend the sun shone in a cloudless sky all day long, and made you go digging through dusty closets for that single bathing suit you vaguely remember buying during one of last years end of summer sales.  Vitamin D in its most natural form poured out of the sky like warm golden honey and seeped into every pore.

We woke up these last two mornings and wolfed down breakfast, threw beach towels, toys, an extra change of clothes and water bottles into bags and headed down a few blocks to the beach.  By 9am we were set up behind a comfortable log and digging for crabs in the shallow pools of low tide.  We watched early morning swimmers make their way so far out you could just make out their bodies between ocean waves and bobbing sail boats.

Jakob set up shop with his buckets and shovels and spent a good hour digging holes, filling buckets and shoveling sand around. 

We met friends, built sand castles, drank cold drinks, and lathered on sun screen, and basked in the sheer brilliance of summer.

The usual rain clouds may creep over our city again very soon bringing with them wintery moods and glum faces, but for now, for today and yesterday, summer was glorious.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Hello Blog

Three things have happened to that have made me start considering whether or not to start a blog.  One, I had my first baby in the Spring of 2010. Secondly, I recently turned 30, and third... I recently turned 30.  And while I hear that 30 is the new 20, I can't help but feel my life passing me by while I am just letting it. So many life changing things happened to me in my 20's: I graduated university, moved out on my own, lived and worked abroad, moved back home again, met and married my husband, started nesting, had a child, and a few other things I won't discuss here. I look back on these life events and realize that I have become less and less apt at documenting them. Journaling has never been my forte, and while I like scrap booking I find that I am having less and less time and personal space to do so.

And so, in an attempt not to miss a single beat of my 30's I wanted an outlet where I could document all the small, the normal, the bizarre and the grandiose moments of my life. I also wanted to have something I could share with my son in the future. Something he could look back on and say "Mom, you were SO cool!" (or something along those lines). 

I have followed other blogs here and there, and have always found much inspiration, thoughtfulness, hope, and entertainment in my journeys through blog world.  Plus, my fabulous sister blogs, and I guess her encouragement finally won me over. 

So here I am, spreading my wings, tasting a new fruit, dipping my toes into unknown waters.  I am not sure where this road will lead me, but I am game to find out.