Scenes from the Weekend

We were fortunate this weekend that the hubby was off for four whole days.  He has been working like a mad man finishing his current project at work so it was a nice change to have him home Friday, and then Monday was a provincial holiday known as Family Day.  And we did just that, spent the whole weekend together, just the three of us, and it was just so nice and relaxing!

Friday was Valentine's Day, and my boys surprised me with breakfast, roses, and beautiful Pandora earrings that I was not expecting at all!  We decided to take Lucas to an indoor playground as a treat for the little guy.  He loves that place so much, and I was looking forward to having the hubby there to help out with Lucas climbing antics, and what do you know the kid had no interest that day in jungle gym area, figures.  We decided to keep dinner a low key affair this week and did Chinese take out which is a win in my books any day.

Saturday hubby earned even more major points when he let me sleep in, which is always nice considering I'm up super early every day with an energetic toddler.  Although I didn't stay in bed too long, I couldn't resist all the noises downstairs between my two boys and decided to join them.  We ran some errands as a family, one of which was to the grocery store, where Lucas sat in a cool car cart, it lasted all of five minutes, and then he kept wanting to stand and ride it; Lord help me for the years to come with my dare devil.  Gianni was determined to BBQ meat for dinner so he shoveled around out barbeque, and him and Lucas braved the cold to make dinner.  Lucas has gotten over his aversion to the snow now that I have been doubling up his pants instead of putting his snow pants on.

Sunday we took a trip to Ikea where Lucas loves playing in the kid section, and we took advantage to scope out some furniture and organizing pieces for some upcoming house projects.  Afterwards we made a stop at our local Chapters, Lucas and I like to go at least once a week, we usually play with the trains and sometimes meet up with other mommies and their kiddies.  A situation occurred that made me so proud of my little man.  Another little boy was there and was not taking it too kindly that he now had to share the trains with Lucas, who really was happy with just one train and being very good at sharing.  So Lucas was trying to keep his distance and this kid (a tad older than Lucas) just comes up to him and shoves him to the floor.  His parents were very apologetic, and Lucas did cry, but I was worried that once Lucas got up that he would retaliate, but he didn't!  He just yelled at the kid from a distance, as if scolding him for pushing him, and went about his business.  All in all a good lesson in sharing, and how to deal with awkward situations, and I'm very glad that Lucas' instinct wasn't to hit back.

Monday started off pretty awful, I had already slept pretty bad, and then Lucas woke up at 4:30, yup you read that right, and there was no way he would fall back asleep.  I'm pretty sure he has his two year molars trying to make an early appearance, as his gums are pretty swollen, and he has been drooling up a storm, so I know I'm in for a slew of early mornings again.  Thankfully we both got a good nap in afternoon, and the rest of the day was spent in lazy bliss.

Unfortunately we are kind of stuck at home today with some bad weather out there, so I've got activities planned to keep the little guy occupied, and my sanity intact.  Hope everyone else has a great weekend.




 Its been a while since I've either done a five on Friday post, or just a whats going on around here.  So here are some things we have been up to.  Nothing super fascinating sorry folks.

- The weather has been cold lately, snow is clearly here to stay for a while longer (thanks a lot Willie for that prediction), and some days I won't even bother taking Lucas outside, especially since the kid is allergic to keeping himself bundled up and its a battle to keep his precious hands in his gloves.  In an attempt to avoid cabin fever I try to come up with indoor activities that keep the little guy entertained.  Cars and trucks are a huge favourite in this household, so inspired by a pinterest search I made Lucas his own race track in the dining room, using masking tape.  It was quite a hit that its still there, and Lucas likes to help "count" the track lines.

- Some days I bite the bullet and head outdoors, and there is nothing like some fresh air to feel a little more human.  There have been days that even Lucas didn't want to play in the snow, which is such a weird concept for me since this kid would live outside if I let him.  I realized that he hated his snow suit pants cause they don't allow for easy mobility, so if he slipped or tripped in the snow he would get super frustrated that he couldn't get up.  So I decided to just double up his pants and he was a happy camper.  We have been heading out for family walks when we can, and Lucas walks himself pretty much most of the way.  These pics of him holding hands with his dad is enough to make me melt over and over again.

- I found an indoor playground just ten minutes from my house last week, and it is my new godsend!  I know some moms have this aversion to indoor play centers cause its a breeding ground for germs, honestly I pack myself with sanitizer and wipes and thank heavens they exist for some much needed sanity.  Lucas is a very active child, the moment he learned to walk and then run its been like marathon training in this household.  He literally doesn't stop all day, so to have a place that can substitute the park while its still cold out, sign me up! The true bonus was seeing him play and love every single moment, and he really teaches me to step out of my own comfort zone, so I was racing after him and climbing those obstacles with him like it was my job (well technically it is lol).  He ran and climbed until his little heart was bursting with happiness.

- Its Valentine's Day this week, and the hubby and I have decided we are not really exchanging gifts this year.  Just chocolates, and a card, which is really all that is needed.  I got the little man a few craft things, like heart stickers (he is really into stickers lately), and some pipsqueak markers.  We decided to forgo date night this weekend knowing full well how crazy everywhere was going to be, so last Friday we sneaked out for a couple of hours for a kid free dinner at our fave sushi place, and made it back home to put our babe to sleep, which is just how I like it.  I'm far more excited about the fact that the hubby has a rare day off tomorrow, so we are off to spend the entire day together as a family, and cap it off with a special home cooked meal.

- I mentioned a few weeks ago that the motor for our central vacuum died on us, well we found out that the part takes 4 to 6 weeks to come in!  I was tired of trying to maintain clean floors with just daily swiffler washes, and using a small hand vacuum for our carpets on the second floor, so we borrowed my mother in laws vacuum and I finally feel like the house is somewhat cleaner.  My Portuguese upbringing has made me appreciate a clean home, and I take pride in maintaining an organized household, despite having a destructive toddler running around, so the state of the floors was making me break out in hives!  Hopefully the part comes in sooner than later.

- Have any of you been watching the Olympics?!  For someone who doesn't really participate in sports I'm a huge fan of the Olympics.  Figure skating, speed skating, and hockey are my all time things to watch.  I'm really rooting for Ice Dance skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, cause they're Canadian, but also they are from my province, so its a matter of pride hehe.  Its a really great time to be Canadian too, not only for the fact that we are always front runners in the medal standings for the winter Olympics, but there have been so many great stories of Canadian solidarity, like the ski coach who helped a Russian skier replace his ski mid competition when it fell apart.  I know Canadians are always the butt end of the jokes for our niceness, but the world could use a little more kindness.

That pretty much sums it up, kind of boring but I did warn you.  Hope everyone has a great Love Day tomorrow!



Avo Julia's Potato Leek Soup

This soup was one my late great grandmother Julia used to make often, and even though its a pretty standard soup that most people make, in my family it has forever been known as Julia's soup, plus its a really healthier version than most since it has no cream or milk.  Soup is kind of a big deal in my family, as it is for most Portuguese families.  Sunday family feasts are never complete without a soup, and right now with this awfully cold weather, there is nothing better than a warm bowl.  Makes me think of small tables with too many people, with everyone talking over each other, with baskets and baskets of bread and butter, and family, a sight alone that could warm my heart.

4 to 6 large potatoes
1 large onion
4 cloves of garlic
5 to 6 cups of chicken stock (although I honestly used just plain water cause I didn't have any stock at home, and it really doesn't change the integrity of soup)
3 leeks
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste

This is a super easy preparation.  Simply boil the potatoes, onion, and garlic in the stock.  Once soft, blend with a hand blender, and add more water if it turns out a little too thick (about 2 cups worth).  Add the 3 leeks sliced and let the soup come to a boil again.  Right at the end add the olive oil.

Enjoy with warm bread, and someone you love.



Great Expectations

I have always been a bit of a worry wart.  I was the kid who worried that her mommy was ok at home without me (obviously she was! she was at home alone in blissful silence while we were at school).  Becoming a mother is like switching on your worry button, so needless to say mine has always been on overdrive.

When you bring home your newborn, this tiny defenseless bundle of joy, you worry about keeping him alive.  You navigate feedings, spit ups, first fevers, colics, and wailing that you are convinced is being caused by some unexplained pain.  Through it all you question every decision you make, and you wonder what was the point of all the expectations you built for yourself during the last nine months.  In the end you realize you are doing and trying your best, babies don't come with manuals after all, and after countless calls to your own mother you get through it, and you learn a lot along the way.  You start to understand that those cries means someone is already hungry, that the slight increase in temperature means that in your over zealousness you put one layer on too many; and that that weird wailing is probably from boredom of sitting in the same spot looking at the same god forsaken toy for the last hour.

We learn to adjust our expectations of what a regular day looks like; and as those first blurry months become more focused you begin to navigate new worries.  Milestones, skills and overall development take over your every waking moment, and if you're anything like me you scour every piece of literature that will help you ascertain that you're doing everything you can to encourage your child to crawl, walk, talk, and master that all important pincer grip.  You start carrying around this master list in the back of your mind of the expectations for your child, and as a consequence the expectations for yourself as a parent.  How many times have I asked myself if I'm doing enough?

I spend my days worrying whether I did flash cards long enough with Lucas this week?  Am I reading enough to encourage his language skills?  Are we doing enough educational games instead of just playing?  Am I teaching him the correct way of respectful play, sharing, and interacting with other children?  In a nut shell I carry with me this long laundry list of great expectations for myself as a parent, and for my child which seems just a little unfair.

What I find happening in the long run, is I forget to enjoy those small things and appreciate the moments that my child achieves.  It becomes a tick on a list, instead of a moment that I should document in my mental files and can take out whenever I'm feeling like I'm losing grip on mom reality.  And Lucas?  I fear I have him living in this great shadow of expectations before he even has a chance to prove me wrong, which he so often does.  While I'm worrying about the next milestone he should be attaining, he's discovering the world, and showing me how to see it from different eyes.

I guess I feel that sometimes we forget that children are in fact children, and while every child develops at different speeds, it does not mean that they won't surprise you.  Just today I was worrying about Lucas' language development, and how much he really understands what I am saying to him, only for him to point out the animals in the book while I was reading to him.  I will always continue to do all that I can to encourage Lucas' development, not out of duty to accomplish a list of expectations, out of motherly love to help him be everything he will strive to become one day.