28.

So Andy has developed a propensity for edges. He loves all edges. Edges of tables, of sofas, of beds, of his change pad. He somehow managed to turn 180 degrees on his change pad the other day, and imagine his delight when he discovered all the things I had moved from the other end of the change pad…

With the slightly cooler weather (in the morning, at least…the afternoons are still ridiculously warm for the start of fall), we’ve been able to get out for walks more regularly. The falling leaves are a wonderful reminder that our favourite season is here. The season where we can layer our clothes and wear boots. I love fall.

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Today after lunch, we went for a walk to our alma mater. It’s our 5-year homecoming reunion this year, and we are really excited to be hosting our friends who are coming into town. We’re all going to the football game and so we needed to get some paraphernalia to show our Queen’s spirit (because all those cheapo t-shirts we got during sidewalk sale have seen too many days at the gym). We looked high and low for something for Andy, and eventually figured we could make him a cape with a Queen’s bandanna. Stay tuned for pictures. I think it’s going to be pretty hilarious :)

So this week I attended our quarterly 100+ Women Who Care meeting. I love being part of this group, because it allows me to learn about and also support some of the amazing charities that exist in our local community. As I was reading the reminder email, I discovered that they just started a brand new branch – 100 Kids Kingston! The idea is the same, but with a pint-sized twist. A commitment of three hours and $30 a year. Plus kiddies can learn to give their time to the community through the 100 minute challenge. Everything about this initiative is just wonderful!

Currently…
Can’t wait for the next instalment in the Limetown podcast.
I want to watch both The Intern and War Room.

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27.

Biggest news of the week – Andy is scooting! It all started with him refusing to be on his back while on the change table (which was a pain). Then he started tucking his knees under his body and inching forward like a worm. Clearly he was more interested in the Penaten container on the table than he was in being changed. I think it helps that the end of the change pad acts as a little ridge for him to pull himself forward. As troublesome as this is when I’m trying to put a clean diaper on him, we’re really excited that he’s transitioning with this milestone.

With that came a realization that I am just over five months away from returning to work.
And with that came a panic that I’ve only put Andy on a waitlist at one daycare centre.
So to remedy that panic, I’ve put him on the wait list of quite a few more daycares, and I can only hope that he will get accepted to one in time for my return to work.

Until my return, though, I will stay home and enjoy time with Andy and his little quirks and precious moments. Quirks like how he holds onto the sides of his carseat when we are moving. And how he tends to sing to himself in the car. And times like Sunday night when our small group was over and he wouldn’t stop laughing.

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So this post is really late, but in all fairness, it was a really busy weekend. It was full of moving and entertaining and other little things in between. I’ve been reading Brit Morin’s Homemakers (really good for those of us who aspire to homemaking but have close to zero actual ability in the domestic arena), which contained a recipe for ombre cake.

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I thought to myself, “Oh, we are having people over on Friday for desserts. This recipe looks so easy. I should totally make this cake!” Terrible idea. A baker I am not.

The process began around 9:30 pm the night before. I was prepared with my 3 jars of frosting and 2 boxes of cake mix. The mix called for 3 egg whites, but I could use the whole egg if desired and just add a minute to the bake time. I decided to take the lazy way out. That was my first mistake. It not only gave the cake more of a greenish hue, but it made the cakes too moist. That moistness was my next problem. When I tried to take the cakes out of the pan, 2 of the 4 layers broke. I figured I could fix it with frosting…

At around 2 am, I figured the cakes had cooled enough. The tops were still sticky to the touch (yes, a cake CAN be too moist), but I needed to go to bed, so I decided it was time to frost the cakes. Now, there had already been moments in the past few hours that I thought “Hmm, maybe this was not such a good idea.” The frosting process confirmed this. I thought that maybe I could mask some of the problems of these cake layers with frosting. Surely I could make each layer look flat by building up the frosting on the sides? Nope. My attempts at forming the cake into a perfectly cylindrical shape with frosting were futile. Tired and defeated, I put the bottom two layers, which I had frosted, in the microwave.

The next day, I decided to give the next two layers a whirl. Maybe this cake was salvageable? I put what was left of the third layer onto the rest of the cake. It essentially split on contact. I didn’t even bother icing it. Instead, I sat at the kitchen table and took a fork to cake. I probably ate more of it than I should have. It was a sad, sad sight.

As my belly filled with sugar and flour, I decided that eating away my sorrows  would probably just make me feel even worse. So I put what was left of my would-have-been ombre cake in the green bin. And there it sits, with 3 jars worth of coloured frosting.

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I may try this cake again in the future, but I think I will try it with the assistance of someone who actually knows what they’re doing. I have some people in mind…

But thankfully, there is a (somewhat-related) happy ending to this story! Now that Andy sleeps through the night, I’m able to head to the gym after he goes to bed. Crucial, seeing as how daytime workouts have fallen to the wayside with a change in our babysitting arrangements. Today when I went, I found out that the long-awaited Fitness on Demand system was set up! I have all these fitness videos literally at my fingertips! I am hoping that the hour of power step that I got in made up for at least a portion of the amount of cake that I ate.

Onwards and upwards!

A Personal Manifesto

There is something extremely powerful about a manifesto. The way it sums up one’s ideology and values. The way it calls others to action or to a life worth living. As I get older, and hopefully more mature, I find myself desiring to put into writing my vision, my values, my raison d’être. I want to sum up succinctly the things that matter to me, to construct a mirror with which I can reflect on whether or not I am living well. I’ve come across a handful of manifestos in the past little while, including this and this, and they inspire me to draft my own. 

Obviously, this is something that will take time, and more thought than I can give in just a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps this is good practice for me in the art of slowing down. I need to get my ideas down on paper, and distill then down to the most elemental priorities that I hold as important in my life. I know community engagement will be in there, and authentic faith. But beyond that, I am still finding my way. I need to look at the way that I spend my time, and the things that I consider most often. That will give me a true picture of what I value and what I do not. 

I want to write something beautiful, but also something strong. Something realistic, but also something that leaves room for growth. I want to be able to write it out and have it speak truth into my own life and the lives of those around me.

And now I turn to wikihow and huffington post for some steps on how to get started. 

26.

It’s hard to believe, but Andy is six months old!! We celebrated his half-birthday with some bumbleberry pie and a visit with grandma and grandpa (both sets!). As we move into cooler – and today, wetter – weather, the opportunity has come for Andy to start breaking into his sizeable jacket collection. He wore his little yellow slicker today as well as his bomber once the rain let up.

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This little bug’s teeth are also starting to show! He’s been having the occasional crying fit during the day due to the pain, no doubt, but those little whitecaps are really coming in. On top of that, he is eating an insane amount of food. Watching him lean forward and ask for more food is just another reminder that our little guy is really growing up. Our doctor said we can start him on meat and other iron-rich foods. It seems weird to puree meat like that though…

We’ve been trying to get out and explore the city a little more. Andy absolutely loves being out and about, so the other day we headed to the Agnes to see some of the collections there. It’s been quite a while since I last set foot in there! I’m hoping one day to be able to bring my class there for a week-long inquiry study.

Completely unrelated, when Andy is 4, I want to sign him up for the K-Town Kids Triathlon. How cool would it be to have a parent/child division like they do in California?

25.

Happy Labour Day! 

It’s weird to think that I won’t be going back into the classroom tomorrow, but definitely excited for everyone (teachers and students like!) who will be. Maybe we will scope out the bussing situation in this neighbourhood. 

We did quite a bit of swimming this week. We went to family swim at Artillery Park and also met up with one of my friends from university and her two cutiepies while we were in Toronto for some backyard swimming. Andy is still not 100% comfortable in the pool, but he’s getting there!

  
While in town, we also went down to Ashbridges Bay for some beach time! There was such a nice breeze there and it made me realize why people love living downtown. Not having to drive back uptown after work and being able to just walk out to places like this might just make the insane house prices worth it. 

  

On the home front, our rug arrived, and we opted to put it in the living space rather than under the dining table. We need to get ourselves a nonslip mat to put underneath, though. 

  

I also learned a better way of storing my clothes thanks to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Now, we frequently order take out from this place in town called Little Kitchen, but we decided to try our hand at some Chinese home cooking. Made a few batches of Ma Po Tofu with the help of Lee Kum Kee and his many sauces. It was pretty tasty for our first go around. 

Also, the article I interviewed for came out this week. Now you can read all about Edcamp Kingston!

Kelvin and I are going out for lunch sans Andy. And then we may venture to Queen’s for some gear (because apparently Kelvin finds their t-shirts ideal for going to the gym). Is it a bad idea to do that when a few thousand frosh just descended on campus? Mm, we will see.