Summer Plans

It’s summer! 9 weeks may seem like a long time, but between weddings, trips, and prepping for next year, I already know that these two months are going to fly by. In order to make the most of it, here’s what I’m putting into motion:

Setting a weekly focus

I have been following ANGELA WATSON‘s blog for a while and she wrote a post not too long ago called 6 SIMPLE STEPS TO THE BEST SUMMER EVER. I’ve followed her advice to create an end of summer vision and to assign a focus for each week. My three main goals are to (1) have my long range plans completed and an intro postcard/letter sent out to my students; (2) have a morning routine in place to maximize my day and ensure I have time for devos; and (3) have meal plans created for September. This week, my focus is on getting to know my curriculum expectations. I’ve taught all these subjects before, but I’m really hoping to do something a little different this year that allows for more authentic, integrated learning.

Explore something different every day

It’s easy for routine to become monotony when you have a toddler. So, we’ve committed to trying or visiting something different every day. Living in Kingston and in this part of Ontario, there is tons at our fingertips that we haven’t even scratched the surface of. We’re starting local, but we will definitely branch out as the summer goes on and as we venture to other parts of Ontario and North America. So far, we’ve visited a BERRY FARM, taken Andy to his first splash pad, and attended STORIES IN THE PARK. Tomorrow we are heading to the MUSEUM OF HEALTH CARE.

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30 day fitness challenge

This last endeavour is three-fold. One, I have not been going to the gym nearly enough, and my diet has been subpar. Plus, throwing out my shoulder when I wiped out while cycling has been a disincentive to any sort of physical activity. Two, we are heading to Bermuda at the end of August. Three, I am teaching 4 classes of phys. ed. next year. In summary, plenty of reasons to get into shape.

Outdoor time

I really like biking. And I really like being outside. These are things that I hope Andy will come to like as well.

Andy’s too small for his own bike at this point, but I did want to take him with me on rides, so Kelvin and I decided to invest in a bike seat for him. We opted for the WeeRide Kangaroo Ltd. Centre-Mount seat, which I installed this morning. I do have to ride a bit bow-legged because of the angle of the posts on my bike, and it is significantly harder than cycling without the added weight, but we both loved it. On our first trip out, which was really close to Andy’s nap time, we didn’t even make it out of our subdivision before Andy fell asleep. I opted to turn around. After a trip to the library, and lunch at grandma and grandpa’s, we rode home. Again, he fell asleep. This made me feel really good about getting the seat with the padded pedestal/pillow :)

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As for general outdoor time, we visit Lemoine Point regularly, and if we can’t make it down there, we go to our community park. Our backyard is currently nothing but a plot of grass (we don’t even have a deck, so if we opened the sliding doors from the dining room, we would fall straight down about 4 feet). Despite this, Andy and I sometimes spend our afternoon out there on a blanket, watching our neighbours’ dogs play. We also have snacks out there.

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We’ve had some crazy cold spells over the last little while, but here’s hoping this spring-summer weather is here to stay.

Saying Goodbye

It’s a bittersweet time.

Today, Kelvin and I closed the sale on the first house we ever owned. It wasn’t a big home, nor a fancy home, but it was our home. And for that reason, it will always hold a special place in our hearts (okay, maybe a bigger place in my heart than in Kelvin’s…he is super thrilled with our current home).


That little home was where we hung our own artwork, and painted our own walls. It was where we hosted small groups and where we invited friends to stay with us. It saw many iterations of IKEA and Target furniture and linens. It’s where we started our family, and where we set up Andy’s first nursery.


Things I will miss:

  • the foyer (which we REDID)
  • the proximity to everything
  • the white walls (in our MASTER and our DINING ROOM)
  • the front door
  • the ceiling fans (Andy loved them, plus they were so awesome in the summer)

Things I won’t miss:

  • the orange/pink colour in the kitchen
  • the weird cut out in the basement wall between the main room and the storage room
  • hearing our neighbours through the walls
  • that finicky sliding door leading to the deck
  • the struggle of getting the lawn mower to the backyard

I moved into this house in October of 2011, just a few months out of school. I was working 3 different jobs to piece together an income, and I was just discovering what Kingston had to offer to those who were no longer living the student life. THIS is what the house looked like. 4.5 years later, a lot has changed, and though this little home will no longer be part of our everyday, we are grateful for the memories that we made within its walls.

Goodbye, house. It’s been so nice knowing you.

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I can’t believe it’s been an entire year. Our little guy has grown from a mere peanut to a full-on toddler. He laughs heartily, claps enthusiastically, and is curious about everything around him. He always tries to engage the people around him, luring them in with smiles and funny expressions. 

  
He has quite a few favourites these days. His favourite toys are his stuffies and his blocks. He doesn’t really like reading. Food wise, he loves peas, noodles, tofu, bananas, bread, and cheese. He enjoys going outside, climbing stairs, and watching the neighbours’ dogs play in the backyard. 

   

He also has quite a few things that he dislikes. Wearing hats. The end of meals. Getting strapped in his car seat. 

We celebrated his first birthday today with our immediate family, and I will hopefully get the post done by tomorrow. It’s been fun documenting Andy’s weeks on this blog, so here’s to 52 weeks of noticing big and little things about Andy. 

Happy birthday, little bug!

  

51.

This has probably been the best week ever. As in Andy’s best week since he was born. And I’m pretty sure this is all thanks to his sleep sack.

We’ve had this sleep sack for a while. It was given to us by a friend who was done having kids. Andy kept busting out the top of it (those snaps), so I decided to see one side permanently shut. It worked like magic (except for that one night I needed to go in and help him since he managed to squeeze out from just the one unsewn side…) and his overall demeanour during the day has seen a similar transformation. He is even more agreeable than he was before, and my in-laws have commented on how it’s so nice to see him every morning when I drop him off at their house.   

  
So what had Andy been up to at home? Well, he’s been crawling under the dining table a lot. And learning how to get off his rocking horse. A large portion of his day now is spent climbing up and down stairs. Oh, and he tends to walk on all fours like an ape. 

  
He also has an insatiable appetite. We went to Panera today for lunch after church and he had a whole kids meal. Plus some of my soup. And he wanted more. Thank goodness we have a Costco membership. 

  
A little story about Andy: since the beginning of 2016, we’ve had some trouble with Andy being clingy and not wanting to go to the nursery at church. We’ve been working on getting him used to it and just leaving him with the nice people even if he protests. Today when we went to pick him up, the ladies told us that Andy was being really sweet. There was another little boy in there who was having a hard time being away from his mom, and Andy was clearly feeling a little distressed over it. In an attempt to comfort the boy, Andy brought toys over to him and even patted him on the back. Knowing that Andy is starting to feel empathy for other kids just melts my heart!

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So I am happy to report that, for the most part, Andy is back to his old self. He still has a bit of mending to do when it comes to his tummy and his sleep, but he is happy again and crawling/climbing up a storm!

  

He has developed a few new skills this week, namely learning how to clap, and how to play single notes on the keyboard. There is still much full-hand banging on the keys, but every so often, he will stop and delicately tap a key with his index finger. It is often a black key. 

He is pulling himself down from virtually everything now, including our sofa and our bed, and we have to have our eye on him all the time. He has grown probably two inches (my mother in law says that this happens whenever kids pass the international date line?) and I think that makes this a lot easier. On the flip side, he can now reach even more of the things that he shouldn’t be getting into, and he can’t stand up under certain furniture pieces anymore. 

His first birthday is just a mere two weeks away, so planning has begun for that!

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So I might as well be frank. Andy started to get sick during the tail end of our trip. And jet lag coupled with my return to work has not been kind to him. 

We had a good time in Hong Kong, and I think Andy enjoyed the hustle and bustle, but this return home was too stark a contrast. The flight back definitely had its low points, and we probably should have tried to come home earlier. Andy is in his first week of full on “daycare” and I am trying to stay awake on the drive home from work. Not always the safest. 

Hoping that this all passes soon enough. Not sure how long I can survive with the minute amount of sleep that I’m getting.

  

48.

A quick post from a fast-paced city. 

We’ve been in Asia virtually since my last weekly Andy update and it has been a blast. Adjusting to the time change was rough for Andy (and subsequently brutal for us), but he’s gotten into a good rhythm now. If we happen to be out when he is due to head to bed, he just falls asleep in the carrier.

He’s been a huge hit with our extended relatives – especially his great-grandparents in Manila! They love that he eats a lot, and they laugh every time he refuses his sippy cup. Andy has definitely been showered with some serious love over the past few days. His appetite has kept up with ours (at times surpassing it) and we are so thankful he remains healthy and happy on our travels. 

  
Despite a busy schedule, we have managed to have some family downtime every day. Andy is hilarious during these times, probably because he gets to stretch his legs and feels uninhibited. He can act a little loopy during these moments, rolling around the bed and giggling heartily at he strangest things. 

  
We will be in Hong Kong for the next week, and he will be meeting my grandparents tomorrow. Here’s to more fun!

47.

These weekly posts are getting later and later! Is this an omen for what is to come when I return to work?…

Anyways, things are buzzing around here as we prepare for our upcoming trip to Asia (!) and my subsequent return to work. Andy is doing more full days at my in-laws’ place in preparation and he is having a blast. Sometimes I think he has more fun there than he does at home. He also learns so much there. This week he learned to climb down the stairs backward. I would post a picture, but alas all I have are videos. 

Perhaps it’s the result of me taking an overload of pictures of Andy in his first few months, but I’m finding that I capture the little every day moments less and less. I did snap this one of Andy refusing to wear the hat I had just purchased for him. Kelvin was adamant that Andy get his own hat. This fitted Blue Jays cap seemed appropriate. Andy begs to differ. (Note the loaner stroller he’s in that they provided at the mall. It was honestly such an amazing service – I had left the stroller at home and was seriously contemplating driving home to get it)

  

On the food front, we’ve vowed to always have tortillas in the house. For peanut butter and banana roll ups. They are the bomb. For everyone. 

46.

Super late post, but alas it has been a whirlwind of a week! My family came to visit again last Sunday and enjoyed some quality Andy time. There were actually moments where he was laughing uncontrollably. It was that deep, continuous belly laugh that he rarely does with us. I wish he laughed like that more. 

Big milestone last week: Andy took his first step! Kelvin, my mother in law, and I  were all there to witness it and it was truly exciting. He’s also been getting in the habit of doing this Chinese greeting of clasping his hands together and shaking them, which is immensely cute. He also finds great joy in this and is thoroughly amused by it.   


As I mentioned in last week’s post, I headed to Toronto on Thursday for a conference and left Andy and Kelvin in Kingston. Though tiring for them, they had a blast! That made me really happy, and I’m hoping that this means he’ll be comfortable if I’m gone for twice as long next year? :D
  

45.

A few play dates for Andy this week, including lunch with his birthday twin! Andy and this sweet girl were born on the same day. She is lovely and demure, and has the most precious little cries. Andy is more of a rough and tumble type and so it took some time for them to adjust to each other’s very different styles. They had finger foods for lunch while we parents had Kelvin’s delicious barbacoa tacos and talked about Scandinavian culture, language, and how Manila and Colombia share more than a few similarities.

  
Andy also went sledding for the first time! We borrowed a sled from some friends who live in our neighbourhood (it’s like the olden days when you can walk over to a neighbour’s house to borrow some sugar!) and walked in circles in our backyard for a whole ten minutes. He had a blast. 

 
This upcoming week is a really exciting one as I am heading to Toronto on Thursday for a conference without Andy. Kelvin will be in charge of him for 48 hours and to say he is super anxious would be the understatement of the century. His hesitation aside, I know it will be great and that they’ll have a fantastic time. 

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It’s been a really good week. Andy is communicating more with us, both verbally and with gestures. We can tell when he wants something, he is learning to wave, and he babbles constantly. He’s been saying “dada” for a few weeks, but now he’s saying “mama” too. At the start of the week he would only say mama when he was upset (because clearly Kelvin is the fun parent) but I am happy to report that sometimes he says mama now even when he’s happy!


Andy also had his first trip to the dentist this week, and we are getting into the habit of brushing after breakfast and before bed. He actually really enjoys this time because there’s something in his mouth, but we need to work on the whole concept of not eating the toothbrush. I think the berry flavoured toothpaste helps.


After a long hiatus, we returned to gymnastics, hoping that he’d be able to get more out of his time there. Alas, he is still not mobile enough for what they can do. I think we will hold off on going again until he is really walking steadily. He did enjoy crawling through the tunnel though, and kneeling on all fours on the trampoline.

In other exciting news, our house officially went on the market this week! And we tried out the new bubble tea place in town (it was great)!