Growing Out On A Limb


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Pool Action

Thank goodness for the local outdoor pool… I’m not sure what we would have done in this recent heat wave without it! 

Oliver asks for it every day, although I wasn’t sure that would be the case when we arrived there on our first day.  He was so overwhelmed by all of the kids and noise that he didn’t want to get into the pool at all. 

I’ve always felt that any pull-back in social situations is a result of the child’s personality and that interaction shouldn’t be forced, so we sat on the bench for a few minutes and watched the kids play.  Then I stood along the edge with Emery and we dipped our toes and hands in.  I sat down with my feet in the water and he followed.  We kicked our feet to make splashes.  I commented on the other kids playing and splashing.  And then I stood in the water and he followed. 

It was so neat to watch him make the steps from completely withdrawn and frightened to smiling and walking along the pool’s edge.  He’s so brave!  And he goes at least one step further every time we are there… sitting on his knees to sitting on his bum to approaching other kids.  He is amazing.  I love watching him develop. 

I thought it would be hard to manage the two boys alone but every day I set the tone by telling Oliver what is expected of him when we first get there (no running, listening to mommy, etc) and he is very well-behaved.  It is a bit of a scramble getting both of them dried off and changed but the car seat helps… I get Emery ready when I notice Oliver’s attention starting to waver, strap him in, and then can manage Oliver easily. 

Here are a few shots from a couple of recent pool visits. 

Cousin Megan visited us for a few days.  It was so nice to have helping hands and eyes.  I can actually get in the big pool with Oliver when someone is there to watch Emery. 

 

 

Lately we have been bringing a ball with us.  So far there have been no “Mine!” struggles between him and other kids; if anything, it has been a good opportunity to teach him how to play catch. 

This picture says, “Yes mom.  I have heard you calling my name over and over, trying to get me to look at the camera.  I’m onto you.  Just snap the picture already!”. 

 

Here he is sitting on the bottom.  Well … almost.  He does get there but I guess you’ll have to take my word for it. 

I love this shot.  I think Oliver was tired of photos and saying, “Mommy… sit down in pool now!”.  So I did. 

And a rather rare shot of mommy, playing with Oliver.  The other reason I love having someone else around the pool is getting some one-on-one time with Oliver. 

He’s so much fun.

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Park Action

Being on maternity leave over the summer is so great.  We have been having fabulous weather here lately, which means lots of park and pool time for us. 

First, a little swing action.  Emery loves the swing much more than Oliver ever did but I think he likes it even better when Oliver pushes. 

Then a trip down the twisty slide.  Mommy had to go too. 

Then it was time for the sprinklers. 

Oliver has either not yet figured out the point of sprinklers or not yet gathered up the nerve to actually go through them, but on this visit he did run through once with mommy (after mommy demonstrated how … a few times). 

He does love running through the puddles that are left behind though!   

Back…

… and forth…

… and then back and forth again! 

Then he decided he should get his hair wet.  (This move puzzles me since he still does NOT like his hair wet at the pool). 

And of course, like all little brothers looking up to their big brothers, Emery had to crawl into the action. 

He got wet.  (This pictures cracks me up!)

We had such a good time.  And, if this smile wasn’t enough, on the way home Oliver announced, “That was sooo fun!”. 


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Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

When the Superstore puts those bags of four red peppers on sale I always grab one with the intention of roasting the peppers for something.  I rarely know what:  hummus, soup, or maybe just on sandwiches. 

This time I did this pasta sauce.  Oh yummy.  I did make a few changes based on comments:  I used milk instead of half-and-half, parmesan cheese instead of Romano, dried basil instead of fresh (although fresh would be preferred) and I left the butter out completely (it was good without it but I might add at least some next time).  I also added a bit of flour to help thicken things up. 

INGREDIENTS

2 large red bell peppers, roasted

2 Tbsp garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh basil

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups milk (I used 2%)

2 Tbsp flour

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

4 Tbsp butter

Salt and pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Roast the red peppers.  Cool and remove skins.  Cut into small pieces. 

In a skillet, cook the garlic, basil, and red peppers in 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat for ten minutes. 

Puree using an immersion blender.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two. 

Add the half-and-half slowly, then the Parmesan cheese.  Cook and stir until the cheese melts.  (If using, add the butter and stir until melted). 

Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for five minutes. 


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Onesies, etc

I seem to be finding less time to post lately.  I’ll blame potty training first (more on that later) and summer second.  There’s been a lot of sunshine lately so we’re doing pool and park runs every chance we get.  Getting two kids dressed and their bags packed and out the door is time-consuming! 

So I’m playing a little catch-up on posts tonight.  These are rather unique baby gifts that I’ve made recently so it’s fun to share. 

For baby Theo, a pair of onesies to please the parents:  A Green Day onesie for mommy and a Curling-themed onesie for daddy.  The curling onesie is my own design and yes, the double entendre is intended.  These were done using freezer paper stenciling. 

Knowing they were planning on using cloth diapers, I also made them a stack of cloth wipes like the ones I made for our babies.  They’re super simple to make and are great for using up flannel scraps! 

And for baby Isabelle, another pair of onesies to suit the family’s interests… Superman and the Montreal Canadiens (although, being a Leafs fan, I really had to talk myself into making this one!). 

These were also done using the freezer paper stenciling method.  Depending on the complexity of the image, it can be a little time-consuming to use this method but I love how easily you can personalize things.  I’m not sure how else I could have done such fun designs without ordering them from a screen printer… and where’s the fun in that?!


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Poser

Emery is already at the age where he likes to smile for the camera.  This is another shot from one of our early mornings in Mississauga so he is almost 7 1/2 months here. 

Oliver is terribly bored with the whole picture thing now.  I’m sure I overloaded him (and am on my way to doing the same with Emery), which is why there are fewer pictures of him lately.  But we celebrated a major milestone today so there’ll be new pics and a story tomorrow! 

 


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Serenity

I like to get fishing at least once a summer.  Usually it’s with my dad (Papa) but this time Ali and I took to the stream. 

I’m not sure fishing and throwing rocks in the water mix very well but we went with it for the few minutes we met up in the brook.  Mommy (and Papa) can’t wait until Oliver is ready to try fishing himself!