August 26, 2011

the little apprentice

Lady M is often stuck to her daddy like glue. She is his faithful little helper around the house, quick to grab a hammer or screwdriver when needed; the first to grab a new lightbulb or battery as necessary; and even happy to take a step or two up the ladder to be just a little closer to whatever her daddy is doing. Its really quite sweet, and I know Cal doesn't mind having his little helper at his knee all the time. She's at a fun stage where she simply wants to take part in everything we do, ask a million questions and then try to do things on her own.
Her new favourite past-time is going to the office with Cal - to her it is a world filled with people who are kind and welcoming to her, a space with endless road cases to explore, and more importantly, her very own desk to sit at while she creates her colouring masterpieces.

I think I find this especially sweet because I can distinctly remember visiting my dad's office as a child and feeling so special anytime I had the chance to go there. At the time, my dad had an old-fashioned sort of desk with a little pull-out secretary's table, where I happily drew pictures and coloured. I recall making myself right at home, pulling my chair up to the little surface and colouring my heart out, much like Lady M does now.

I also enjoyed floating from office to office visiting his secretary and various colleagues. In fact, I can distinctly remember popping into one woman's office one day and listening to Patio Lanterns by a singer she told me was named Kim Mitchell. I was extremely confused as to why "Kim" sounded like a man, thus learning the concept of unisex names. In any case, 25 or so years later, I can still recall the happiness I felt when I went to work with my dad, so I love seeing the excitement in Lady M's eyes when she receives the same opportunity.

In every sense of the word, Lady M has become Cal's little apprentice, wanting to learn about everything he does, and more importantly, take part. I'm sure as soon as her hands are big enough she'll be picking up the guitar just like him too.

August 16, 2011

30 things...

In exactly one month I'll be thirty years old, much to the joy of all my friends well into their thirties who I have been teasing mercilessly for being so much older than me for years now (you know who you are!). Hitting this milestone birthday really doesn't bother me very much; in fact, having watched Sex & the City all through my 20's I'm supposed to know that the 30's are the best years, right? Well, works for me!! And I plan to feel the same way about my 40's, 50's, and every other decade I hit.
So I decided that as a little gift to myself, I would write down a list of 30 things that I'd like to achieve. As I work through the list, I'll have to decide whether its 30 things I want to do this year...or before I'm 40, or whether its more of a bucket list for the longer term, but we'll see!

I think everyone knows that a goal is more likely to be achieved if you write it down (Harvard Study anyone?), and I know its even better if you tell other people that you want to do here we go. I will share with each one of you the thirty things I want to do, and you can hold me to it!

And onto the list...
  1. Become a creative entrepreneur as an exciting side project (details to follow...)
  2. Buy a boat or seadoo (or both!)
  3. Complete the CN Tower stair climb
  4. Complete my Master of Education degree
  5. Complete Zumba Fitness instructor training
  6. Donate blood (hopefully on a regular occasion, but let's go for once to start)
  7. Explore more of Canada
  8. Find and buy our dream home
  9. Gain more teaching experience
  10. Go on a European bike tour
  11. Go parasailing
  12. Go white water rafting
  13. Grow my own vegetables and herbs (This is a real challenge for me; see my Green Thumb post.)
  14. Have an impeccably organized home
  15. Involve Lady M & Lady A in a fabulous and worthy volunteer opportunity
  16. Learn Adobe Illustrator
  17. Live abroad again
  18. Plan a Muffy reunion somewhere tropical and fabulous
  19. Reach my post-pregnancy goal weight
  20. Read a minimum of four books for pleasure this year (yes, that's a lofty goal with two munchkins in the house and lots of school reading at any given time!!)
  21. Share more stories on my blog so my girls will have a great memoir of their childhood
  22. Start teaching a regular Zumba class
  23. Take an art course (drawing, painting, sculpting...or something like that)
  24. Take my family to Sweden, England and other areas of Europe
  25. Take piano lessons again
  26. Travel to Africa
  27. Visit each country where my dad has lived, as well as India where his whole family was born
  28. Visit every continent
  29. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity on a build
  30. Write a children's story
So, there's the list. As it turns out, some are definitely longer term goals, some short term. I've noted the ones that I plan to complete by the end of this year in pink; nine in total. I'll be sure to keep you up to date as I finish each one, and feel free to help keep me accountable for anything on the list! 

August 9, 2011

a taste of fall in the summer...

Looking for something new to make? A little taste of fall flavours in the summer perhaps? My faithful baking assistant and I made a yummy recipe this past weekend, so I thought I would share it here. I had been thinking about making some oatmeal chocolate chip muffins and decided to go on a little recipe hunt. Thank goodness for the internet and the plethora of recipes you can come across at the touch of a couple buttons, because after a brief search, I found a recipe for pumpkin oat muffins with chocolate chips - fantastic!!
Lady M was quite excited to get into the kitchen to give me a hand, and promptly pulled her stool up to the sink so she could wash her hands when I asked if she wanted to bake with me. Moving over to the counter, we pulled out the bowls and some measuring cups. Helping scoop the ingredients is her favourite thing to do, and she was eager to place each ingredient into the bowl herself, and did a terrific job.

But, like any kid, her busy little fingers couldn't quite resist the bowl. I turned to grab one ingredient from the cupboard, and when I turned back around, I noticed her mouth curling, and her eyes looked slightly watery. I realized instantly what she had done...scooped her little finger in the bowl and popped some delicious baking powder in her mouth! Mmmmm. I was laughing, of course, and after the taste was out of her mouth, she was laughing too. She got it together to help finish the recipe, lined the muffin pan with her little bunny muffin wrappers and turned the light on in the oven so she could watch them rise. And even better, when we took them out of the oven, they were delicious!

So, if you're interested in a yummy new recipe to try, you can click here to get the recipe. They were a great, filling breakfast, but make a nice hearty snack too. I know we'll be making them again. Enjoy!!