Monday, 25 July 2016

Reading lately...

I've been reading like crazy lately, like always.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. Super easy read. I was done in a night or two. It's really light, much like the Vacationers. Nothing special.

Not Becoming my Mother by Ruth Reichl. Super duper short. I read this in maybe 45 minutes. It was less a book and more a...pamphlet?

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel. Oh man. This was long, and super hard to get through. I was obsessed with Life of Pi, like everyone else, but this one did not do it for me. Though I didn't really enjoy it, I am still thinking about the weirdness of it. Certain parts of it are sticking with me. I was also really interested to read that the author did a "book club" with the former prime minister. So cool and disappointing.

Better: A surgeon's notes on performance by Atul Gawande. I liked it. Interesting. Made me want to be a better dentist. I would recommend. Reminded me that I really want to read When breath becomes air.

I am about to start Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, which I have been looking forward to for forever. Jon and I might read it to each other since we will be starting our vacation on Friday. I have such a huge list of books I desperately want including: Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein, The Girls by Emma Cline, Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I dream of a big bookshelf with a pile of books ready to be read at all times. I am also loving the design magazines right now since we are doing a few upgrades in our new house.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

We have a three-year-old!

(on our back deck)

Cohen's third birthday was Monday! We were really looking forward to this because Cohen has been telling us for months that he will not be using the potty until he is three. Sure enough, the day before his birthday, he started using the potty. His track record is about 50/50 in terms of successes, but we are cool with that. I am actually secretly not pushing the potty thing right now because we are about to embark on a 10-day road trip/move, which seems like it will be easier with diapers. Either way, it's cool.

Favourite toy: Definitely his Paw Patrol plastic figures. He can't get enough.
Favourite food: Butter. He will eat anything that is doused in butter. He eats a lot of red peppers lately too.
Favourite books: All the Mo Willems books. He can recite entire story lines about Piggy and Elephant.
Favourite article of clothing: His fedora hat that my parents got him. He wears it all the time. He lost it temporarily one time when it was windy, so he is very cognisant of the weather when he wears it. Any wind means he has to put it in my bag. Otherwise, it is always on his head. He also loves his superman cape.
Sleep schedule: He goes to sleep around 7:30 pm and wakes up twelve hours later. He naps maybe twice a week these days. He wakes up in the middle of the night a few times a week needing another story.
Favourite activity: Running. He loves to do laps around the house while we time him on the front porch. When we are out and about, he always asks us to time him wile he runs to some far off object.

Jon and I are always talking about how lucky we are that we get to spend the rest of our lives being his parents. These past three years have been the best. This year, Cohen asked to see pictures of when he was born. So we showed him pics from his first days of life, and he was so interested. So cute.

As far as birthday parties and presents, we have kept things super duper minimal. This year we gifted Cohen with a headlight for camping (and searching for lost toys under the couch). He asked for the cake that he saw in a magazine, which was plain vanilla, so we made that (gluten-free, nut free, of course). We took him to McDonalds, aka his favorite restaurant, for supper. He was very happy.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Hiking the Skerwink Trail with a toddler

We have been wanting to hike the Skerwink trail for so long, and we finally did, less than two weeks from our move date! We love visiting Two Whales coffee shop (here, here), which is really close to the trail, and we have also stayed at Fisher's loft hotel (here), minutes from the trail. I was always a little hesitant to take Cohen on a hike like this, because he sometimes loves his carrier, and sometimes hates it. 

(Cohen is newly obsessed with maps, so we spent some time examining the trail map) 

(Family selfie. Cohen suddenly refuses to wear sunglasses.) 

(Happy in the carrier. Absolutely necessary for this hike) 

(Stopping for lunch: leftover pizza and cookies) 

So the Skerwink trail was so, so nice. We loved it. Very well maintained, and very difficult in some spots. There were times where I had to use my hands to pull myself up to the next stair. I have heard hike leaders call stairs like that "monkey stairs." It was pretty impressive that Jon did the hike with 40+ pounds on his back. More about this hike with a toddler....

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

On the weekend...

We had such a nice hot sunny weekend here in Clarenville. Our sitter's son was getting married in their little town, so we headed there on Saturday. Then Sunday, we spent hours outside, weeding our yard and kicking the soccer ball around. Such a good weekend. Not that we are less than three weeks from moving, I feel like the time is going super fast. I am also just a little stressed that our house is not selling. None of the houses in our area are selling, actually. Maybe I am just super optimistic or perhaps living in dreamland, but I really think it is going to sell. Like, soon. 

(Heading to the wedding.) 

(We had a few hours to kill between ceremony and reception, so we had a popsicle picnic at the local little grocery store.) 

(We found the playground) 

(Sunday beers and nachos after an afternoon outside.) 

 (This guy likes to bring his calculator everywhere.)

(Shopping for countertop for the island in our new house. We like the concrete color.)

I was so impressed with Cohen at the wedding, his first ever. He was quiet through the ceremony, and he was thrilled to see his sitter. He kept talking about how nice the bride looked in her fancy dress. When I see the connections that Cohen has made with our sitter, Paula, and her entire family, it makes my heart swell, really. Her whole family, including her kids, her husband, her sisters, and her parents, knows him and have been visiting him since he was a baby. Cohen definitely knew the bride and groom better than Jon and I. Makes me feel really proud. And emotional that we are saying goodbye to all these amazing people.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Thinking about our new kitchen

I'm loving the open shelving, butcher block counters, ubiquitous subway tiles, stainless steel. I'm also loving the idea of having a huge mirror in the kitchen to make up for lack of windows.

(All images from google image searching "open shelving kitchen light cabinets" a while ago)

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Black Lives Matter

Tonight I am feeling absolutely sick about the news of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I don't have a lot of words to share. I thought this post was really good.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

More long weekend pics

(Cohen and Jon at the Memorial Ceremony on Canada Day) 

(At the beach) 

(Checking out more Terra Nova stuff)

Here in Newfoundland, July 1st is not just Canada Day. We also remember the hundreds of NL soldiers who died on the battlefield in France 100 years ago. This was the first year that we went to the ceremony, and I was really surprised to hear the details, like how lots of the almost 700 soldiers who died were really only kids, and most of them had next to no experience. Also, the fact that Newfoundland was it's own country back then, not a part of Canada. I usually find listening to war history honestly pretty difficult. But at the ceremony we attended, they instead did dramatic readings of the actual letters that a few of the soldiers who died had sent home days before the battle. Amazing. Also, it was hot, maybe 25 degrees here, and three cadets on parade fainted during the hour-long ceremony. 

After the ceremony, we went to the Canada Day festivities, which included a magician (Cohen was interested for maybe 2 minutes), bouncy castle (Cohen=not interested), and temporary tattoos (loved it). We also did a little beach time at the lake, and of course, the partly successful camping trip. Such a good weekend. We are getting down to our last few weeks in NL, which is CRAZY. I currently have my replacement at work shadowing me, and I just registered Cohen for preschool in Oromocto for the fall. It's all happening.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Our first attempted camping trip with an almost three-year-old

So we attempted our first family camping trip this weekend! Jon and I were really into camping before Cohen, and have been talking about camping again since Cohen was born. When Cohen was really little, we waited for warm weather, which never came, but now that Cohen is almost three, we thought it would be a perfect time to try it out for one night. 

(at the touch tank in Terra Nova)

(loves the taxidermy)

(driving to our campsite)

(relaxing at the campsite)

We got to the site in the late afternoon, and set up and made beans and rice for supper on our camp stove. Cohen loved all that. Later we had popcorn over the fire, roasted marshmallows and hot dogs, the usual camping stuff. And then around 9 pm it was time for our exhausted little toddler to go to bed. We all cuddled into our tent with our fancy sleeping bags and lots of books. And our little guy was not having it. He refused to stay in his sleeping bag (it was pretty cold! 11 degrees), and informed us that he would not be sleeping tonight. So after trying for a bit longer, we packed up and headed home. J and I still consider our first camping trip a success. Cohen had the best time. We'll try again soon when the weather warms up a bit. 
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