Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mama's little helper

I'm thrilled to have a new helper in the kitchen. It all started in the wintertime when Kira "helped" me bake cookies, by cutting out cookies and putting sprinkles on them. We continued this activity several times at home just the 2 of us, or when other kids came over for play dates. Here we are in February, baking Winnie the Pooh and friends cookies.

As the months progressed and Calvin began demanding more of my attention, Mark took over baking duties with Kira, and they prepared various versions of Rice Krispy squares, much to the delight of everyone who devoured them.

Over the past 2 weeks, Kira has taken on a keen interest in helping with all kinds of food preparation. In fact, when I was starting to bake a cake the other day, she ran to the bathroom where we keep our stepstool. Mark brought my attention to the squeaky dragging sound approaching. Kira was bringing the stool over so she could observe / help, and I gladly welcomed her participation. As a bonus, I let her lick the beater paddles. Much more enthusiasm ensued a couple of days later, when I baked muffins and she got to lick the spatula. Thankfully, her enthusiasm wasn't limited only to sweets. Here is Kira last week, helping me bread the fish I prepared for supper. Doesn't she look like a little pro?

And remember the 20 pounds of tomatoes we picked at the organic farm (see previous blog post)? Well, here's Kira squishing tomatoes with a "tomato squisher" (aka potato masher) to make a pot of tomato sauce (this yielded a lovely 4 jars of sauce which will hopefully take us into the fall / wintertime).

Kira is not mama's helper only in the kitchen. As you'll see in the video below, she's (sometimes) keen on "helping" feed Calvin. It's quite hilarious, really. Sometimes Calvin is frustrated when the food doesn't quite reach his mouth, or when Kira takes too long delivering the spoon to his mouth. Sometimes I lose patience and take the spoon from her when I see food dripping off the spoon or off of Calvin's chin. But for the most part, when Kira wants to help, I try to let her. And I see her continuing this role-play with her dolls. Watch as Kira cracks up when she gets cereal on Calvin's nose by accident. Calvin doesn't get what's so funny...


Monday, September 8, 2008

Tomato-picking at the organic farm

My husband's cousin Jason (who lives around the corner from us) is a member of an organic farm co-op. Every week during the crop seasons (spring through fall), he goes to pick up the vegetables and fruits in season. Each week is a pleasant surprise, as you never know what veggies you are going to get. While Jason and his family went on vacation in August, they offered their weekly pick-up to us. So we went to pick up a delectable variety of 17 kinds of fresh, organic veggies and fruit. This included common vegetables such as tomatoes, garlic, and melons (4 kinds!) as well as some unrecognizable varieties which we simply didn't know what to do with. I totally forgot to take a photo of the collection, so I'm actually attaching one from Julie (Jason's sister) to show the cool variety that a weekly batch offers.

Last weekend, the farm offered its members the opportunity to invite friends and family to pick tomatoes. Jason invited his 2 sisters and us. As I carried Calvin on my back (poor thing, he was full of mosquito bites on his face when we got home! I couldn't see his face to shield him from the critters) we all headed into the tomato bushes to pick a yummy variety of ripe tomatoes. While we worked on our tomato-picking, Jason's daughter Jillian picked some yellow cherry tomatoes (are they called cherry tomatoes if they're yellow?) which we all ate during our labour. It was incredible how quickly we could fill a box with 20 lbs of tomatoes! 20 pounds, yes!

Here's Kira picking tomatoes. She'd pick all kinds: ones with bruises and holes, ones fallen off and laying on the ground, ones that were not quite ripe, and of course some red and perfect ones too!

"Here Julie, do you want a yellow one?" (Julie nodding politely as Kira puts it in, then pitching it as Kira looks away...)

That night, we ate tomato sandwiches, and Mark made chili. This week I'll be making a ton of tomato sauce, and freezing the rest. What a fun outing! Thanks, Jay!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Planting a tree from Lisa & Mike

Last month, we were thrilled to be guests at Lisa (Kira & Calvin's 2nd cousin) and Mike's wedding. It was a fantastic ceremony at La Ronde, if you can imagine! What a fun environment, for 2 fun-loving and down-to-earth people. It was a real family affair. The photo above was taken by Lisa's cousin (& photographer extraordinaire) Megan. We enjoyed ourselves enormously, and wish Lisa & Mike a wonderful future together!

As a gift to each guest, Lisa & Mike gave a cedar plant. What a great idea - something that is great for the environment, serves as a souvenir of their wedding, and that will last a lifetime. So we made an activity out of planting the tree, and explained to Kira that the tree was a gift from her cousins. Daddy and Kira dug a hole in our backyard, and planted the tree. We can't wait to watch it grow over the years!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Baby legs and toothy grins

I just felt I had to document my son's dimpled legs before he grows and I miss it. After all, soon after crawling comes walking, and then all that delicious dimpliness is gone for good!

Calvin has 4 teeth already. Gone are the goofy toothless grins.

My baby is growing so quickly!