Author Archives: melanie

And it’s July!

Canada Day in stroller

Quick Canada Day wrap up before it slips on by. Tonight is the first night in about 3 weeks that I’ve been able to sit in front of my computer, dog curled at my feet, a load of laundry already chugging and the kitchen mostly clean by 8pm. Bed time keeps on dragging and I think it might be time to say good-bye to the daily nap. We’re not ready! But if he is…not much else to be done, I guess.

It worked out today because of our Canada Day adventures! And by adventures I mean a mostly relaxing day off in which we hung around and played a lot. We attempted a nap and after an hour of tossing and turning gave up, then at 4pm our little trooper passed out in the car. He continued to snooze on the couch at my in-laws, which worked out ok since it made him in a decent mood by 5:30pm when we strolled to check out the festivities nearby. After we took a very expensive teacup ride, we played at the park for a bit, with J clambering up to the slide, sitting at the top long enough to sing the Paw Patrol theme song under his breath, then sliding down to start all over again.

We headed home for a late dinner, enjoying the roast beef and laughing at J’s reaction to the mini potatoes, served whole. He was so delighted to be eating ‘a ball!!’ that I made a mental note to concoct some kind of veggie mashup in ball formation in our near future.

Finally it was time for the main event. We’d been talking about fireworks and I was pretty sure he’d get a kick out of them, and we drove out to a nearby hill to get a good viewing spot. As soon as we’d set up in the dark, his noise blocking earphones intact, he sat in his tiny lawn chair only to leap up in amazement as the first one went off. I couldn’t stop laughing at him – he was so enthusiastic, watching closely, and reminding us in the car the whole way home about the BING-POP-BOOM Wow! Hot!!

I wasn’t sure if keeping him up would be such a great move, but he pulled through, going to be after 11pm (cringe) and sleeping in long enough today that missing his nap made sense. So here we are, and I’m looking forward to more good times as July comes along.

Happy Canada Day!

Birthday weekend recap

I’m not really one to make a big deal over a birthday and if I end up sitting listening to music or thinking of the year past, or even putting up a tent with family, I’m happy. I’ll admit though that the stars aligned and it was kind of nice to have an extended celebration this weekend!

My sister ended up coming to town for work on Friday and so she was able to join me and 3 other friends for a fundraising event at a local hotel. Tyler was playing, so we watched and gabbed and had a few free drinks. It was nice to just get out and catch up a bit. We also stayed at the hotel overnight and had a luxuriously fancy breakfast in the morning before picking up the little guy.

ladies Brookstreet

eggs benedict brookstreet

Saturday stretched into a day of getting things done. We recently painted and got new curtains, freshening up our walk out basement area (Tyler’s studio) and my sister and her husband got to work. Between that room and our living room, me fetching photos I’d framed 8 months ago, they hung 3 paintings, 3 mirrors and 19 photos, plus a shelf. Teamwork! My brother, his wife, and my mom came for dinner too – we picked up tacos from a new food truck nearby, and they surprised me with an ice cream cake.

mirror hanging

frame gallery

tacos

blow out the candles

Sunday morning found us at my mom’s per usual, having breakfast and a nice long play outside in the common area behind her townhouse. Julian picked up a stick and a plastic bag blew towards him, catching onto the end of it and he thought it was the best thing ever, swatting and swooping and playing with it. Sometimes I wish he’d sit and play more with regular toys, but I’m also glad he finds creative ways to entertain himself outside.

After his aunt and uncle had to go make the drive home, Baby J obliged nicely by taking a 3 hour long nap, giving me lots of time to clean and get food ready! We had a house concert here Sunday night, a way for Tyler to play some new songs and for us to have some cousins, grandparents, and friends over. It was a nice way to fill up our newly decorated space and we filmed the whole thing for later use.

Now Monday, my actual birthday, was a pretty typical day after a weekend of running around and visiting, eating, cleaning, and playing. Back to the weekly grind of day time chores, work, laundry, smiles and soap bubbles, missed naps and night time cuddles. Plus a nice new necklace. I’m a lucky girl!

Catching up and Adobo chicken

Yesterday it was pouring like crazy. There was even a tornado watch in effect! We’ re planning to get some lights installed on Friday though and it was the only chance we’d have to pick them out. So we ran, soaked up to our knees, my hood unable to keep the pelting drops away from my face, from store to store, looking right into the shiny brightness of light after light, trying to make a decision before it was pick up time for Julian and rehearsal time for Tyler. We managed to pick lights AND grab a few groceries as well, including a giant package of chicken thighs that were on sale.

This morning, I asked my brother-in-law if he knew a good recipe to use up chicken thighs. Right away he replied – Chicken Adobo! It was a recipe in a cookbook my mom had given both of us for Christmas a few years back. The idea is to save money and lose weight by cooking takeout type food at home. I like the book although most of the ‘copycat’ recipes are from restaurants that I’m guessing are US only cause I’ve never heard of them.

Anyways…on to the chicken…

Thursday is the day that our little fella spends with his grandparents. They do a swimming lesson in the morning, and then play around in the wonderfully big backyard all afternoon once he gets up from his nap. He usually eats dinner there, and comes home tired out and happy. So after work today I had time to both cook a meal and clean out our kitchen cupboards! I get way too excited about things like clearing out rock-hard sugar or combining 3 mostly-empty bags of oats each nowadays.

It’s the little things like being able to reach into a cupboard to get something without five other things tumbling down, and an easy home-cooked meal that make me happy!

Chicken Adobo simmering

Chicken Adobo
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
1 t pepper
1lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Directions: In a medium saucepan combine all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until chicken is tender and cooked all the way through.
Remove the chicken and bring the sauce to a boil; continue to boil for about 10 minutes, until it reduces by half and is thick enough to cling to the back of a spoon.
Return the chicken to the pot and heat through. Discard the bay leaves.
Serve chicken with rice and the reduced sauce.

We ate this with roasted asparagus (toss with oil, salt and pepper and bake at 450 til they look nice and crispy, about 15 minutes) and jasmine rice. It had a lot of flavour and was quite tangy. The sauce over rice was great.

asparagus

It’s also almost this little bundle of fluff’s birthday. Sweet, snuggly Herman is turning 7. I’m always wrestling with guilt over how much less attention he gets lately. I used to take him on long walks daily! Poor guy has to settle now most days for a 10 minute lunch time walk and a few dashes out to the backyard. With the warmer weather, I’m hoping to be able to squeeze out a few more months of confining Baby J to his stroller and finagling them both around the neighbourhood for an evening walk.

Herman the dog

Luckily, my good little pup doesn’t mind housebound evenings for the most part as long as I’m nearby.

sunset ottawa

We’ve got lots planned for this weekend! Have a good one!