Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer to do List

Every summer, sometime around August, I kind of go into panic mode realizing that it's half way over and I haven't done all the fun things that I love to do.
This year I am making a list and am going to do my best to do at least half of what's on it.
Even better if I manage to do it all.
So here it is- my summer wish list for 2011.

1. Have a campfire and make s'mores. A bit of an obvious one- but definitely top of our must do's.
2. Have a picnic in a park with a group of friends. Re: 2 posts ago.
3. check out a few farmers markets. ie. Riverdale, Dufferin Grove, Brickworks and the Distillery.
4. Make pickles & peach jam. see above.
5. go canoeing.
6. go for a walk after dinner with Lulu and get ice cream. who am I kidding? we already do this frequently.
7. mini golfing
8. check out Art in The Park at Nathan Phillips.
9. Canada's Wonderland. Lulu's never been and I promised.
10. Marine Land. see above
11. collect bugs with Lulu and identify them.
12. day trip to my old home town and show Lulu where her momma used to sneak beer in the woods...err I mean where I went to church.
13. have a few of lulu's friends over for a ice cream make your own sundae party.
14. Visit my parents in Niagara On the Lake and bring our bikes to cycle the amazing bike paths.
15. Check out some Shaw Theatre. see above
16. have a pretend camp out in a tent in the back yard.
17. lie back and watch the clouds go by.
18. go to Sugar beach and then have a cold beer on the new patio in the Corus building.
19. go cherry picking
20. book babysitters and go out on the town with big daddy
21. have sex more often. see above.
22. did I actually just write that?
23. watch some fireworks. see above too. I wish...;
24. possible road trip to NYC to see Uncle P and the cousins
25. help Lulu keep a summer journal.
26. play badminton in a park
27. teach Lulu how to ride a bike without training wheels
28. stay fit and work out
29. go to a movie on a really hot day
30. have a puppet show
31. play cards
32. work on my "summer cook book"
33. go swimming often
34. make homemade lemonade
35. do lots of crafts with Lulu
36. read great books
37. keep getting lulu to read to me every day
38. have friends over for a BBQ.
39. take my mom for a special lunch
40. take a mini vacay- maybe Taboo or something up North.
41. Check out some music festivals in the city.
42. work on a few creative shoots with big daddy.
43. Blog more frequently.
44. go on a nature hike.
45. organize my music & make some great playlists.
46. have a home spa day with Lulu- cucumbers on the eyes and all.
47. sit on the front porch and watch the sun go down. (if the construction on our street is finished before the summer is over)
48. cat call and whistle at the construction workers on my street. hey if they can do it, so can I.
49. feed some baby ducks...oops already did that. see above photo.

and last but not least..

50. savour every minute of it because before I know it will be over.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

at last

Well summer finally arrived yesterday.
Though it has been summer-ish weather for a while now, at least now it's official.
I'm really looking forward to the end of school and having fun in the sun with my little barnacle.
Yes I said barnacle.
The girl has been stuck to me like glue these past few days.
Nothing really that new there actually, she follows me around from room to room like a little puppy most of the time.
Especially the second I go to the bathroom.
I thought they were supposed to out grow this.
What's up with that?
She is constantly chattering in my ear.
Never wanting to watch T.V.
G-d forbid.
Am I the only parent on the planet that begs their child to just watch a little bit of television each day?
Please? Pretty please?
Or to just hang out by herself and play.
Definitely one of the draw backs of having an only child.
No one to play with other than me.
I get that, and am doing my best (most days) to be sympathetic to this.
It's a constant struggle to remind myself that I should embrace this and that before I know it, she will want nothing to do with me.
Though I hope this never happens.
With the exception of when I'm in the bathroom.

I have a bunch of far more interesting things going on at the moment, and I just got my computer back after almost a week.
Oh how I missed you my sweet apple.
Hopefully I'll get the chance this summer to write about something other than just my little shadow.
speaking of which.

"Yes sweetie I'll be right there to play camping with you"
"sure I'll check and see if we have marshmallows"
At least it's not barbies.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

the bigger picnic

I love cycling through the city parks with Lulu & Big daddy on the weekends.

But somehow after passing by all the picnics in our local park, I always end up feeling so melancholy.

The park is filled with huge groups of people and families having so much fun.
And by the aromas wafting through the air, enjoying so much delicious smelling food as well.
I'm not just talking hot dogs & hamburgers either.
These are by and large "new Canadians" cooking a multitude of flavours from around the world.
There has been many a time when I have wanted to just walk up and ask them what they are cooking.

I love that you see all the generations together spending time together as a family.
Young, old and even the teenagers don't seem to mind hanging out with all the relatives on a Sunday afternoon in the park.
Everyone looks like they are having such a great time.
Nothing fancy or styled out- just good food,family and friends.
And how cool is it that Toronto is so amazingly culturally diverse?
I saw huge families from all over the globe, just hanging out, and enjoying our beautiful green spaces.
Toronto does have so many lush park spaces- we are very fortunate.

So why do I feel so blue when we ride past these make shift park parties?
I guess you could say I'm a bit envious.
I wish we had a huge family (that wasn't neurotic) and that all lived in the same city (country) and loved to spend time together.
I wish I had several generations to help out with the kid(s) when they are (were) babies.
and more importantly, I wish I had all those delicious smelling recipes!

That being said, I do have two first cousins that live here in the city.
One of them is married with a 2 year old and the other just got married last summer.
We get along just fine, but for some reason we are not close.
We didn't grow up together and I guess our families all just do their own things.
I wish it was different, but what can you do?
Maybe I should make more of an effort to try to coordinate a picnic of our own this summer.
Someone has to make the first move, maybe it should be me.

But for now it's just Lulu, Big daddy & I.
I suppose I have to just be grateful for our little family of three.
Or maybe one of these days I'll muster up enough courage and walk over to one of those groups and ask them what exactly is on their grill?
Best case scenario- they ask us to join the party.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

lighten up

Spontaneity is really under rated.
I am sad to say that around these parts, it happens far too infrequently.
We tend to plan things in advance and rarely veer from the "schedule."
But summer is here, and it is short and it really needs to be embraced.

I am happy to report that lately I'm trying to change my control freak ways and just go with the flow.
Last week I think we were out every single night and Lulu stayed up several nights way past her usual 8 o'clock bedtime.
And you know what?
Everything was just fine.
No melt downs or any real attitude changes.
We had last minute BBq's- nothing fancy, no Martha Stewartesque recipes.
Just some frozen burgers, president's choice ribs and bagged coleslaw.
And surprise surprise, it was delicious.
Another night we were stopping by a neighbour's lemonade stand and it turned into a bit of a backyard pool party.
The kids were having so much fun (grown ups too) that we just let them play until it got dark out.
No harm done (minus my mild hangover from too many glasses of wine)

My point is we have all winter to deal with schedules, being on time, rushing from one thing to another.
I need to just remember to have fun this summer, not sorry so much about plans and goals and ultimately not be so up-tight.
Because if I'm completely honest, I do have a tendency to be a wee bit wound up when it comes to the daily grind.
Lulu is at an age now where she can cope if she's a bit tired.
If things don't go as planned each day, who cares?
Life is short and summer is even shorter.