It never ceases to amaze me how children learn, develop and grow and the rate at which they do all of the above. Little r has just learnt a few new words: Apple + Book. Mama is convinced he is working his way through the alphabet. He was saying “apple” a few weeks ago but one morning, he just woke up and started crawling towards his books saying” book” – just like that, out of nowhere. It’s like the word fairy blessed him while he was sleeping. I love that “book” is one of his first words given how precious they are to me. He seems to know what it means too though I think he thinks “apple” is just any fruit. Also, the way he says apple is too cute – it sounds like “aeh- poh” which sounds in turn like a tibetan pola (old man) saying it. He has also learnt “homa” which means milk (but sounds like “ama” when he says it), “mum-mum” for food and “nya-nya” which means sleep. That covers all the essentials I think. Food, drink, entertainment and sleep – check. He’s set for life.

I was just thinking this weekend of some other things that make me happy. First on that list, quick wins. Things that you can get done quickly, easily and feel good about having accomplished something. Example: This week I went to Dollarama, our local dollar superstore, (shopping spree came to $16. Sweet! Something else that makes me happy. Also on the shopping spree the cutest mock-crocs in the happiest red for little r) and picked up two pieces of 3-D foam art at $1.50 each. What’s that you ask? Foam art is basically a picture on a cardboard that you stick foam sticker shapes on according to instructions and at the end of it, you have a 3D (not in the James Cameron “Avataar” way but in the layered sticker sort of way) piece of art. A kind of stick-by-numbers. Along with that, I also purchased two white frames for $1.50 each. By the end of that night, I had made 2 piece of art, all framed and ready for display. Quick Win. Happy. Love it!

I had noted on my list that family traditions make me happy. Actually, any personal traditions make me happy and on that note, a few friends and I are working on a new tradition. Monthly tea parties! My friends DT& LT came over on Sunday. I got to cook for them (first time making lo-mein and sweet corn soup to accompany it) and watch them enjoy it. Then later on, we went for a long walk in Leslieville, ducking into shops, browsing, laughing at somethings, marvelling at others and convincing each other about the absolute need to buy some of the things. (LT, if you are reading this, I need to see you in that dress, my friend!) On the way, we picked up some goodies (cupcakes from Sweet Bliss and vegan carrot cake from Pulp Kitchen) and headed back to my place to have them as the cafes were closing early on Sunday. Inspired, we brought out the good stuff – china quarter plates for our baked treats, china cups and saucers for our tea and all of it served at the dining table. The treats were yummy, the tea delicious and we felt fresh and rejuvinated as we enjoyed it all. Tea tasted all the better for being shared and being shared in nice china at that. The only thing missing were savoury tea sandwiches and some fresh cut flowers! This is when T had the brilliant idea of making this a monthly tradition. Yes! We decided to do this once a month, on a sunday afternoon (chores would be done and we would have the mornings to sleep in, prepare, etc.), potluck it (thereby taking the pressure off) and keeping it really small (3 of us plus one additional friend KS who also has a bebe) so it would be easier to coordinate. Now let’s see if this keeps up. I have already sent out the invite and am dreaming of goodies that I can bake for the next party!

The other tradition that T + I decided to start last year was Thanksgiving dinner at our house with friends with babies in and around little r’s age. This way, we figured little r would have a set of little ones to grow up with together and memories would be created of these Thanksgivings. I dream of the time when one of these kids would say to the others, “So, I’ll see you at r’s place. We always go there for Thanksgiving.”

We also want to create a tradition of taking a week each year to go away to a cottage on a lake somewhere and expose little r to that most Canadian of Canadian traditions, the cottage life and the outdoors. I’m just imagining this and loving it already.

What are your favourite traditions?

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