Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Days

What I'm Into
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Does time go by faster the better things get? It sure feels like it - in the blink of an eye, my Teeny Little Super Guy has grown nearly ten centimeters and gained two kilograms, and gone from being a cute and sleepy newborn to being cute and bright eyed. He even smiles! May was a great month, and despite spending hours and hours staring at Super Guy, I did some other stuff as well.

my first mother's day flowers
This month I've been reading magazines and baby books. There was a great interview with David Suzuki about climate change in Reader's Digest and some good picnic-type recipes in Chatelaine.

What's Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life by Dr Lise Eliot is a great companion to The Wonder Weeks. It more fully explains the "leap periods" babies and children experience. I feel I can better support Super Guy now that I have a better idea of the changes he's experiencing. For example, a few days ago his nap pattern changed - he seemed to be sleeping poorly in the day and only seemed happy in my arms. I whipped out the brain books, and sure enough, Super Guy was due to experience a "leap" and would soon be able to recognize patterns and separate his interpretation of sensory experiences. I let him be cuddly and brought out toys and activities to support this leap during our play times, and voila - much less stressful for both of us.

super guy freaking out at the pacifier
Not everyone likes to read, and that's okay - with The Wonder Weeks, you can purchase individual chapters for e-readers, or download the app that sends a message to indicate the likely onset of a leap period. 

I've also been putting the rocking chair to good use, reading to Super Guy every night before bed. We finished When We Were Very Young and are now into Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne. I'm aware that he's only seven weeks old and doesn't understand all the words, but I do think he picks up on tone of voice and I like that we're carrying on with our reading routine, which I started when I was three months pregnant and his ears were just developing. It's a lovely, cozy time of day that I hope he will come to treasure as much as I do, for the books and our time together.  

I've been watching a lot more than reading this month - seasons five and six of Friends (my favorite episodes are part of these seasons, including leather pants, crazy running, pottery barn and the triplets). I watch an episode or two while David and I have breakfast and some down time (we get up early, he eats, we play, then he eats again and I have breakfast while he has a little nap).

I'm also nearly done the last season of Mad Men. It seems like things are in motion for some good wrapping up of various story lines. I hope so, because I'm in it for more than the fashion at this point. 
a beautiful rose in parque santander
Tall Guy and I watched Fargo, a very well-done miniseries related to the movie. There are lots of big-name actors, including Colin Hanks, who looks so much like Tom! Good writing, good acting, filmed in Calgary, so great scenery (go Canada!). Billy Boy Thornton was so creepy Tall Guy and I both did a little shiver when a guy with a similar haircut to his character passed us on the sidewalk. We're looking forward to the next season, which will also air in the format of a miniseries, with a whole new cast, thirty years before this season.

May was a big month for celebrations - two babies made their entrance (one was due the same day as Super Guy, and the other was due three weeks before), my brother, father, grandmother, and four friends had birthdays, there were two wedding anniversaries, and I celebrated Mother's Day twice, once on the Spanish date and once on the Canadian date, and my mom was even here for that one. Also, my brother and his fiancee will be moving back to Canada to go to teacher's college!

capturing super guy's hand and foot

I've been out and about with Super Guy quite a bit. It was great to have my mom here - we went out for lots of walks and even some shopping and a haircut (for me, for 99 cents, an opening special at an Oh My Cut! next door!). We went to Las Vistillas, a park I had never been to, for some live music during the San Isidro celebrations, and went on my favourite Madrid walk a few times (from our place to the palace, passing through Plaza Espana and Sabatini Gardens, returning through Parque del Oeste and the Templo de Debod). We ran errands, organized the nursery, and restocked the freezer.

I take Super Guy to Parque Santander a few times a week, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with a friend. The water feature, complete with a wooden deck, provides a seaside simulation, complete with people tanning in swimsuits, that will do when you can't get to the actual sea. We've been sticking to the path through the gardens rather than running, and thousands of roses are in bloom and the lavender is about to come on. A feast for the eyes and nose. 

We made it to church twice this month, once with my mom for Mother's Day, and then today with a friend and her four-month old daughter. It was great to have three generations at the Mother's Day service, which focused on Julia Ward Howe and the original intent behind the holiday, and we sang a song she wrote, Battle Hymn of the Republic. As Canadians, we knew the song but had never sung it before. It's a song that makes me think of Elvis. 

the first balcony meal of the season
Lots of good eats during May - we went to El Barril on Andres Mellado, a very good tapas choice if you're in Madrid (and if you go later on at night, the fresh seafood is half price). Although it is well-known because of the fresh seafood, I highly recommend the roasted artichokes. They were amazing! Such a clean, springy flavour, light on the oil and a nice pinch of salt.

I met some friends for lunch at La Nicoletta, an Italian chain I'd been interested in trying for a while, since Tall Guy often mentions it (there is one near his work and they have a lunch menu). I had a truffle and mushroom pizza. It was enormous and tasty and I ate the whole thing.

a really good burger. i made it.
On the home front, my mom brought me some new recipes. I love the gluten free mug muffins (I am so boring, my favourite is the plain one), and she made a giant batch of giant meatballs (the sauce gets a taste boost from Bragg Liquid Aminos).

I tried a Chatelaine burger recipe that is going in the remake pile - you just shape nice, fresh ground beef into patties and sprinkle with salt. Easy and very tasty. 

really, who needs to make snacks when you can just have these?
We scarfed down a batch of the best gluten and sugar free brownies I have made to date, thank you, comfy belly. I followed the recipe, but mine turned out more cake-like than fudge-like, which I like better anyhow. I also read a review of someone who used date paste instead of honey. I bet that was good, too!

Finally, cherries are in season. Hooray!

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