BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Boredom Strikes Again

It was Nikolai's Grammy who filled the void left by Layla's departure.  She spent the weekend with us doing all sorts of fun things.  However, she left on Monday morning, and a week filled with playdates was not sufficient to keep the beast of boredom away.  Thursday the frayed edges of Nikolai's impatience to Be Doing Something Fun was showing through, and today the seam broke.  The monster that forms the heart of a preschoolers boredom could not be contained by a morning in preschool and an afternoon playdate.  He still spent a few brain numbing hours at home while Uliana slept and I did my mommy chores.

Luckily, Auntie Claire will be arriving tomorrow!

The major highlight of the weekend was the Buccaneer Days in Esquimalt
Basically it's the same fair (rides/food) that was at the Tea Party the week before.  But I liked Esquimalt's festival better simply because of the associated craft sale, model train display and the fact that the adjacent field hosted various competitions.
The other activity that filled our week was preparing for Nikolai's 5th Birthday party.  Truthfully the excitement and planning for Nikolai's birthday had started months ago... It's not that he expects boat loads of gifts (it's a no-gift party), it's the idea that intrigues him.  It is the thought of a party where he is the primary planner.  He chooses the activities, the food, the theme, the guests.  He made the invitations, and will be making the decorations.  The exercise that is "the birthday party" extends far beyond cake and presents to a learning experience that encompasses planning, creativity and hosting.

And although all this excitement centres on Nikolai, it does make me think of Uliana.  Christmas is already a time so full of feelings that it seems unfair to throw her birthday into the mix.  Shouldn't she be allowed time to get excited about her special day away from the bluster and bellows of the holiday season?  I am a fan of choosing an alternate birthday, a day that will allow us to celebrate Uliana without the mix of Christmas Carols, a day all of her own.
As we are rolling up to her 6 month birthday... it just happens to fall on date chosen for Nikolai's birthday party.  So I am leaning away from using a 6 month celebration as it would probably seem like a hollow echo next to Nikolai's REAL birthday.

Instead I'm thinking of moving her birthday one month ahead.  Then we could decorate, bake cakes and celebrate Uliana when she turns 1 year and 1 month old.  The end of January is a cold and lonely time.  Surely our household could use the vim and excitement of a party?  Any opinions out there in the blogosphere?  Will moving her birthday to the end of January feel like a empty replacement or a chance to truly celebrate Uliana?

Popcorn Flavours

Popcorn is a cheap and healthier alternative to commercial snack foods (especially if you pop your own).  We don't have a hot air popper, nor a microwave, so we do it over the stove-top in a lidded pot.  If you use high heat and shake often, it takes less then 5 minutes to fill a pot with popped kernels.  We have a few flavour mixes that we like to shake things up.  I use a mixture of olive oil and melted butter on the popcorn, before topping with the flavour mixes.
Sweet Cinnamon
1 tbsp granulated sweetener (date sugar or brown sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger

2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt

Smokey Paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (or I like to use nutritional yeast)

Rosemary Garlic
Add 1 clove of minced garlic and 2 tbsp rosemary to the melting butter.
Add to popcorn: 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup of Parmesan (or nutritional yeast).

Add 1 clove of minced garlic to the melting butter.
Add to popcorn: 2 tbsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup of Parmesan (or nutritional yeast).

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