Today is Vegetable Christmas!
Very early every Tuesday morning we put out our empty cooler and the vegetable fairies come and fill it with local organic heirloom vegetables.
I've been interested in Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) for a couple of years now, and now that Elizabeth has come along we decided to do something about it. Essentially CSA allows farms to sell a share of their crop for the year. You pay a certain amount up front (usually several thousand dollars) and in return you receive a corresponding percentage of that farmer's crop. If the crop does well, you receive a lot of really fresh vegetables. If the crop does less well, so do you.
This is pretty popular in parts of the US and many CSAs exist in Southern Ontario, but even here in Ottawa where it is much less common we found quite a variety of options on the Community Supported Agriculture theme, including an urban version. After hemming and hawing over the various options (we could get fresh eggs! Pick your own flowers! Be forced to spend a few hours in the fields to allow your kids to have a stronger connection to the land!), we signed up with Bryson Farms. While they are a food basket service rather than a true CSA as described above, the big draw was the promise of vegetables all year round.
We get a four-person basket and share it with Uncle Chris & Auntie Yukiko. Elizabeth is posing beside our share of the vegetables. She seems to approve.
This weekend was a weekend of many firsts - first time waking up in a different location, first time travelling more than half an hour from home, first time meeting many great-aunts and uncles, my cousins and of course her great grandparents on my mom's side, and her first time swimming and tubing...
Elizabeth officially turned four months old today. She celebrated by getting up with the sun...
The retreat centre prides itself on being "environmentally friendly", so I decided that it would be too ironic to switch from cloth to disposable diapers while travelling. I regretted this when we got to the retreat centre and discovered that the washer and dryer were coin-operated. Each took a loonie; a challenge since I haven't carried cash for years... More serious was the discovery that the dryer was completely ineffective. I hung them up to dry, but they were still sopping the next morning. We'd packed four backup disposables, but these were gone in an alarmingly short period of time. Luckily it was warm and windy, so we improvised a clothes line (the owner had taken the one that was previously outside down for some reason) and told Elizabeth that she was to stop filling diapers until after the sun had done its work!
Uncle Dave is shown here after learning that the strange pieces of fabric hung out to dry were diapers. He counted 19 and was heard anxiously enquiring as to the time period this represented :)
BTW - Elizabeth's record is 30 diapers in 14 hours.
We've been having lots of adventures the last week or so. I got terribly busy helping Brendan, Grandpa H and Uncle Chris rebuild our deck at the request of our insurance company. Okay, so mostly I looked after Elizabeth (and one day Yukiko and I had fun wrangling all three kids), but I did screw together a support beam all by myself while she napped. We had less than ideal deck building weather - it was dangerously hot followed by dangerously hot and humid.
On Thursday Grandma H, Elizabeth and I headed out on an epic adventure to Durham for a family retreat, via the Big City of Toronto. This was not without trepidation as Elizabeth is not a big fan of the car seat. We've had to pull over on the way to the South Keys Home Depot (less than fifteen minute drive), so we had visions of many, many stops. The men stayed behind to work an extra day on the deck. I was given strict instructions to turn around if we got to Kingston without a break in the crying, so we were pleasantly surprised when Elizabeth slept all the way there! There definitely was some crying - she was done travelling by the time we reached the last service station before Toronto and was not impressed to find out that we expected her to get back in the car, and we've confirmed that travelling around bedtime is not a good idea - but all in all the trip involved much less screaming than we thought there might be.
We stayed with Great-Aunt Muriel overnight and Elizabeth enjoyed her garden very much. Apparently she doesn't know that she's only supposed to look and smell (not eat!) Grandma H and I went to Cloverdale mall on Friday and were quite impressed with their "nursing room", complete with swanky change table. Their family washroom down the hall also had a swanky change table and a tiny seat with straps meant for parking your child while you use the facilities yourself. So of course I had to take a picture!
*Easter Egg Hunt