Family is a large part of our lives, we try to dedicate 2 weekends a month to socializing with family. I grew up living near my cousins – it was a benefit as I always had someone my age to hang out and share secrets with. Having a child of my own now I would like Oliver to experience the enriched feeling of having a close bond with family. Fortunately Oliver has two first cousins who are toddlers and adore him to the moon and back.
Our two nieces are the most amazing little girls I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, they are polite, caring, and HILARIOUS! The youngest of the two is currently in love with babies; we recently gave them a picture of Oliver for the fridge but it quickly got snagged and placed beside her bed so she could see baby Oliver before going to sleep at night. CLUCKING ADORABLE RIGHT?!
They were over on the weekend and we went swimming together; seeing the girls play with Oliver in the pool was heartwarming. They swam around each other, popped their heads in and out of the water, made funny faces at Oliver and played under the waterfall with uncle. After an hour and a half Oliver had his fill of the pool and started to become fussy. My two nieces were still ready to go-go-go! It’s amazing how much energy kids have – where did mine go?…
Change rooms! Holy cow! Swimming is a breeze it’s the aftermath that’s hectic. The kids being tired and hungry were not overly cooperative … every moms
dream nightmare! I’m not going to lie babies are easy: wash, dress, put in stroller or playpen; toddlers are a whole new ball game – YOU CAN NOT CONTAIN THEM. My sister-in-law is a champ though and she wrangled those girls up, washed them, dressed them, brushed their hair and somehow also found the time to get herself dressed and out the door same time as myself. I swear she is Hudini…
After giving the little ones some homemade dill pickle soup and buns along with some juice and a bottle for Oliver the kids were all fueled up and ready to play again. (Interested in Dill Pickle Soup? Recipe is included below.)
With full tummies and energy levels boosted the 3 cousins were off having fun again. We recently got a fisher price garden activity centre – this toy is great since it is for ages 6m – 36m. Oliver is not quite old enough to truly play with it but he enjoys the sounds and lights it gives off. My nieces love it; chasing fireflies and ringing the door bell seemed to be the favourites. It was so cool to watch their little brains think when they found a new activity. Watching them trying to figure out what to do with the object as they moved and manipulated it to observe what would happen. Not only was it fun for the kids but our cat enjoyed the toy as there are multi coloured lights that go in a circle on the floor… this toy is really a win-win in our household. SCORE!!!
The girls enjoyed incorporating baby Oliver into their games that afternoon; we played hide and go seek, Jurassic Park, and read stories. I adore the fact that the girls are taking the time to already include their cousin into their games; it just melts my heart. They have accepted him and are eager to be his friend – with their arms literally wide open. I’m looking forward to the next few months as the kids grow a bit older and hit new leaps, it will be beyond astonishing to see and watch Oliver play on his own and with his cousins in the next few months.
Kids can be so darn clucking cute it makes your ovaries ache!
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- 5-1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1-3/4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 cups chopped carrots, smaller dice
- 1 cup chopped dill pickles (smaller dice ~ about 3 large whole dills)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups dill pickle juice*
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Optional garnishes: sliced dill pickles, fresh dill and black pepper
In a large pot, combine broth, potatoes, carrots and butter. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Add pickles and continue to boil.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sour cream and water, making a paste. Vigorously whisk sour cream mixture (2 Tablespoons at a time) into soup. (This will also break up some of your potatoes which is okay. You might see some initial little balls of flour form, but between the whisking and boiling all will disappear. Don’t panic.)
Add pickle juice, Old Bay, salt (*see below), pepper and cayenne. Cook 5 more minutes and remove from heat. Serve immediately.
*All pickle juice is not created equal. Some is saltier than others. Taste your soup after adding the pickle juice and final seasonings. It’s possible you will not need any salt or would prefer more or less.
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