It’s been a busy year for us, so we haven’t managed to spend as much time as we would like to outside. Probably due to a combination of work commitments, bad weather, saving money, and the fact that we are both home-bodies at heart. However, when we make the effort to go out, we have a lot of fun. For that reason, we decided that we wouldn’t home on Saturday after our morning classes. As usual, the thee of us went to work from 9am to midday, but instead of staying in for lunch, we put Elijah in his stroller and went for a nice autumn stroll. Along the way we admired the changing leaves and enjoyed the perfect walking temperature. Eli was all bundled up so he ended up falling asleep in no time. What started out as a casual walk turned into a date, and Justin and I really loved this special time together. We ended up at the shopping mall a few blocks from our apartment complex.
We are currently on a mission to save as much money as we can for our trips home (South Africa in February, and the States in July) so we only browsed a little, and then dug through the sale sections, haha! The stores are all filled with super cute baby clothing right now, but it’s all so overpriced. Sometimes we get lucky and find something stylish on sale. We are definitely bargain-hunters! After finding some matching beanies for only $3 each, we quickly left before any damage could be done. With no extra money to waste, clothing stores are best avoided for now. Lately, we go straight to the baby section, check out the sale stuff and then run out of the store. That’s our general game-plan!
Next we went to one of our favourite places for lunch. The restaurant, which serves Yunnan (a south-western province of China) cuisine, was closed for a few weeks for renovation. We were happy to find it back in business because the food is tasty, beautifully presented, and decently priced.
Elijah has become quite interested in anything that we are holding, looking at, or even eating. As you can see, he is staring at the things on the table, and I know what he’s thinking, “oooh, I can gnaw my gums on that!”
We ordered four dishes for lunch. That probably sounds like a lot, but they are all designed for sharing so the portions are moderately sized. We also skip the rice and choose to eat more vegetables and salad instead. All of these Yunnan dishes are super tasty, colourful, balanced, and always full flavour. The green bean dish below is absolutely delicious!
Above is a beef salad with vinaigrette and lime wedges. We were a little surprised that a couple of our favourite dishes, including this beef salad, had changed so much since the renovation, but they were still tasty. Below is a stir-fried dish consisting of eggs, glass noodles, beans, and garlic.
When all of our food had arrived, we put Eli in his stroller for a while. He was, however, lower than us and he couldn’t see what we were doing so he kept “asking” to return to the table. Many restaurants here do not have high chairs for babies, and usually we don’t go out with our stroller so we are quite used to holding Elijah while we eat. One-handed eating has become second nature to us. We cut each other’s food up sometimes to make it easier, but at Chinese restaurants everything is eaten with chopsticks so no cutting is necessary.
Our fourth dish was grilled fish…
We love this little guy so much, and even though his teeth make him a little cranky from time to time, he is still a bundle of joy. We couldn’t be more thankful for this addition to our family! Justin and I want to go on dates and have some alone time, but since we are such a strict budget, we prefer to use our “date-budget” on family dates such as these. When Elijah is taking a bottle (and mommy finally starts pumping) we will go on a few parents-only dates. For now, this is good.
After lunch we stopped by Starbucks to pick up a couple hot coffees and then started walking home. It’s nice that there is a shopping mall in walking distance from our apartment complex. It gives us an excuse to go on longer walks. Elijah was asleep before we even left Starbucks. It must be hard to fight sleep when you are all bundled up and cozy.
It’s Movember… I’d say that we are both equally over it by now. I was over it on November 2nd, but Justin has been less than impressed with his moustache for the last week. Nevertheless, he’s doing well and sticking to the challenge. We walked home joking around, being silly… and just “being us”. Even though Elijah was with us, it felt like we were alone on our date.
There’s nothing better than quality time with the family, and especially with your spouse. I imagine that we will try to do this Saturday-date as often as we can. This was truly a wonderful afternoon. It’s the best thing in the world to be married to your best friend!