Suzuki commands, I obey


Last month, I participated in David Suzuki’s 30/30 Challenge.  I did my very best to spend at least 30 minutes outside every day.  And since I’m home full-time with my ten-month-old, I usually dragged her out with me.  We got really lucky and the month of June was, for the most, part, beautiful.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the past month.

C and I joined some friends for our first trip to the zoo.  Of all the animals, C was most afraid of the pygmy goats.  Interesting.

C at the zoo. In the stroller behind her is of her besties.

C tried out the swingset for the first time.  There was a lot of leg-pedalling.  I think she thought that might make her go faster.

C loving the swingset.

We went to a party at the Early Years Centre.  Pete was mostly in it for the hot dogs.

Pete and C heading to a party at the Ontario Early Years Centre.

There was a bilingual outdoor puppet show.

Enjoying an outdoor puppet show at the Early Years Centre.

The next day, we went for a hike along a particularly beautiful section of the Bruce Trail.  We stayed up too late the night before, hence Pete’s sleepiness.

Going for a hike on the Bruce Trail.

C enjoyed the backpack for about ten minutes.  She’s already starting to get annoyed in this photo.

C tolerating a hike.

We got a break from the heat at the shady waterfront park.

Tummy time at the waterfront park.

This challenge did a great job of reminding me to take some time away from errands and tasks and busywork to just get outside and enjoy some quality time with my little family.  Life with a baby can be so hectic, and the time just flies by.  I’m hoping that I can keep this up and take a few minutes every day to get outside with C.  We’re starting July off on the right foot with a trip to the family cottage.

Happy Canada Day!

Challenges are Challenging


That is the kind of insight you’re going to get around here at Bike, Banjo and Baby.  Challenges are challenging and water is wet; that sort of thing.

I’ve realized that although I’m a reasonably outdoorsy person who likes hiking and canoeing and camping and such, it’s actually quite difficult to get outside for half an hour every single day of a month when you have a little person with you at all times.  Even when the weather that month is unusually warm and dry, you still encounter days with torrential rain or gale-force winds.  Babies do not like being outside in torrential rain or gale-force winds.  Other days you just get busy with errands and baby art classes (that is messy, messy business, by the way) and laundry and cooking and you just run out of day.

For the most part, I’ve managed to keep up with the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30/30 Challenge.  I’ve taken photos (whenever I’ve remembered to pack the camera) to document our outdoor time .  Here are some highlights.

C enjoying our front garden from the comfort of her baby Muskoka chair.

C and Pete enjoying our friends’ rooftop patio (lovingly referred to as “Muscle Beach”).

Going for an evening paddle at my parents’ cottage in Cognashene. Bliss.

C’s first dip in Georgian Bay, showing off her splashing skills.

Unfortunately, I did forget the camera when C and I went to an outdoor baby yoga class, and again on Father’s Day when the three of us went for a hike on the Bruce Trail.  I’ll try to be more diligent for the second half of June.

In the meantime, check out David Suzuki’s Flickr group and all the gorgeous photos these outdoorsy Canadians have been posting.

The 30/30 Challenge


I subscribe to David Suzuki’s Facebook updates.  I love, love, love The Nature of Things, I have tremendous respect for David Suzuki and I nearly voted for him for CBC’s The Greatest Canadian.   Unfortunately, David Suzuki’s Facebook and Twitter updates usually have the effect of terrifying me that everything in my house is toxic and will kill us all.  That’s probably true.  But I’m a worrier and often these updates just send me into a worry tailspin.  But once in a while, Suzuki cheers me up with an inspiring call to action, with some words of wisdom, or with a good old-fashioned photo challenge.

Earlier this month, I signed up for The David Suzuki Foundation’s 30/30 Challenge.  I felt a little lost after the adventure race was finished and decided that I needed another project to keep me occupied.  This one is considerably less time-consuming, thank goodness.

Simply, I pledged to spent at least 30 minutes a day outside “in nature” and to capture these moments in photos.  As part of the challenge, participants are encouraged to upload our photos to David Suzuki’s Flickr group.  There are prizes for the best shots.  I have an inexpensive camera that has been dropped a few times and very unimpressive photographic skills, so I’m not really in it for the competition.  June is a really lovely month to spend outdoors, and I figure it’s good to have a little reminder to get outside when life gets hectic.  And it’s been great for C.  She loves being outdoors, and she had a great time today at an outdoor baby yoga class.  It mainly consisted of her doing forward folds to reach for grass she wanted to eat.  But still.  Nature.

I’m not going to post all of the photos I’ve taken so far, because some of them are pretty terrible (the lack of camera skills sometimes lead to fuzzy, out-of-focus shots of our lilacs) and I don’t want to subject readers to that.  But I’ll post some of the highlights throughout the month of June.

C and me (not pictured: Pete) out for a stroll near our house.