24 December, 2007

Hiding from a Band of Rogue Turkeys

It didn't really happen, but it WAS on a cartoon I saw just now.....but it had you going didn't it? Huh? Huh? Didn't it?

Okay, so I'm fully recovered from my illness and useless hospital visit. Since I blogged last, (which seems like an eternity and every day since, I've gotten up thinking 'Oh man! I better post something SOON!') we have been busy. B.U.S.Y. Between Christmas teas, visits to friends we haven't seen in too many months, breakfast get-togethers and the requisite Christmas shopping, we've been so busy that when I checked one of my email inboxes yesterday, I had 104 new messages (don't worry, I'm not that popular, it was mostly junk).

You can be assured that we've taken lots of pictures of the Little Goat and she is as cute as ever, charming the masses with her gummy smile and seeming love of strangers. I'm not sure if I'll post again before we get back to Maine, so just in case, we wish you all a Happy Christmas! We here at Casa J are looking forward to what next year might bring (including a host of brilliant blog posts courtesy of all of you) and pray that God will continue to bless you all immeasurably in 2008.

11 December, 2007

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

There's certainly nothing to get you in the Christmas Spirit like getting up at 4:30am after a crappy sleep (interrupted by a) a crying baby, b) a domestic dispute in the hotel room next door, or c) a combination of both), followed by nearly 11 hours of traveling and airport mishaps, followed by a two-hour car ride home and ending the night (beginning the morning?) with a trip to the ER.
What the???
First things first. Packing went quite well after we were able to borrow a (brand new!) suitcase from Holly & Chris. Our drive down to "Airport City" also went quite well (minus having to turn around to get the stroller we forgot; and minus the fact that I had two emergency bottles in the fridge waiting to go....that are still sitting in the fridge waiting to go). We got a few errands done in the afternoon, grabbed some dinner from Wendy's and relaxed in our hotel room. Then came bathtime with a sink that had no plug and we ended up using the coffee maker container to rinse off the Little Goat. We finally got the LG to bed and at two o'clock, the noise started next door. MUCH noise started next door. Yelling and swearing accompanied by slamming doors and a lot of foot stomping. But they got their's when the LG woke up at 4:30 and was rather fit to be tied. Har!

Getting ready...

I was ridiculously anxious and emotional before getting on the plane, but as God answers prayer, I ended up beside a very nice DOCTOR who works in "Airport City" and the whole day of traveling got off to a really good start! Lucky me, we got to talk shop and it sounds like we have the wrong primary care physician...we should be traveling three hours to see this guy! He was great. (It really is quite fabulous how many people want to help the woman traveling alone with an infant, two carry-ons and a stroller!) Unfortunately, my layover in Detroit which was supposed to be over an hour, ended up being barely 25 minutes and our arrival gate was oh, only on the OTHER SIDE of the airport from the departure gate. It was the fastest diaper change I've ever done, let me tell you! I think we were among the very last to board the plane, though there were a few issues with the clerk finding the appropriate valet tag for the stroller. When we got in to Minneapolis, they couldn't find the stroller so I had to go out of the secure area to baggage claim to hope it was there. Luckily it was there and the super-nice guy who had helped me make sure it got on the plane in the first place, walked me all the way to baggage claim to find it. So I got the stroller and suited up the LG for our hike back to security and let me tell you, security is no place for a woman traveling alone with an infant, two carryons, one stroller, a coat and shoes. I used FOUR bins for all the stuff, plus the stroller and those TSA people aren't the most helpful. Oi.

Through security, we started on our journey to the farthest reaches of the airport for the Minneapolis-Winnipeg flight. Part way there, I stopped to admire the Neutrogena and Motorola vending machines (yes, if you don't already own a cell phone, why not pick one up at the airport?) AND the iPOD vending machine. In all seriousness, an IPOD vending machine?! I grabbed some meager lunch and went off in search of the breastfeeding room. It was really nice and you could basically use it as long as you wanted. We hung out there for a while, then finished the trek to the departure gate only to discover that our flight was going to be delayed for an hour. The plus side was that 1) I ran into a girl that I knew of from college - her and her husband and THREE kids and 2) the airline guy came over to let me know he would pre-board me. Cool (except that some passengers with ants in their pants just can't seem to get out of the way for us pre-boarders)!


We finally got into Winnipeg at 6:30, I grabbed a bagel and some juice at Tim Horton's and we headed home. So to sum up our flying: things went WAY better than I expected! The LG did GREAT (and by great I mean a little bit of crying, but mostly a LOT of sleeping), and we had superior seatmates on every flight and lots of willing helpers with our loot, including one girl who actually carried the stroller through customs when we got into Winnipeg.


Now we get to the 'fun' part. By the time we got into Winnipeg I wasn't feeling all that great, probably from not having eaten much all day and I was pretty dehydrated. By the time we got home, I was feeling so bad I wasn't sure I could get out of the car! Less than 40 minutes later, I ended up on the bathroom floor, shaking like crazy and trying without success to puke up anything. Then I was okay. But at around 2:30am, it started all over again, this time with actual puking, so my parents called our neighbour (a doctor) who suggested that we get to the ER, NOW. So Mom stayed home with the LG, who, bless her heart slept almost until we got home, and Dad took me to the ER, where we accidentally went in through the ambulance bay. Oops.


So after telling my story to at least four people including the receptionist, the doctor finally came in. I got the distinct impression that everybody thought I was way too coherent to be in any pain, but my mental capacity is surprisingly good under pressure. I was having the worst gut cramps EVER. I may as well have been in labour all over again. That's right. IN LABOUR. It was THAT. BAD. Now, if the doctor had looked like this:
I probably would have felt better about his skepticism, because, come on, look at him! But, though he was blessed with blond hair, blue eyes, AND a lovely accent....I was getting annoyed by his insinuations. Mostly, they were figuring I was having an anxiety attack. They ran my blood and urine and didn't come up with anything. Then I remembered my wild card, IBS, and that seemed to change his mind. He determined I was probably just having really bad cramps. So at least I wasn't dying, but damn that IBS. They gave me an antispasmodic shot, which helped the shakes and gut pain significantly, and sent me home with four pills that were supposed to suppress the cramps if they started again. And they did at about 9 o'clock. So MY diagnoses, is that 1) I was severly dehydrated yesterday, having forgotten my water bottle with the two milk bottles in the fridge at home and they never even started an IV (!), 2) I was, for whatever reason, having the worst gas pains in all of history, and 3) I probably ate something nasty that may have manifested itself as some food poisoning.
Whatever it was, I'm feeling MUCH better today. I spent all of yesterday in my jammies, feeling horrid and ate two pieces of toast, cut up into wee chunks, plus about a tablespoon of rice, and sipped lemon-water all day. Starting this morning, I could not get enough to drink! I was just so stinking thirsty! But I've already eaten a bowl of mac 'n' cheese leftovers and I haven't puked once today. Hooray!


So you'll see I only got out of the aforementioned Christmas baking by one day. This afternoon we've started in earnest. And now that I've been typing for nearly an hour, I really should consider going and helping in the kitchen again. *Sigh*

07 December, 2007

Two More Sleeps

Ahhh...the good old days of counting everything by 'sleeps'. We're driving down to the "Airport City" tomorrow morning bright and early. Well, early anyway, the sun might not be up yet. My flight leaves at 8-something on Sunday morning. For those of you who are the praying-type, I'd really appreciate prayer for our weekend traveling, particularly the Husband making the drive back up here by himself on Sunday and for the Little Goat and me spending the day traveling halfway across the continent to Manitoba. I have to say I'm feeling a little on the anxious side about the LG's first plane ride(s); I just hope she's mostly quiet and does a lot of this (sleeping, not almost picking her nose):

I'll let you know when I get there! Well hopefully. My Mom has a lengthy list of Christmas baking waiting for me and we're hosting a Christmas Tea next Thursday so my Mom's hair clients (did you know my Mom is a hairdresser? Maybe I've never mentioned it) can meet the LG. So provided I can sneak away for an hour, I'll let you know how the festivities go!

03 December, 2007

Fancy-Pants Birthday Man!

Not only is today Ozzy Osbourne's birthday, it's also The Husband's birthday. And not only is it The Husband's birthday, it's also National Day of Disabled Persons. Not to be confused with...The Husband's birthday. Har! Just kidding! (No really, it's okay. He was just standing right here, read that, and kissed me. I think I'm okay.)

In honour of this, his 27th birthday, we had friends over yesterday (before the big storm) and ate soup and cake and watched the Little Goat spew forth what appeared to be an entire day's worth of stomach-contents....all with a smile on her face.

The Husband's birthday cake was this, which I was sure was going to result in both of us having to be ROLLED out of our house to the hospital for a stomach-pumping in the middle of the night - it was THAT rich. A fabulous fabulous cake, but just so stinking rich (if you ever decide to make it, cut down on the ganache by about 1/3, there was far too much of it)! And no, we did not adorn the cake with 27 candles.....mostly because we don't have 27 candles, but more because I'm anti-blowing-out-candles-on-cake. Instead, I lit a match and stuck it in The Husband's piece of cake. No word on the wish yet.

Today, presumably also in honour of the Birthday Man is the mass amount of snow which is presently falling at a very leisurely pace. It would have been the perfect day for walmarting since everybody around here makes a huge deal about these storms (which are really never "that" bad) and the store might actually be tolerable today; but we are at home, watching the snow fall, petting the cats, reading blogs and funny facts* and The Husband is making some of his fancy-pants bread. Fancy-pants because it requires a starter which is something I will never have the patience for.

So Happy Birthday to my Birthday Man. It's so good to have you home from work for a whole week. Better still to have had you with me for a whole 'nother year! I love you!


*For example: Did you know that in the Yucutan Peninsula, locals eat iguana tacos, "made from Gallina de Palo, meaning 'tree chickens'?"

01 December, 2007

You Should Bake This...

...and then eat it. Post haste.

We make this a lot around here in the Fall-time because it is FABULOUS. It's from the November 2005 issue of Everyday Food which is a great little magazine if you love food and you eat it everyday and you can swing the subscription $.

Pumpkin Spice Cake (as seen here)

1/2 c. melted butter, plus a bit to grease the pan
2 1/2 c. regular flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (OR: 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ginger, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, and
1/8 tsp EACH allspice and cloves)

2 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin

1. Preheat the ol' bakeroo to 350. Grease a 9-inch pan.
2. Blend dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt, spices). In a bigger bowl, whisk the rest together (butter, eggs, pumpkin, sugar). Add dry ingredients to wet, mix gently until smooth.
3. Turn batter into prepared pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbly crumbs on it. Cool the cake 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
4. When the cake is cooled completely, you can serve it as-is or top it with some variety of cream cheese icing (just none of that store-bought crap - really, if you can bake a cake, you can make icing).

Okay, so I didn't copy the recipe word-for-word. I'm quite sure Martha would never allow the word 'crap' to be used in any of her recipes, nor would she EVER refer to an oven as an "ol' bakeroo" (how scandalous!).

Also, when I make it, I try to healthierlyify it a little bit by adjusting the following:
  • instead of the 1/2 c. of melted butter, use 1/4 c. melted butter and 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce (makes for a slightly moister cake too)
  • use anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 c. less sugar
  • use about a Tbsp less flour and throw in the equivalent of ground flax seed (this also gives it just a tinge of nutty flavour)
  • if you want to get really crazy, you can also throw in a couple Tbsp of fibre powder or protein powder without causing any noticeable damage to the cake; just don't tell your Husband because he might not appreciate the healthalicious quality of his dessert being in any way tampered with.
I'd give you a recipe for the icing too but the one I used last time was one I found online and played around with a bit and of course, never wrote any notes about. Oh! you can also make this cake in a Bundt pan or a loaf pan (but you'll have to bake it 25-30 minutes longer in a loaf pan and cover it with foil if it starts to brown too quickly). If you bake it as a loaf, it would taste equally as good by the slice, spread with homemade applesauce....but then that just wouldn't be quite enough calories for a pumpkiny treat, now would it? You decide.

30 November, 2007

Aaaaaand, We're Back*

*Also known as: Stranger in a Stranger Land, The Lost Years

Okay, so it hasn't exactly been years, but it's been too dang long at any rate! How I've missed you all! I've spent the last couple days trying to catch up on all my blog reading and I haven't quite made it yet, but I'm getting there.


I've got lots of great pictures to post but since this computer is new (hooray! and thanks for the donation - You Know Who You Are!) and I'm confused about some things, it screwed up the memory card before I had a chance to resize the pictures; so all the pictures are in big sizes which means two things: 1) they might take forever to load and 2) they might not show up for you at all. My apologies in advance.
Crazy hat day, complete with drool.

Apres vet-trip. Poor Pickles had more knots in his fur than we could comb out.

Just being cute!

First time in her snow suit, which she is SWIMMING in. Hah!

And without further adieu....here's your first peek at the Little Goat in action. I hope this video works. This all happened quite unexpectedly last night and now I think we're asking for trouble....my little prediction about poop (listen for it, it's there) certainly came true. Gack! It was AWFUL! Anyway, it's good to be back. Enjoy!

video

20 November, 2007

Incommunicado

(Is that how you spell that word?)

In the next few days, I will be busily working on a eulogy. That's right, my bloggity friends, a eulogy. For our computer. In the time it took to run upstairs and change a diaper on Sunday afternoon, it died. It's cold lifeless body lies still on the couch waiting for a transfer of its soul to another grey machine.

I'm blogging from the library today and this'll be it until we get a new computer which will hopefully be by the end of next week if not sooner.

I'll miss you all. Will you wait for me?

17 November, 2007

It's Thanksgiving Potluck Night!

Some time I'll have to give you all the recipe. The icing was sort of made up but turned out pretty well.

16 November, 2007

While You're Watching the Snow Fall

While I think the u.n. is pretty much the devil, this game does appeal to my wordy-ness (not to be confused with nerdy-ness). I just hope the rice gets to those who need it most.

Drip, Drip

"Tomorrow morning is going to be just nasty." That's what the weatherman actually said on the news yesterday. Way to make us even more excited about the impending snowy gloom, Mr. Wilson!

A whole lotta years ago when Bon Jovi (edited: I've just been informed it was Guns 'n' Roses - sorry, Bryan) came out with that song 'November Rain,' I was stupefied. Rain? In November? What the heck? Growing up in Manitoba where it could get cold enough to freeze off your fingernails, this business of rain in November seemed quite ludicrous.


Now that I've lived in latitudes further south, I've begun to understand this "Cold November Rain." When November comes, so do The Rains* and this year is no different. With the likely exception of about three hours, it has now been raining for the last DAY. It is cold and grey and dismal, but the grass is still green (in November!) and the birds still flock to the feeders filling up on seed for the winter to come. Thankfully, I sit in my warm house with my warm cuppa, the (mostly) lovely company of two warm cats and one warm baby; and one comfortably warm computer on my lap.

Tonight this cold rain will turn into even colder snow (the first Storm cometh) and the green grass which still reminds me that summer was just here will be blanketed with soft, and cold, white snow....all before I've even had a chance to replace the Thanksgiving decorations with an Advent Calendar, a Nativity display, and some snowman napkins.

Perhaps I ought to go make another cup of tea.

*Note to Self: Remember to check availability of Gopher Wood at Lowe's.

12 November, 2007

Silly Me...

....here I was wondering what to post today when I remembered hey! The Little Goat just got a high chair yesterday and she hasn't been in it yet!


(Yes, those ARE plush Peeps.)

06 November, 2007

Oh, Right, it's Tuesday

But I was beginning to wonder if it was Monday all over again.
  • A second round of jeans I ordered didn't fit again. I feel like Goldilocks; the first ones were too long (a defect in the labeling according to my measurements), now these ones are too short. Argh!
  • Then I made bread and forgot to do the second proof and though I'm sure it will taste fine, it is short and stubby looking.
  • It was snowing again this morning. Only a bit, but still!
  • For the second night in a row, I had to get up three times. Oh. So. Tired.
  • We also found out last night that our flights Home for Christmas have been changed AGAIN and the return arrival time of 11:15pm we were trying to avoid is now the only available option. I hope the people on that last flight have earplugs - they're gonna need 'em.
  • Oh, and to top it all off, I went upstairs last night to change the LG's diaper and found one of our cats in her crib. I was SO angry! We hadn't had a problem with either of the cats at all since the LG came and now this. So the immediate solution is to keep her bedroom door closed, but for the sake of ventilation and being able to hear her, we don't like to do that. It's fine at night because the cats are out in the garage, but the LG takes a nice long nap on most afternoons....
On the plus-side, however, the Little Goat actually slept until her 'normal' time this morning (and she's started making the cutest noises now!) so I did get a few things done - like screwing up the bread, and yesterday we found the PERFECT Christmas present for my brother online and it was actually exactly within our budget. Woohoo!!

I think I'll go try out the stubby bread.

05 November, 2007

Loathing

Dear End of Daylight Saving Time,

I've got a bone to pick with you....you sleep-stealing, schedule wrecking, harbinger of the dark days of winter!
Just when we were getting settled into a new (and I should add, nearly perfect) sleeping routine around here, YOU had to show up and ruin everything!

Absolute chaos! That's what yesterday and today have been! You know how in the morning I get up and eat breakfast with the Husband, get his lunch ready, eat breakfast, have devotions and then get some chores done? Well not today! No thanks to YOU. Our Little Goat was up by 8am. A full hour and one-half earlier than expected. Number of chores done? ZERO. Argh!


Signed,


Cranky Mom in Maine


P.S. Although you, End of Daylight Saving Time, have pretty much ruined this particular Monday, you couldn't ruin the bright spot of good mail - thanks for the package, Mom!

01 November, 2007

Little Pepper

So Halloween was yesterday. Holly & Chris were coming over after work, so on his way home from work, the Husband raced over to Walmart for candy and a pumpkin to carve. He had to call me three times to consult about the candy and the Halloween aisle was already half CHRISTMAS!! He brought home a giant back of all things Reese's (the remainder of which is traveling around with him in his car so it's far away from me all day!) and a big bag of Lemon/Apple/Grape/Cherry-heads, plus Atomic Fireballs, Red Hots and Jaw-breakers. We also raided the stash of Dum-Dum Pops to add to the loot.

And it was crazy! We had - get ready for it - FIVE whole Trick-or-Treaters, plus a mom. Five. Maybe it's because our street is too dimly lit or because it didn't look like hardly anybody else was giving out candy. That's too bad. I'm not the biggest fan of Halloween as a 'holiday,' but I do enjoy the giving out of candy and seeing all the kids in their costumes (the LG was a chili pepper). Needless to say, the kid that came T-or-T'ing by himself got one huge haul of candy!

Our Little Goat Pepper

Just so you know she was actually happy
in her costume - at least for a little while.
(You'll have to ignore my gigantic honker in the picture.
Look at the shadow that thing leaves!! Gack!)



*****************
More success on the sleeping front. The LG was fast asleep in her crib by 10:20 last night. The Husband's alarm clock went off this morning and we were both surprised not to find a wee baby in our bed! So I woke her up just long enough to change her diaper and feed her and back to sleep she went. It's almost 9 and she's still sleeping away. Ahhhh, my grin from yesterday is still holding!

31 October, 2007

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Is that the sound of angels singing??

Last night, Tuesday, 30 October 2007, the Little Goat slept 'through the night'
IN
HER
OWN
CRIB!


Oh, Friends, it was BLISS. I fed her at 8:30, we had bathtime and winding-down time at 9, fed a little after her bath and at roughly 10pm she was laying in her crib (she was awake when she laid down). We did not hear a peep until 4:08 AM. Then she came in with us (good thing, because her little feet and hands were rather like icicles), she ate, and she's still sleeping at 6:30, and hopefully all this sleeping won't wreck the schedule I've come to enjoy in the mornings. (May I also mention that she had a one-hour nap in her own crib yesterday afternoon too? )

The first half hour of OUR sleep was that tense sleep that parents sleep after they've just FINALLY gotten their child to sleep in her own crib and they're waiting on pins and needles with knots in their stomachs nearly panicking every time they hear one tiny little house-creak or moan, terrified that their Little Goat will awaken. But
we had such a great sleep and I couldn't be happier at the moment. So picture me, grinning my best Cheshire cat grin!

30 October, 2007

And So it Begins...

This is what happens when I write posts ahead of time and wait for the opportune day to post them; they're dated and now that Fall has Officially passed, they're almost no longer relevant! Boo!

THIS was how our day started:

Shortly before 7 this morning. (With the flash so you can see that it's still snowing.)

Shortly before 7 this morning - without the flash so you can see the real damage.

Two hours later. It's. Still. There.*

So here is the original post that I obviously should've just posted the day I wrote it. It was originally titled "My Friend, the Clove."

Two Saturdays ago I was sitting nicely by a pier enjoying an ocean view and getting sunburned. Today I'm curled up on the couch with the laptop warming my cold legs and a steaming cup of tea warming my innards. I've read a lot of posts recently about just this phenomenon: when the weather begins to turn cool, the sparks of brilliantly coloured leaves begin to fade, and the air is filled with the sweet smells of fall: decaying leaves and the slightly acrid smokiness of homes being warmed by log fires, it's time to cook! It's that time of year when I so often get to go outside and say, "Oh, [the Husband]! It smells like Halloween!" (I equate all these delicious fall smells with Halloween, it's a childhood habit I can't quite shake.)


Around here, people take the turning of leaves and the end of harvest quite seriously. A home that stands naked of corn stalks, bales, pumpkins and other fall decorations is an anomaly. Last year, as we expect with this year, we saw more decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving than we did for Christmas! And all this fall perfectness, while a deafening harbinger of frosty, nope, make that
frigid winter days to come, puts me in the mood for comfort food. So today I'm going to share two of my favourite fall recipes with you. In fact, I might decide to share recipes with you more often because as many a blogger would tell you: It's great filler! (har!)

Recipe #1: Hot Apple Cider a la Crockpot

You'll need:

One 1-gallon jug of apple cider (support a local farmer!)

3 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp. each ground allspice and
ground cloves (if you're like me and you're having a love affair with cloves - and allspice simultaneously - add a wee bit more)

Directions: Pour the cider into the Crockpot. Add the cinnamon sticks. We don't have anything fine enough to put the ground spices in without them leaking out so I dump them into the middle of a coffee filter and tie up the top with string - but make sure to leave some room for the juice to mingle with the spices in the filter. Set the Crockpot to High and in about an hour,
voila, you've got hot spiced cider!

Note: If you don't have access to apple cider, just use a can of frozen apple juice concentrate mixed with FOUR cans of water.


Recipe #2: Creamy Potato Soup

You'll need:

4-6 pretty good sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, also chopped
2-3 tsp. chicken or vegetable boullion
1/2 c. Miracle Whip LIGHT

Optional: Milk, bacony bits, shredded cheese, chives.

Directions:
Put all your chopped veg in a soup pot. Add the boullion, cover with water and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until all the veggies are completely cooked. Puree in batches in the blender (be extra careful with hot liquids in a blender - or, if you have one, use a hand blender in the pot). Return the soup to the pot, add the Miracle Whip and heat through. If it seems too thick, you can add a bit of milk. This soup is superb with homemade buns or biscuits and it's perfect for a chilly night. ALSO, it's ready in LESS THAN a half hour so bonus points for that!

Note: If you want to reduce the starch content of the potatoes, put them in the pot on their own and cover with water. Let stand for a half hour and rinse thoroughly.


Okay, that's it. Enjoy!

*Pursuant to the code of my snippet of inner optimist, I will admit that this is sentimentally significant being that it'll be the first time the Little Goat will see snow (and be potentially blinded by it).

28 October, 2007

This Just In!!!

Guess who just rolled over?!?! (Nope, it wasn't The Husband.) Yup, it was the Little Goat! Well from her belly to her back, but only once when Dad came down to watch.

Har. Har.

Just thought I'd let you all know that the aforementioned Sour Cream Pumpkin Bundt Cake wasn't a total loss. The Husband is on-call this weekend and got called in this morning at 5:20. He nearly tripped over the garbage bag sitting just outside the front door (awaiting its trip to the garbage can around back). Wild beasts (presumably wolverines or badgers*) attacked the bag in the night and all that was left of the cake was a smattering of crumbs all over the walkway.



*Probably more like skunks or a cat. I just think wolverines and badgers sound more exotic!

26 October, 2007

Just Pictures Today

First laying-on-her-belly experience when she didn't cry!

First time in the Johnny Jump-Up.
There wasn't much jumping, but there was a
lovely puddle of drool on the floor when we finally took her out.


The flash doesn't go over very well.

25 October, 2007

Mish Mash

Yesterday was not the very best of days. It started when I got up early as per my new AM schedule and got a few things done before going back to sleep on the couch downstairs. At 8:45, a full TWO hours before the Little Goat usually wakes up, the phone rang. I realize the woman calling couldn't possibly have known that the LG was sleeping, but I was so irritated! So of course, she woke up and the whole day was wonky after that and there was NO afternoon nap to be had!

I also tried a new recipe, Pumpkin Sour Cream Bundt Cake. Well, it flopped. I don't usually have flops on the first try, it's usually on a subsequent attempt when I'm actually making something for a specific occasion. Well, not yesterday. I assembled said pumpkin cake, doubling the filling as instructed by my Mom. It baked for an hour after which The Husband checked it and deemed it "Done!" I should've known from the weig
ht of the pan that it really was no where near finished baking. I waited the half hour the recipe said to before I inverted the pan onto a plate and oh, onto ALL of the counter surrounding the plate. It OOZED out. So I dumped it in another pan. Too small. Then dumped it in a casserole dish which I proceeded to bake for another half hour. It was still goopy in the middle. By the time I had taken it out, it had baked for nearly two hours. It was pretty dry and well, awful! But I made a bit of the orange glaze and we scooped out the moister parts in the middle. It did have a good pumpkin flavour. Oh well. In other news, The Husband has changed his mind AGAIN about what kind of birthday cake he wants this year (not till December but this is an important topic so it gets discussed early). I had plans to make a homemade version of a Dairy Queen Blizzard cake, but now he wants this. Hopefully it will turn out on the first try.

This past Sunday, we went over to Chris & Holly'
s to celebrate Holly's birthday. I made cake and we brought over pizza. I got to play some sort of Tetris game on Chris' X-Box and then we watched a few episodes of Creature Comforts America. If you have not seen this show, you are missing out! It's hilarious! Anyway, it was Holly's birthday, but she gave me a present too! Isn't that a pretty pumpkin?

23 October, 2007

Living in the Dark

In a the most recent issue of Smithsonian, there is an article entitled "Creatures of the Deep!" The article shows pictures from a new book called The Deep by Claire Nouvian, which details life in ocean depths of 650 feet and beyond. The pictures are of newer-ish-ly discovered microorganisms that live in the deepest waters of the sea. This article is funny because it profiles such fantastically named creatures as the Gulper Eel, droopy sea pen, ping-pong tree sponge, the Yeti crab (which looks like a tiny crab with these silly long front claws that appear to be covered in white Christmas tinsel); as well as my personal favourites, the Googly-Eyed Glass Squid and the Pigbutt Worm. You may think I'm making these all up, but I am not. Which leads me to the following conclusion: Either these scientists are bullied high school nerds all grown-up and exacting their vengeance on the world by naming newly discovered creatures the mostly ridiculous names they can come up with OR they are bullied high school nerds all grown-up studying ridiculously-named sea creatures because since they're already nerdy, it can't get any worse.

Hello, I'm Dr. Dorky McFly and I'm a marine biologist. I make the big bucks studying Googly-Eyed Glass Squid and Pigbutt Worms. No it's true! Please stop laughing!

Seriously. Pigbutt worms??

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On Sunday morning, the Little Goat and I were sitting in church on the pew in front of a collection of Little Old Church Ladies. At some point while we were sitting there, the LG received the strangest compliment she may ever hear: "Oh, my! Just look at those STRAIGHT eyes!"

20 October, 2007

Musical Musings

Erin over at Whitekirk tagged me for a Music Meme she made up. That's right - she started her own, which makes me think I could start my own sometime too. What I need to write is The Complete Menno Meme, but I don't know enough other Mennos or MennosbyAssociation who blog to make it worthwhile so maybe I'll come up with something else. Or maybe not. I'm babbling so we'll get on with it.

What song is in your head?

Gack!! The minute I read this, the song that popped into my head was The Wassail Song or A Winter Wassail or whatever it's called. I'm such a geek.
Here we go a-wassailing among the leaves so green....

Those might be the lyrics. Then again, they might not be, and that might not even be the song title, because certainly while one might go "a-wassailing," it is in fact an activity closely related to Christmastime and would the leaves still be green? I'm not sure. I suppose on the leeward side of southern Britain....

What is the newest album in your collection?

Oh, Gravity, by Switchfoot. I got it sort of by accident but I’m glad I did – I love it!

What is the top album on your wish list?

I like Erin’s suggestion of the Three Musical Fables. Really, I don’t have any on my wishlist, which come to think of it, IS rather surprising. I have some CDs sitting in my music club cart which I suppose would be on my wishlist, but since I can't even remember what they are....oi, this is pathetic.

What is the most recent live music event you have attended?
Oh boo!! I live in the sticks. The most recent live music event I’ve attended is church! Hah!

What is the top live music event on your wish list?
Living around the East Coast, there’s a ton of events I’d like to go see but they're usually a) too expensive and b) too far away. There’s this precision pipe and drum group from Halifax called Squid playing in Fredericton on the 28th of October, but that’s too far to go, plus taking the LG along...


What are the top three albums currently in rotation at your house?
This is embarrassing.

  1. Switchfoot. Well, okay, that one's not embarrassing.
  2. Is it Time for Bed Already? Or something like that. One of the CDs the LG got. I don’t mind it because it’s actual instruments as opposed to some of that Little Einstein keyboard uselessness.
  3. Kids' Praise 2, featuring Psalty the Singing Songbook and since it's a copy of the performance we did at my church about *choke* 20+ years ago, it also features my friend Jeffrey who was missing his two front teeth at the time. If you know who Psalty is, congratulations, you are old!
As for tagging other readers...Erin already tagged the ladies who read my blog the most so I'll tag some 'newer-ish Friends.' I think I'll tag Beth over at Beautiful Day, NoMotherEarth (because with a baby due in a month, it's not like she has anything else to do; and I'm going to go out on a limb here and tag BubandPie, who may or may not have a million other memes waiting to be done (popularity has its occupational hazards, I think). Thanks, Ladies!

19 October, 2007

Other Great Fall Events

It seems I forgot to mention a couple of important happenings which occurred during the duration of my parents visit!

1) The Little Goat got a new bouncy seat to replace the one we had on loan from friends and it's great! It has NO lights, optional (but of course, annoying) sounds, five reclining positions, and FOUR places to hang toys from! It came with two great 'action' toys and two plastic, water-filled things that look like teething rings, but we've replaced one of those with 'The Car Keys.' So far, the Goat loves her new seat! Particularly the bear toy with rings on the bottom.

*Sorry if you can't see the picture.
It's the wee goat fast asleep in her seat.

2) Did I post a while back about the possibility of the Husband getting a sort of promotion at work to start cross-training into a different department? Well, I hope I did otherwise when I tell you that he got the job, it won't mean as much. So guess what!? He got the job!!! They had done interviews the Wednesday before we left for our Bar Harbor holiday and somebody from the department came to talk to him later to tell him that they would let him know by the end of that day. But then somebody else from the same department came and told him that they couldn't actually tell him until Monday. Well when we got home that Saturday night, there was a message on the machine from the Husband's new boss to tell him that she had good news about the job! Then on Monday, they made it official! He is SO excited and I am SO proud of him! He's already been in the department a couple days this last week and will hopefully be able to get on some sort of training schedule soon. In the meantime, he's studying hard for his Advanced Cardiac Life Support class this coming weekend. Good luck, (Husband)! I know you can do it!

3) Oh yeah! Almost forgot - I found $200! Woohoo!!

17 October, 2007

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Signs We Saw on Holiday



*EDITED: Well once again, Blogger has let me down and I read claims that no one can see the pictures, which is strange because when I open Blogger on my computer, I can see the pictures just fine. At any rate, the first picture is a sign that says:
Take A - Drink
WHIZ
"A Better Beverage"

The second sign says:
Husband keep you up
SNORING?
SILENCE HIM
with the
AMAZING
Snore Mute
Jaw Muzzle

Sold at Better
Drugs & Dry Goods


15 October, 2007

Is it Monday Already?

Most of you know that I rarely blog this early in the day but it's not even 7am yet and this day is special. Not special as in 'Oh, isn't that special,' but "special" as in 'Oh, isn't that just special.' (It really only works if you say it in a tone dripping with sarcasm.)

We were awakened by a 'hungry' screaming baby (how can you seriously be hungry? you've been eating all night wee Goat?!). Only maybe it's not hunger? At what age do babies start having bad dreams? Anyway, I got up to change her because I figured she'd be wet and I was sure I was already 'smelling' something. She wailed through the entire change. Then I put her back in her crib so I could go wash my hands. The Husband walked blearily into the bathroom.

Me: Really? It's that time already?

The Husband (groggily): Yeah.

Me: I thought you set your alarm?

The Husband: Me too. I think I must've turned it off in my dream. Only it was real.

Me: Gahhhhhhh!

So instead of my usual morning routine, wherein I feed the Goat and get up to get the Husband's breakfast ready and get all his stuff (lunch, pen, ID badge, etc.) ready for work, feed the cats, and then go back upstairs and sit in the spare room and pump whilst I have my quiet time, I am sitting here BEFORE 7am, blogging.

So The Husband has already left for work. He's fed, the cats are fed, and I was partially fed. Then the Little Goat woke up. Again. Then she came downstairs and while I tried to feed myself with her perched in my lap, I dumped most of my cereal bowl on my leg, the chair, and the floor. T-minus two minutes until the Husband is supposed to leave for work.

I plop the Goat down in her new bouncy seat and she is momentarily content. I trip upstairs (no really, I did trip) to put on different pajama pants only to realize that they got mixed up in the laundry when my parents were here and my Mom has now 'stolen' my only other flannel jammies and it's COLD in here. Sweatpants it is then.

Back downstairs, The Husband is ready to walk out the door. A kiss for me, a kiss for her and

Me: You're not really wearing slippers to work are you?

TH: I would've looked pretty dumb walking across the parking lot wearing slippers.

Me: You said it.

So. The Husband is gone to work, the cats are fed, the cheerios and soymilk mess are cleaned up off the kitchen floor (the chair cushion will have to be washed later and the pajama pants are ready to soak in the sink upstairs), the Little Goat is in her chair. Hungry. And Drooling. Again.

(I know you'll forgive me for switching 'tenses' multiple times in my post this morning. On the other hand, I AM Canadian so it's inherent in my writing style already, isn't it?)

12 October, 2007

In Which I am Sunburned...In October

My parents left on Tuesday morning and ever since, it's been grey and cold and rainy outside. How fitting.

When my Mom (a.k.a. Magic Grama) was here, the Little Goat took a nap nearly every afternoon thanks to Mom's persistence, so Tuesday and Wednesday this week were fine. Yesterday? I think she 'napped' for 15 minutes. I just don't have the patience to sit and rock in that chair for that long! Additionally, the Magic Grama, in a combined effort with the Husband, had marked success in getting the Goat to take a soother! Woohoo! In other baby-related updates, the Little Goat is getting more smiley and giggly every day. She has to be growing with how much she's been eating lately, but she seems pretty content.

While my parents were here, we took a little holiday down to Bar Harbor for a weekend. It was crazy-full of tourists but a really fun little place. Friday afternoon, my parents took the Little Goat so the Husband and I could have an actual date! We went out for coffee (at a place conveniently owned by some folks from Seattle so we knew the coffee would be good), went out for dinner at this great little pub called The Thirsty Whale (do whales really get thirsty?) and then went mini-golfing at a Pirate's Cove mini golf place! We haven't been mini-golfing in ages and it was the "Golf Pro's" day to lose! By 13 points! HAR!

On Saturday, Dad & the Husband went on a Lighthouse Cruise while Mom, the Little Goat and I sat in the park and ate lunch and just enjoyed the warmth of the day. That was all AFTER we had sat by the pier all morning soaking up sun and watching cruise ship tourists come ashore whilegetting sunburned!! Yes, every one of us got sunburn. In October.

[I had more to say but I was just horribly distracted by a Dairy Queen commercial advertising a PUMPKIN PIE BLIZZARD! My mouth is watering!]

Here are some pictures from our trip just because everybody loves pictures, right? (Okay, and because I can't remember what else I was going to say.)

To the left of the pumpkin is a bizarrely skinny watermelon.

Acadia National Park & a view of the Atlantic.

Rocks on the beach.

Bill & Bob's ice cream shop - famous for homemade Lobster ice cream.

10 October, 2007

For Posterity

On Sunday, September 30th, we had a baby dedication service for the Little Goat at church. She did great! She looked so sweet in her little stripey dress and fancy black shoes and didn't make a peep until we sat back down! My parents were able to be there which made it extra special for me and her 'Auntie Holly' was there too. After church, we met up with 'Uncle Chris' and we all went out for lunch. Holly & Chris came over later for celebratory banana/walnut cake and hot cider. The Little Goat got three new books too! A book about colours, one about farms and farm animals, and her very first Bible!

Here's a condensed excerpt from the service!

Pastor Jim:
(The Husband) and (Bren J.), will you love and respect each other so that through your marriage (the Little Goat) will have a c
lear understanding of Christ's love for His Church? Will you faithfully walk with Christ, continually pursuing greater spiritual maturity and holiness? Will you faithfully pray for her salvation as you teach her the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ? Will you teach her the truth of God's Word and to trust it implicitly? Will you teach her to actively worship and serve with other believers in a local church, wherever the Holy Spirit leads you?

Us: With God as our Helper, we will.

What an opportunity....

24 September, 2007

For this Thing Called Wordless Wednesday:


+



=

!!!

While We Were Out...

...the anniversary of my first blog post came and went. Oh well. Maybe something exciting will happen for my two-year anniv.

My parents are visiting for a few weeks and on Saturday morning we went to the Farmer's Market and then to The Husband's work so my Dad could get a tour. Then we drove to this Mennonite bakery/cafe about 20 miles a
way. It was tasty but crowded in there and just before our food came, I was holding up the Little Goat and my Mom noticed something running down her leg. ARGH!! All over her shirt, my sweater, almost my pants, and definitely her pants! So a very important note to you all: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WASTE YOUR MONEY ON TEDDY'S CHOICE DIAPERS FROM SUPERSTORE!!! THEY. SUCK. Every time (and I'm almost not exaggerating all - really!) we've had a major issue with leakage and as you know, it's irritating. So consider yourselves forewarned.

Okay, so after our semi-harrowing lunchtime experience (oh, did I mention we had to change her on the floor of the front seat of the car because the cafe has no public bathroom?), we headed back to town and stopped at a roadside stand for a photo op and some pumpkins. This place was great!
Everything a pumpkin stand should be. Hopefully next year, the Little Goat will be able to pose by herself on the bales.

Without further adieu.....Mmmm....pumpkins....

It's cold! It's windy! It's our very first family picture!

Somebody is NOT happy to be posing by some pumpkins.
Let's hope it's not an early sign of an aversion to pumpkin pie!!

18 September, 2007

Which Side Are You On?

For my first ever "Hump Day Hmm"....and don't get excited cause it could just as easily be my last (*smile*):

Hah! Now this I find amusing.

Busyness

I've actually had time to be a little busy in the last few days. The Husband (he prefers having the word "The" in front of his moniker until such time as I can think of a creative/catchy bloggy nickname for him) and I cleaned like crazy on Saturday and got a lot done. He finished installing ceiling tiles in our spare bedroom in anticipation of my parents arrival today. Only my Mom just called from Vermont to say they'd be in tomorrow sometime instead. Seems they did some, er, backwoods exploring late last night. We can relate.

Anyway, I thought I'd show you a few pictures of what I've been up to. Broadcasting it further gives me a sense of accomplishment in the Mom Department. Not that any of the canning happened in great quantities, but still.


Saturday: Bread & Butter pickles - those black things are peppercorns. The recipe called for too many of them!

Monday: That, my friends, is lemon curd. My all time favourite topping for almost anything!
(Canned before 7:30am yesterday morning.)


Monday: Cookies for The Husband's work potluck/baby shower lunch tomorrow.

Also Monday: I have ALWAYS wanted to learn how to fold towels like that and finally last night I had the time to figure it out!

Sunday: The Spare Bedroom, all ready. Leaving a basket (or in this case a bread bowl) of goodies in the Spare Room is a tradition my Mom started. A welcome basket of treats! And yes, the paint on the walls is called Lemon Spritz, and yes, it's blinding (!), because, yes, The Husband thought my Buttercream colour craving was too pale.*





*And yes, we're painting over it. Hah!

15 September, 2007

Here We Go A-Bloggering...

I have, once again, been slacking on posting. It isn't because I don't want to, it's more than I haven't had enough time with two free typing-hands (and even now I'm pushing my luck), and/or good ideas for anything to write about. I could just post a new picture of the cutest 2 month, 4 week, and two-day old girl on the planet every day, but I reckon most of you would get tired of constantly leaving the same comment: "Seriously, Bren J., that is the cutest 2 month, 4 week, and two-day old girl on the planet!"
I'm still going to post a picture anyway, because it is cute. And I should let you know that we've had all kinds of progress this week: She slept almost five hours one night and woke up only two minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off, she played with her car keys - by which I mean she grasped them in her wee hand and was shaking them unassisted, looking quite amused - and she put herself down for a 45 minute nap yesterday afternoon. A long enough nap, in fact, for me to bake an entire batch of cookies, start to finish (and consume more than I needed to)!

In other news, my good friend Zach, of no fixed Blogger address, bestowed upon me an award of his own creation: the King of Siam Award. I have no idea what the purpose or meaning of the award is.
The king in the picture is King Rama VII, Prajadhipok. The most significant information I can find about him says that he was the last absolute and first constitutional monarch in Thailand as the result of a coup in 1932. So is that to imply that it's the award for bloggers who bend to the whims of their readers? Because if the coup was successful in getting the people a constitutional monarchy, the King's relationship with his people went downhill quickly after that. Hmmm.....

**************************
I've decided that since I'm in need of something to blog about these days, I will spend some time (EVENTUALLY, so don't go counting any chickens) further explaining our name choice for the Little Goat. One of her middle names is Leanne and as I mentioned several posts ago, she is named after five of the most incredible women I know. I thought maybe I should tell you a bit more about those women and why they're so important to me. Not only will it satisfy curiosity, provide you with more reading material and give me another opportunity to reflect on why I love these women, it will guarantee me five posts worth of blogging! I know, I know, for some of you, that's a week's worth of posts, but for me it could be more like a month's worth! So I'm not sure when I'll post the first installment, maybe this week. I need to hunt up some more incriminating photos.....har!

05 September, 2007

Ready for Church*


Of course halfway through church she filled her pants and it leaked and almost got on her Dad's pants too, but hey, she looked so CUTE doing it! And her genius mother had of course packed an extra set of PINK clothes to impress all the little old ladies who can't understand the aversion to pink. So it was a win-win!

*Also known as: An Easy Post I Can Type One-Handed


01 September, 2007

SWEET!!

My internet-twin, Brenda, gave me this, my very first bloggity award!! Phew! I've finally made it!
This is what it means:
“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass on to seven others whom you feel are deserving of this award”.
So I have to pass it on to seven other bloggers. Hm. Not sure I know seven other bloggers well enough. Erin K. (who already got it from Brenda but it can't hurt to get it twice, can it?), Beck, Shalee, Bub & Pie, and back to Brenda. I'd also give it to my friend Bryan but I'm pretty sure he would think it looks WAY too girly to ever appear on his blog. That's not seven, but it's the best I can do.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

We've actually been watching movies around here lately. Not in the theater (but one can dream....), but on TV or rentals. So by way of filling space on the interwebs with useless blather, I'm going to tell you about two of our recent viewings.

1) Blood Diamond - This movie was full of swearing and violence, but it was really good. Ordinarily, I cannot stand movies that are only thinly disguised publiic service announcements or even more thinly veiled political statements (ARGH!), but this was a good one. Around about the time Blood Diamond first came out, you'll recall, there was a huge increase in pleas from celebrities to boycott the purchase of so-called blood- or conflict-diamonds; and if you weren't going to boycott The Evil Diamond Conglomerates, could you at least attempt to purchase other humanely harvested gems (at eight times the price)? Maybe that's why we waited so long to see the movie: I was getting really sick of hearing public service announcements.

Then we started watching the movie and we began to understand what all the hype was about. However our initial understanding quickly turned to disgust as the movie progressed. Yes, we can understand how a boycott of conflict-diamonds might be useful, but did all those celebrities stumping for Blood Diamond not actually SEE the movie? Didn't they see the kids? Daughters ripped from their mothers arms and forced into sexual slavery? Sons torn from their parents and forced to submit to brainwashing and the heinous act of transforming wee boys into wee murderers?

To us, THAT is the real problem. It isn't just happening in Sierra Leone where diamonds are concerned either. For years now in Uganda and Sudan, the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) has been kidnapping children and forcing them to commit unspeakable atrocities. Since it's inception, the LRA has kidnapped over 44,000 children! Now go back and read that again. 44,000 CHILDREN. (Check out what Far Reaching Ministries is doing in Africa! You can even help evangelize soldiers by purchasing camels for chaplains to use as transportation! CAMELS!!)

Yes, it would be great if something could be done to lower the demand for diamonds and improve the conditions in which European companies acquire them, but shouldn't we be focusing on saving those kids?

At any rate, we did like the movie. I'm not looking to start a debate and I'm not going to trade in my engagement ring, I just needed to make sure I got in a little soapbox-style rant today.

2) The Queen - We just watched this one last night. It's been on our list to see for a while and since it was the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's death, it seemed somehow apropos. I had heard beforehand that the movie was as much a character study of the Queen as anything and it did not disappoint. It was full of real stock footage from the days following Diana's death, but not so full that you felt like you'd seen the movie before. And who knew the Queen could be quite so cold?! This movie is a must-see if you're at all interested in the royal family and you don't mind a slower-paced story. Oh, and true to form, Philip even makes some bizarre comment about Zulus. Oh that Philip, he must have skipped a few too many lessons in tact.

So watch those two movies and tell me what you think.

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In other news....we made this crock pot steel-cut oatmeal recipe the other day. It turned out...GROSS (sorry, Beck). Maybe we're just weird over here, but this oatmeal had the consistency of what we imagine Emma's father's gruel (that's 'grew-L') would be like; I followed the recipe exactly, but man, was it runny! We'll stick with our baked recipe.

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This morning we actually got up at a decent hour. I finished yesterday's laundry and the Husband cuddled up with the Little Goat. Is there anything cuter than a Dad curled up with his wee Goat? I think not. Then we gobbled down an egg and headed out to the farmer's market. This time, there were actually people there. Lots of farmers, purveyors of tasty gardeny produce. We bought a tomato, some zucchini, a cucumber, some purple and green peppers, some brussel sprouts (wish us luck, we're brussel sprout virgins), and the most important acquisitions, a GIGANTIC apple fritter and a cinnamon bun (yes, that's a BUN, not a ROLL) from the Mennonite bakery (yes! Mennos! We really ARE everywhere!) in a town a little ways from here.

Now we are home where the Husband is working diligently in his yard and I am working diligently at my computer (while tending the 'herd' of course). It's cool and crispy outside, it's September 1st; Fall has arrived. Here's to a fulfilling Labour Day Weekend!