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'

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.

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??

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
"A Better Beverage"

The second sign says:
Husband keep you up
with the
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....