31 January, 2009


So the little spinning baby over on the side there says I am officially a day past halfway! To celebrate, we made some really tasty french toast for breakfast this morning. We've been trying lots of new easy recipes lately and I think it's time I gave you a little recipe run-down. These are all tasty, quick, easy and generally cheap so you should try them, okay?

Blueberry Muffins: I make muffins generally once or twice a week. This recipe is great and the muffins come out with a kind of crunchy top which we love. I use 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat flour and I don't make the streusel topping because I don't like streusel topping on muffins. You can play around with the stuff you add in (as well as the sugar, I usually add about a 1/3 less than the recipe calls for): we like blueberry, but have also used half berries and half cut-up canned peaches, or chopped up banana and a small handful of chocolate chips. I should warn you, if you're feeding more than one little one and a spouse, you might want to double the recipe. This recipe makes about 7 standard-size muffins.

German Apple Pancake: This was Mr. J.'s Saturday breakfast pick from a couple weekends ago. We liked it so much we made it twice in one weekend. We don't have an oven-proof skillet, so we used a big pie plate and did the apple-cooking part of the recipe in the plate in the microwave.

Creamy Corn & Turkey Soup: So simple, so tasty. This would be great with corn biscuits, regular biscuits, or just crackers. We didn't garnish with any red pepper, I just included it all while cooking.

Ham & Potato Soup: This was also super-easy. We just used deli ham, only one oxo cube because that's all we had at the time, and I made the roux in the microwave. Tip: To cut down on the starchiness of your potatoes when you cook them (or when you're baking them as fries), cut then up and let them soak in cold water for about a 1/2 hour. Rinse, drain, and cook/bake as you normally would.

Banana Stuffed French Toast
: There's a little prep here, but it's worth it! If you have a griddle thing, use it because it makes this go much faster. Making just a half recipe (5 eggs was just right) was enough for two good pieces for each of us, one for the Little Goat (who LOVED it!) and three left for breakfast tomorrow morning. Oh, and we didn't dip the pieces in corn flakes cause that just sounded....weird.

Next up is this recipe which Mr. J. chose for our Valentine's Day dessert extravaganza. I'm going to borrow a smaller than usual springform pan and try making just a half a cheesecake so I'll let you know how that turns out. Mr. J. is very excited.

In other non-cooking-related news, today has been a really productive day. I'm still working on laundry, but I cleaned both bathrooms, mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors, wrapped a giant package for mailing, did some major clothes-sorting in the closet, AND cleaned out most of the fridge. Now that I'm writing it all out, it doesn't really seem like much, but dangit, it smells like lemon in here so we must've done something. Now I'm off to pick a winner for my contest.

26 January, 2009

What? Again?

The Contest Has Ended - Thanks for Stopping By!

Good grief! I completely forgot about the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival being THIS WEEK!
It's early Monday afternoon and already there are over 500 giveaways posted. How I will possibly have time for entering, I know not. But I DO have a prize that I've been saving for just this occasion so we better get to that.

Prize is:
One Mary Kay make-up bag (it's black with pink trim), which includes a set of Creamy Frosted Vanilla body wash, body butter and body mist (a $26 value). No, I don't sell Mary Kay but I picked this up a while ago thinking it would make a pretty fun Bloggy Giveaway prize, so you see, I've been thinking about all of you for a while now.

The Rules Are:

1) Our second baby (we don't know yet if Sibling X? is a boy or girl) is due in June so instead of just leaving a 'boring' old comment, your entry should be a name suggestion and please, nothing stupid or too weird or...ugh.
(With apologies to Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner, 'Seraphina' need not apply.)

2) You don't need to have a blog, but I MUST be able to contact you somehow. If I can't, I'll delete your entry.

3) I will ship to either Canada or the U.S. If the winner is in Canada, I may wait to mail the prize until I'm actually in Canada in a few weeks (that's right, people, I'm going home for THREE WHOLE WEEKS - woohoo!).

4) Regular readers
should enter two separate comments (if you're a regular, your name is over there on the right under 'blogs I visit').

5) Contest closes Saturday, 31 January at 12 noon EST - don't be late!

21 January, 2009

No Dice!

So how's this for annoying early childhood rebellion? Sibling X? wouldn't move his/her legs so we have to wait another THREE weeks! THREE WEEKS!!! ARGH!
We'll try again on the 13th of Feb. and if that doesn't work, well, I'll consult my "extracurricular ultrasonographers." Actually, I'll probably consult them anyway, because a) they have more time on their hands and b) they'll give me a fun CD with moving pictures.

Either way, seriously, HARUMPH. I'll remember this, Kid. Just wait till it's your 16th birthday - we'll make you wait a bonus three weeks for your present!

On the plus side, the Little Goat got a flu shot today and did just swimmingly; she cried a bit at first, but the nurse had her smiling in less than a minute - now there's a nurse to be applauded. Then, while we were waiting for Mr. J. to come and pick us up after his appointment, my midwife, Nancy (who, along with Mary, is totally amazing, by the way) saw us in the hallway and asked if I wanted my flu shot today too. So voila! Us girls can both have arm pain.

We are now home, the LG is napping, I'm about to nap, Mr. J. has taken the cats for their shots (our parting gift to them; remember they're leaving on Saturday....), and when he gets home we will make pizza and eat it and play Wii....because guess who hates watching baseball but is actually pretty good at Wii baseball? Uh huh. Moi.

Now, just so you aren't TOO disappointed by not finding out today (although how you can possibly be more disappointed than me, I can't know), I'm posting a link for this brilliant chicken we had last night. Curried honey mustard chicken: For real, people, eat this SOON. It is THAT good. You can cut down on the butter by a couple tablespoons, I only had time to marinate it for two hours but at least four would be better, serve it with rice and veg, and finally, don't be afraid to use something besides chicken breasts. We used chicken breasts with the bone in and they turned out just lovely, but chicken thighs (or even wings!) would also be amazing with this recipe. Also, we didn't take a picture because the one on the recipe is quite accurate for a change.

Talk to you soon!

16 January, 2009

A Little of This, a Little of That

T minus five days and a bunch of hours and we're really starting to get excited about this ultrasound. I'm trying to keep my hopes in check but things just feel so differently this time around that it can't possibly be another girl, can it? (Place your bets now, people.)

For those of you who were asking, our due date is the 19th of June, which some of you may recall is the exact same due date we were given for the Little Goat two years ago. She was three days early; sure enough, as I predicted, my water broke the moment we were finishing setting up the crib in the nursery. We're hoping Sibling X? will make his/her arrival on any day BUT the 16th since we'd just as soon not saddle the LG with having to share a birthday (and seriously, what parent wants to plan TWO parties on the same day - yikes!). I'd also rather Sibling X? not come on the 19th because, well, I don't like odd numbers. On the other hand, Fridays child is "loving and giving."*

On an unrelated note, Mr. J. is right now at this very moment trying to figure out how to get our cats vaccinated and looking halfway decent before we take them down to Airport City to meet their new owner, Ashley. She sounds just like a dream, my friends. She has a dog, but our cats have never seemed bothered by dogs - unless you count the time a friend wanted to adopt them and her EVIL dachshund attacked our poor Bean - I'm guessing that was at least a little bothersome. Besides having a dog, Ashley used to be a vet assistant! How perfect is that? She is so excited to adopt our cats and we are so pleased that we've been able to find them what we hope will be a very happy situation. With me and the LG being gone for several weeks next month, Mr. J. working quite a bit of overtime lately, the frigid weather which makes garage-dwelling not very suitable for the furry beasts, and a new baby coming, the timing is right to move them on. Those of you who had pets before you had children will probably also understand that the void the pets filled in your life is very easily filled by a baby and consequently, we felt it was in the best-interest of the cats to find them a place to live out their lives where they'll be appreciated and loved instead of consistently shoved aside...and also where my asthma and our allergies stand no chance of being affected by them, handily.

In other news, Mr. J. had a very successful doctors appointment yesterday and seems to have found the doctor of his dreams. He came home with a whole page full of notes, hand-written by the doctor, a prescription, AND a free drug sample which should hopefully clear up a hearing issue that's been irritating us for a while already. She seemed really interested in getting to the root of his fatigue and several other problems he's been having and short of offering a real diagnosis, did come up with a plan of attack to figure out a diagnosis. There is hope, and all the problems she talked about have relatively easy solutions that only require a few tests, so wish us luck! We are excited to finally be on the path to getting some answers.

In other news, The Weather Channel forecast predicts tonight, tomorrow, and tomorrow night will be "bitterly cold." It was -40 Celsius last night (which is also -40 Fahrenheit for my American friends) and it hasn't improved much today. It's not quite as cold as Manitoba has been, but it's sitting at around -30C with the windchill at the moment. Neither car would start this morning, so Mr. J. got a ride to work and came home at lunch with his supervisor to use some starter thing on the cars. It worked on one, the other will have to sit charging all weekend. And yes, the car that still won't start WAS plugged in all night.** So the car that will start is at work and will hopefully start after Mr. J.'s shift ends at 11 tonight.

And this was all very mundane and wordy, but you can now consider yourself updated on nearly all parts of life at Chez J. I'm off to nap before the LG wakes up.

* A side-note for those of you who are of the praying persuasion: We have some other major concerns that, while not precisely pregnancy-related, do nonetheless affect the pregnancy and delivery of this baby. I really want to share those concerns with you, but I just can't right now, but trust me, the very second I can tell you, I WILL.

** For my 'southern' friends: You can equip a car battery with a warmer that you plug in at night. Plugging it in is supposed to keep the battery just warm enough so the car can start in the morning. Plugging in the car at night is de riguer on the Prairies in the winter and most car parking lots at private businesses have spots for employees to plug in their cars during work. It's also quite common to see extension cords wrapped around rear-view mirrors for convenient transport during the day (sorry, I can't find a picture of that). Around here, however, nobody seems to care about plugging in vehicles. They're all crazy and would obviously rather pay to replace a car battery every year than take care of it during winter.

13 January, 2009

Being Well-Rounded

Minnesota Mom posted this sort of meme last week. Supposedly, having experienced all these things makes you some sort of well-rounded person. In reality, I'm already becoming quite a *ahem* well-rounded person.

Here's how it works: All the ones that are 'bolded' are things I've done or seen or whatever because I just KNOW you wanted to know all this about me. I'm not tagging anyone, per se, but if you'd like to play along on your own blog, you are of course, very free to do so.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain.

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29 Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33 Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41 Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64 Donated blood, platelets, or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66 Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67 Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79 Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee (this is possibly the one I am most proud of - almost 30 years and never once stung by a bee!)

08 January, 2009

Well that little ticker at the bottom of the blog - the one that used to tell you how long I'd been "supplying the Little Goat's milk" - is gone. Gone because as of the 1st of January, she is officially weaned. The weaning process was exactly how I wanted it to be, not stressed at all, just a natural, easy progression from nursing to....not. I told myself beforehand that I wasn't going to wimp out and get all weepy but of course, that first night she cried a little bit, but cuddled with her Dad I turned into a blubbering mess.

It's the clean break in my mind of the leap from babyhood to toddlerhood and let me tell you - we are fully THERE. Oi. Little Miss I-Don't-Want-to-Eat-that-Amazingly-Tasty-Food-that-I-Just-Ate-Only-Yesterday-and-Loved and Little Miss Let's-Just-Sit-on-the-Kitchen-Floor-and-Cry-Until-I-Get-What-I-Want have converged to begin the transformation of our Sweetest Little Pea into an Independent Delight - or something like that. Well, harumph to you too, Little Goat! Argh! Just go play with your toys.

Furthermore, everybody keeps telling us that 'she'll talk when she's ready' and that 'it's okay that she's not talking yet', and that 'hey! We should be thankful she's not talking yet because once she gets started.....' and so on. Frankly, I'm getting sick of hearing all that. I just want the kid to speak in ENGLISH WORDS. It's not that I want her to start saying 'no' all the time, but it would be so much easier if instead of crying, she could just tell us what she wants. The looks we get from some people too - ouch! We'll be at the grocery store and a person will start talking to her, of course expecting a reply, and I'll say something like, 'oh, she doesn't talk yet.' To which they respond with the appropriate (?) pitying/condescending look and say one of the aforementioned phrases like, 'well, she'll just talk when she's ready then.'


MOVING RIGHT ALONG. I have an ultrasound in two weeks (21 Jan.) at which point we'll find out the gender of our little Sibling X?. I'm excited about that and yes, I CARE what gender it is. I DO have a preference. I'm not afraid to admit that.

Also, my Mom has her surgery date all set (11 Feb.) and our flights are booked and I can hardly wait to go Home!

And for today, that is all. A little whining, a little ranting, and some excitement to finish things off.