Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What's cooking Wednesday: Baltic fish

Shan, over at Tales from the Fairy Blogmother, started this little tradition of putting up the recipe for whatever you are cooking on Wednesday each week. Sognatrice, at Bleeding Espresso, adopted it, and now I'm going to do it (or try), too. When I first saw it, I thought it was a great idea and totally my kind of thing. But, until today, I really didn't feel organized enough to try it. Not that today was special in any way. I just seemed to have my shit together.

John and I love food. We are foodies, without the pretension that often accompanies that label. We love to cook. We love to eat. Granted, our menu has changed since Emily started eating real food - less spice, less Indian, less Thai, less 8:00 meals. But, that's okay, eventually her tastes will develop to the point where we'll get back there.

John and I both love to cook. I also love to bake. So, I'll try each Wednesday to put up whatever is for supper that night. However, if things are crazy, it might end up being a "What's baking Wednesday" instead. I bake something almost every day since I bake our own bread, so if I'm in a pinch and supper is looking more like leftovers or shawarma (our usual take away meal), then you'll get my baking of the day instead. Today, you get both baking and cooking. It's been a good day around here.

Baltic fish

Okay, so I took pictures of the the Baltic fish and the bread I baked, but for some reason they're not on my memory card, so no photos for this week. Sorry. As a result, I won't bother with my bread recipe until I can capture it on film for you. Onto the recipe:

4 5-oz firm white fish fillets (I used cod)
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced (use Yukon Gold)
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill (1 tsp dried)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Rinse fish and pat dry. Set aside.
Boil potatoes and garlic until potatoes or tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Evenly spread the mashed potatoes on bottom of a 5x8inch baking dish coated with butter or some oil. Lay fillets on top of potatoes and pour on lemon juice. In small bowl, combine sour cream, horseradish and dill. Spoon over fish. Top with red onion. Cover and bake for about 35 minutes. Enjoy. We did.

She's a-rollin'

Hope rolled over yesterday. I have to admit... this totally excited me! I thought that these first milestones for her might not be as exciting as they were with Emily, simply because this is the second time around, but that's not the case at all.

I had been talking on the phone in the dining room with my boss, just shooting the breeze really. She asked how Hope was doing, so I walked into the living room to watch Hope where she was playing on her little play mat. When I walked in, there she was on her stomach. She'd been trying to roll for a few days but had never achieved it. My boss was pretty excited to have been there for the big reveal. So, after I got off the phone, I sat next to her to see it happen in person and it did while I was leaving a message for John about it all (clearly, I was excited). So, in effect, John got to be there for it, too. She rolled from her back to her stomach and then back over again and kept practising for a good hour or so afterwards. Of course, today, she seems to have forgotten how to do it although she's giving it her best effort.

This is a girl who wants to move. Emily was happy to sit or lay in one spot and explore her immediate vicinity. Hope wants to go to where the action is. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few months and how it translates into a personality.

Poor Hope's nose is still bleeding in the night due to extreme dryness (before you ask, yes, I have a humidifier - two in fact, one on the furnace and one in the room, as well as putting saline in her nose). On recommendation of my doctor, I'm taking her back to the doctor tomorrow to get further advice. Poor kid. She wakes up in the night because the bloody mucous is running down her throat and then scabbing over her nostril making it impossible to breathe through her little honker. You'd think, then, that she'd be miserable during the day, but not our Hope. She is perpetually happy. What a nice thing to have said about you, don't you think?

In closing, our Chariot rocks. I love it. I. love. it. I have gone out walking every day since I bought it. This morning I walked to Kindermusik, about a 20 minute walk from our house. The snow was lightly falling, the streets and sidewalks were dusted with white, that silence of snowfall enveloped me as Emily sang and chatted in the stroller. It was perfect and made me thankful to be in this cold and snowy place.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I promised myself I wouldn't, and yet here I am

Beth pointed out to me today that I've fallen into the trap of taking WAY fewer photos of Hope than I did of Emily. I half-heartedly promised myself that I wouldn't do that, that I would ensure there was ample photographic evidence of each stage of her development, a detailed baby calendar and baby book.

I've completely fallen off the wagon.

I do have a baby book. I don't think I've opened it in the last two months. The calendar is faring a little better because it is posted on the fridge where I see it several times a day, but I've scribbled the entries so fast I can barely make out what I wrote.

Hope, if you read this when you're 15, I'm sorry. But, I sure have spent a lot of time cooing, giggling and playing with you, making you laugh and squeal and smile. That's worth more than a thousand words, right? Well, to appease my guilt, I did take this picture yesterday that at least captures how darn cute you are:

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Wishes don't always come true

Emily pooped on the floor again today. Now we're hypothesizing that she's doing it as a way to gain attention, finally realizing that Hope is here to stay. She doesn't seem to care that the attention she is garnering is negative. She seems quite happy to be in trouble, as long as we're focussed on her.

So, we're strategizing on ways to deal with this but haven't come up with anything ground breaking. We want her to know that what she is doing is wrong and we're really unhappy about it but we also don't want to reinforce this behaviour by giving her what she is trying to get: lots of attention. The thing is that we do give her lots of attention - I try to be quite sensitive to the fact that she notices me cuddling or cooing with Hope and when she is there, I give her lots of hugs and talk to her and, of course, when I'm not having to feed or hold Hope, I'm playing with her. Really, I can't give her more attention than she is already getting. So, I would love to hear your ideas... or maybe, this will just pass? Ooh, bad choice of words.

So, today I took the new stroller for a spin, just with Hope though since Emily chose to watch Curious George instead. Given that it was about minus 15 C today maybe that was wise. Anyway, the stroller is great, but I found out that it won't fit through the door of our closest grocery store. The store is older and has traditionally sized doors, not those huge mothers that both slide open as though I'm entering the Death Star. So, I'll just start carrying my bike lock with me so I can leave the Chariot outside. Probably wise anyway... I don't really want to be one of the SUV stroller people that everyone whispers about and curses as I push my way through the frozen food section.

Tomorrow I'll try it out with both ankle biters and head to the library. I know Emily will love riding beside her sister. Here's hoping that she keeps the Chariot a poop-free zone. I'm pretty sure that would void the warranty.

Friday, January 26, 2007

You know you've missed it

I alarmingly realized today that it has been DAYS since I have enlightened you all with a good poop story. Well, wait no longer because here it is.

I was feeding Hope in my usual spot today (laying on our bed) when Emily proudly announced to me that she had just pooped on the floor. I shouted to her that she "better not have pooped on the floor or I would be very angry." She sheepishly came into the room and said "Emmy pooped floor already." Ugh!

After I finished feeding Hope, I found the large poop ball (it really was) sitting in the doorway to Hope's room, cleaned it up as best as I could and ran back to a still hungry, and now screaming, Hope. Feeding continued. Emily announced that she had poop on her legs. Then she announced she wanted to climb on the bed (by the way, she can do this unassisted). Screaming ensued by me trying to convince her to please, please, please not climb on my bed with poopy legs. Thankfully she refrained. The poop story concludes with me scrubbing poop off her legs and bum and then spraying the carpet with cancer-causing, nasty chemicals to forever rid the carpet of poop particles.

Then, tonight, Emily threw up twice. She's sick, but we don't know what is causing it. This worries me. I hate not knowing what is making my kid sick. It makes a person start to dwell on awful things like meningitis etc. I'm sure it isn't meningitis, but I still dwell on it as irrational as it is.

Here's hoping for a poop-in-the-toilet and barf-free day tomorrow.

Finally, it is mine

A couple of months ago, I proclaimed that this

would be mine.

It wasn't... until today.

I'm very excited about this - later today, or if I'm not up to braving the cold (it is currently minus 19 C out there), then tomorrow I will take it for a spin with the two kids bundled up as though I'm shipping them cross-continent. And, with today's news, hopefully I will be taking it here this weekend:

I'll be the one irritating everyone with my inappropriately large SUV stroller. Oh, and eating a chocolate and maple beaver tail.

Be jealous. Be very, very jealous.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The brain is off

I'm struggling with coming up with an interesting post. I think I'm too tired to be creative or notice the interesting things that happen during my day.

Hope's sleep is in the can. She's decided that unless she is asleep right beside me in our bed, she will wake up every hour. I remember that Emily starting waking up hourly at 5 months old. It must be something developmental because Hope will be 5 months in a few days. Although I went through it with Emily and came out the other side, I have no memory of how we fixed it. We moved her into her own room I remember and that had a marginal effect. I imagine we'll be trying that soon with Hope, because I just don't sleep that well with her beside me, as nice as it is.

Today we are off to church playgroup, and if there is time, I'm going to go get our Chariot. If no time, I'll get it tomorrow morning before I take the girls for our first family swim. I'll make sure to take some pictures of that!

Time to escape the basement now and leave Barney behind. The songs are really getting to me today. It's that damn BJ's voice... couldn't they find a puppeteer who doesn't have 30-year smoker's voice?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The weekend

Here is what we generally spent our time doing:

Off camera are Tamara and Elias on the couch, me in the lounge chair, and Emily generally getting into everything kept between the four walls of Tamara and Greg's house. It snowed beautifully all day Friday and I saw it as a sign that I shouldn't really move from in front of the fire. Instead, I sat and read to Emily and took some pictures of Tamara and Elias.

We had an amazing weekend - it was so great to spend time back in Kitchener. We lived there a few years ago and really miss it. I want to go back. I think John does, too. Now we just have to figure out how to do that.

We have really close friends there, the kind you could call at 3:00 a.m. in an emergency and that are absolutely so easy to hang out with. We spent a lot of time during our year there at Greg and Tamara's house and when we're there now, it feels like we never left.

I went to university in Waterloo (Kitchener-Waterloo are two cities joined at the hip) and then John and I spent one year there just after he finished his PhD. He taught at Guelph and I worked two jobs. Things were very lean but we were really happy - the best social life we've had for sure. Not that we're not happy now - we are - but we really miss our friends there and we really like the city. K-W is also MUCH closer to family, which would be great and would mean we would have help when we need it too.

During the weekend, we also took Emily to the St. Jacob's Farmers Market - a place we shopped a lot when we lived there. We took her to our favourite vendors - vanilla pancakes, summer sausage, and the Stone Crock for Dutch Apple Squares. The Market has lots of Old Order Mennonite vendors - thus the best summer sausage you'll find. You better believe I had a big ole sandwich of that today.

We spent Sunday with John's sister, Sue, and her family. John's mom came up to join us all, too. It was great. Emily played really well with her cousins, Kennedy (4 1/2) and Claire (almost 3). Claire and Emily played particularly well together, even spontaneously starting a game of roll-the-ball together.

We had a good dump of snow while we were there so everyone (except Hope and I) went out tobogganing. Hope slept like a champ most of the day so I also got some rest. Emily, on the other hand, didn't nap ALL WEEKEND. Yikes. She had a melt down at the end of the day on Sunday but I was fully expecting it.

I won't give you a play-by-play of the whole weekend, but two extremely funny things happened that I have to share.

(1) we made the obligatory Canadian stop at Tim Horton's on the way down (okay, several stops). When John ran in for the coffee, Emily said: "Emmy coffee?" Me: "No, coffee is just for grown-ups." Emmy: "Yeah, kids tea." Clearly, I'm doing something right.

(2) John washed his hair with dog shampoo. Enough said.

Monday, January 22, 2007

We're back

and I'm exhausted. I had about 4 hours of sleep last night due to getting back around 1:00 a.m. and Hope having a chronically congested nose and sinuses lately, and of course, Emily's habit of getting up around 6:00. Anyway, I will post in the next day or so about our trip as well as some good photos. For now, I am focussing on laundry, laundry, laundry. Oh, and hopefully and finally buying a Chariot. Woot!

What I miss already about our trip: sitting in front of the wood stove with Tamara, Hope in the bouncy chair, Jake the dog lounging by the stove and my feet up with a cup of white hot chocolate. Oh so good.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Two years

Two years ago today my mum died of ALS. It was and is the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me.

I find I don't get too teary on this anniversary though. I actually find my birthday harder to bear without her. I was surprised by that when my first birthday after her death came around. I guess I never realized before then how much I thought about her on my birthday, how much a child's birthday is a celebration for both the mother and child.

Still, I find it difficult to believe that it has been two years since I've been able to talk to her, hold her hand, help her to the bathroom, send her email reports about Emily. I've missed her every single day since then and no, it hasn't become easier with time. Not having my mum will never be easier with time.

I do feel her and I do talk to her and that makes it better.

I'm still angry, sad, resentful, deeply, deeply regretful that Emily, Hope and Baby Texan won't know their Nanna by playing, singing, laughing with her. They will know her but it will be through Beth and I and the many, many stories we tell and the way we live and act. The way we live and act is a constant reflection of her and her amazing life.

Well, now I'm crying. And Beth probably is too. Just to make it that much worse, here is a video I took with my crappy little camera just a couple of weeks before she died:

What does get better is that, while I feel angry, sad, resentful, I also feel more joy now when I think about her and less sadness and anger at the way she died.

In honour of her today, if anyone out there has been looking for a charity to give money to, the ALS society is today, and everyday, helping improve the lives of people living with this terrible disease. I'm going to make a donation right now.

Love you mum.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A road trip

Tomorrow we are packing up and heading to Kitchener-Waterloo for a few days to visit some very close friends who we haven't seen in a long time, and also to see John's family in Cambridge on Sunday. So, I won't be posting much over the next few days but will return with some good photos, I hope, and probably a few good stories. I have one pre-written post that I will put up on Saturday. Hope you all have a good weekend! Auf wiedersehen!

A new day

Emily has reverted back to an (almost) perfect child today after her schemes and rants yesterday. We had a busy day today - I finally got the car cleaned out (the place was actually open even though the temperature was minus 15 or so. What were they thinking? I mean, they could have lost a finger or toe!). I think the two car cleaner dudes were a little disturbed by the state of the car. I didn't get it shampooed in the end (they pointed out that without a heated garage, the seats would freeze), but one of the vacuum guys asked if they gave me a quote for the shampoo. Made me think that he was not-so-subtly proposing that I look into that.

After the cleaning (smell is now gone!), we went to the chiropractor for an adjustment for me and where I quickly fed a very hungry Hope. Then to Jen's house for Emily to eat her lunch and Hope to have a quick nap. Then after that to a haircut for Emily and I. I've decided to finally shun straightening my hair and embrace my waves (read: frizziness) once again. I've been straightening it for about 3 years now. So, this haircut will lead me to curlier/wavier hair once all the straightening product washes out. And Emily desperately needed some bangs as her hair was covering her eyes if she didn't have barrettes in there. Here is the photo evidence:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Who replaced my child with the spawn of Satan?

I think I should be given an award today for keeping my cool. Well, okay, so I didn't keep my cool all day (see below), but since then, I have been extremely collected in the face of great adversity.

The nastiness of Emily continued the rest of the afternoon. It included such things as hitting Hope in the mouth with a book. Why? Just because. Hope cried. Emily seemed to feel bad, but the verdict is still out.

Then, she peed on a dining room chair that was situated three feet from her clearly visible potty. Oh yeah, and then, 2 hours later, she climbed up on a different dining room chair and did it again. This time, on purpose.

If you see this person coming towards you, for your own safety and sanity, head in the other direction:

I'm sorry, Emily

Today I spanked Emily.

I've credited myself as a non-spanker. I find it hard to reconcile teaching my child not to hit others with hitting her myself in the form of spanking. And yet today, I was so pushed to the limit by her that I spanked her. The worst of it is, I did it because I was angry, not because she did something so much worse than anything she has done before. Yes, she was behaving very badly. She was screaming intermittently, she was taking swings at me, she was disobeying me at every turn, she was up from her nap and refusing to return to her room. But, she's done that before and I kept it reasonably together. But today, after a full morning of this (since about 7:00 actually), I lost it. I lost control and crossed a line I never wanted to cross.

I didn't hurt her. She had a pull-up on and probably didn't even realize what I'd done. But I know what I did. No, it's not the end of the world. Lots of parents out there choose to spank their children. However, I chose not to and I didn't stick by my convictions.

Clearly, it has upset me. But, you know what? Having been through some similar situations before, I also realize that now I start fresh. We start fresh. We hug, we kiss, we love each other and we start again. I start again. With my convictions, with my choices, with rebuilding my control and acting like the adult again. I start again with no shouting, with no spanking, with no losing my cool. I start again.

I'll lose it again too, but I doubt I'll spank her again. Having done it once, you know what? It didn't make me feel better and it didn't make her stop what she was doing. Having learned that, I know I won't go there again. And I also know that I'll watch for the signs in myself that things are headed in a bad direction. And I'll give myself a time out.

And if I don't stay in my time out, no crafts or t.v. for me.

I'm sorry Emily. I love you. You know it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dirt, snow and a camera

I decided yesterday that today would be the day that I would finally take the car to be detailed. Normally, I just vacuum it out myself, dust, etc., but the level of dirt in the car is such that it really is a job that should only be tackled by professionals. I'm not even going to post a photo of its current state because I am too embarrassed. It is covered in Cheerios, goldfish crackers, orange juice stains, leaves, probably barf here or there. I don't even know anymore what is actually causing that smell that makes my stomach lurch and Emily say: "car pretty stinky."

I woke up this morning to the first real winter day in Ottawa. I was going to call off the car cleaning but decided to go for it. I mean, this is Ottawa.. a little or a lot of snow shouldn't deter me. If it does, I should move to a warmer climate. So, I took all the crap out of the car - papers, CDs, toys, what have you - and loaded in the kids and drove to the car place. Normally the drive should be about 15 minutes. It was about 30 today. The ploughs were only just starting and being the first big dump, most people had forgotten how to drive in it.

I pulled into the car wash place to find a sign that said the following: Closed due to weather. Huh?

Maybe no one has explained to this establishment that this is OTTAWA - if you close due to snow, you are going to have a pretty lean winter. Also, IT IS AN INDOOR CAR WASH. Seriously. I don't understand it. Emily said: "Mummy fustated?" Damn right.

So, since I was very close to a good camera shop, I drove over there and bought a new camera. Yay! It was cheap and takes decent pictures. Exactly what I wanted. I'll rely on my dad and Beth to take the good quality photos.

I'm rather happy that I bought the camera today because I went into the kitchen today and saw this empty box that yesterday was filled with water bottles:

A quick look around and I found this:

I think Emily might have a career in retail.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Duh, maybe I'll just reinvent the wheel while I'm at it

So, after fooling around in the HTML coding in the templates this morning again, I finally just decided to screw the colour scheme, and choose a new template that was marked "stretch." Lo and behold, blessed Blogger has these stretch templates that are made to fill up monitors, no matter what the size. You'd think that I would have noticed this before and also figured out that screwing with the code in a system like this, designed for those who have no idea what they're doing with HTML, maybe isn't wise for a novice like me.

Anyway, this is better and Beth is going to help me with the whole masthead thing so soon there will be some nice colour on here too. For the time being, look! See the beautiful white! and grey!


Okay, so Beth tells me that the new look isn't working on her little laptop screen - way too wide, and a giant font. Hmmm. It looks so good on my giant iMac monitor! I'll fix it today. Well, it was nice while it lasted!

....Okay, we're back to how it was. I might still fiddle a bit to stretch it a little bit, but generally I guess I'll stick with it as is until everyone out there sees the light and gets an iMac. Heh. It was a good learning experience though. I learned a lot in a little time about how the coding works and how to fiddle with it.

In the meantime, I still want a funky masthead so I'm still interested in hearing how to do that.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Getting savvy

You'll no doubt have noticed a different look for the site. I've been playing with the HTML coding and figured out a few things; things I wanted to change that have bugged me since I went to a nice, large monitor. So, I fixed those things but now I want to do some more design work and I don't know how to do it. So, for those of you who do, I'm looking for your help to get started. I want to start with the header, you know, the part where the title sits. I want to put some cool, colourful graphics in there - either something I design myself or something I steal from somewhere else. So, how to I get it up there? Can I do it through the new blogger or do I have to do it through the HTML code? And if in HTML code, how do I do it? Help please!

Friday, January 12, 2007

In the family way

Not me, but Beth! She's "outed" herself to pretty much everyone, and certainly everyone who reads this and would care, so I figure I can pronounce it here because... I JUST WANT TO TELL EVERYONE. Even people who have no idea who Beth is (my sister, by the way)... or who I am. I'm just so excited that I will have a niece/nephew from my own family. I also feel it is my duty (although it takes no effort) to be extra excited on behalf of my mum, who I know is so excited that Peter himself is asking her to shut it already, Lois!, but can't be in her earthly body to express it personally. She's doing it through me instead (and probably Erika and Jannie as well).

So, now I get the daily calls from Beth (and I'm so glad that I do) telling me how she is feeling - how "blah" she is feeling (that was today's report), what she is taking, her plans etc.

From a totally selfish perspective, this means the following for me (and isn't this what it is all about?): (1) I get to delay going back to work until November or thereabouts to help her; (2) I get to spend time in Austin; (3) Hope and Baby Texan (what I am calling said embryo) will be exactly 1 year apart; and (4) I get to share parenting woes with my sister, and I have to imagine that sisters are the best people for most mums to share parenting woes with. I would love to be able to ask my mum a million questions about how she tackled certain things, but there is something very special about sharing the experience with my sister while we are both figuring it out at the same time. I figure that since we were both brought up the same way we likely will have a similar approach to lots of issues. I'm just really jazzed about sharing this with her.

News out of our abode today: Emily is turning into a child in front of my eyes. It's like I can actually see her brain cells maturing. Today she looked at me and said "Emmy frustrated." which of course sounded like "Emmy fustated." I also love it when it comes out like this: "Emmy fustating." So very true.

She is also telling me stories, and I can understand them and she can understand my stories. She can look forward to things in the future (next week, next Saturday, etc). She can give compliments. Yesterday after I went pee in Walmart (in the bathroom, by the way) she said: "Good job, Mummy." She has started calling me Mum. I'm trying to put a stop to it. I don't want to be called Mum yet. I want to stay Mummy for a few more years. I'm not trying to be all Mommy Dearest but I just like that my little toddler calls me Mummy. It's a little girl that will be calling me Mum. Of course, she knows it gets to me so she does it more often. The biggest sign of her growing up, at least this week, is that she is starting to try to trick me. Yup. It has started.

She hasn't been eating all that well lately unless it is dessert. She always asks for dessert. So, like most parents, I tell her she has to have x number of bites before she can have dessert. Yesterday I told her she needed to eat three more pieces of pasta before she could have her rice pudding. She popped in a piece of rotini, started chewing, put her hand in front of her mouth, took it away and said: all done! I told her to open her hand. She looked at me like I was some kind of Svengali. She opened it and of course, there was the chewed up rotini. I said: Emily. Don't try it. I've done it all.

Honestly people, she isn't even two and a half. What is in store for me?

On the Hope front, she's pooping well again. Finally. She's also teething like nobody's business. But in Hope fashion, all this means is a little bit of fussiness, lots of drool and wanting to gnaw my finger off at the joint. Pretty good really. What made me mad with happiness today is that she put herself to sleep twice today after I left the room WITH NO SOOTHER IN HER MOUTH. This wasn't intentional but the child is insisting on chewing on her soother rather than sucking on it and after several minutes holding it in place, I decided to throw caution to the wind and see what happened if I just went AWOL. Oh heavens, it was great to hear silence from the room. Not that she's a screamer but I didn't want to spend 20 minutes whispering, talking, cooing, holding the soother in today. Normally, I don't mind. But, people, I was up at 4:30 this morning and never went back to bed. Why? because I have two kids and this just sometimes happens.

It's one of those days where I have no interest in cooking (it is Friday, after all) so I'm hoping John has some inspiration that will not require me to do anything except drink my Friday glass of red wine.

I love wine. However, I'm breastfeeding and I try and keep it to a minimum when I'm breastfeeding. So, I have a glass of Friday red and that keeps me pretty happy. Okay, I'd be even happier if I had my daily red but I have a few months (well, several really) before I can do that again.

Weekend operation: buy a camera. Not much cleaning to be done because I did it yesterday (woohoo). Will try and sew curtains instead. If you're making bets, don't put anything down on that getting done.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

more technology woes

My camera is again not functioning. This time I think it is the memory card. But, I have to ask myself whether it is worth replacing the memory card when I bought the camera used for $150 and it is only 2.0 megapixels. So, maybe it is time to just go for a new one. The prices are pretty low. I don't want anything crazy. Let me rephrase, I can't afford anything crazy. I just want something that will take some decent pictures and I'm looking for suggestions. Anyone have one?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Needle day

Today was Hope's 4-month appointment (yes, she turned 4 months old yesterday. Wow, time flies). She weighs 15 lbs 2 oz (in the 90th percentile for weight, the little whopper) and measures 67 cm which is off the chart for length. She is the length of a typical 6 to 7 month old, according to my GP. And she's all torso, like her dad.

With the 4-month appointment comes two injections. I can't even remember what they are. One goes in each thigh. The first one you never get tears, but you sure do after the second. It's as though the baby says: listen, I tolerated the first one, but how could you do that to me again? Totally out of line.

Emily and I also got our flu shots. On the advice of Jen, I ensured that Emily did not witness Hope getting her shots before we got ours. So, I gracefully got my shot and then Emily got hers. She was kind of excited about it but then as soon as the needle went in her arm, excitement was abandoned and replaced by heaving sobs. To her credit though, she gathered herself together quickly and happily accepted the yellow Band-aid and the promise of Smarties for her bravery.

Now, Emily's poop saga continues as she has caught John's intestinal nastiness of today (some kind of intestinal flu). We'll see if she can make it through the night. I sure hope so. That would be a rude awakening. Literally.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Take 1

Well, here is a snippet from the movie I recently put together. This was taken in September when my sister, Beth, was visiting right after Hope was born. Also the time when Emily was desperately trying to learn to jump, as you will see.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

And on the seventh day, Hope created poop

Yes, it's true. I went to do the last change of the day yesterday, and, ureka!, there was the poop. Finally!

And, thankfully, not in the volume I was expecting. Since then, there have been several more so it seems she has broken the great barrier and is back to her old self rather than being miserly with the poop.

Now I am sort of nostalgic for those several days when I didn't have to deal with poopy diapers.

So, onto the crappy news. Our window in Hope's (soon-to-be) room is (still) leaking. I thought it was a problem with the window that could be fixed with some caulking. It seemed to only be happening when the rain was blown towards the window. But, today it is raining and there is no wind so no rain is being blown under the eaves at the window and yet it is leaking profusely. So, I figure it must be the roof. Crap.

I'll be getting another roofing quote this week, I hope, and look forward so much to spending a few thousand dollars that we don't have sitting around. In the meantime, it being Ottawa in (sort of) winter, I guess we'll have a leaking window, wet wall and damp carpet until May or so.

Friday, January 05, 2007

My masterpiece

My first movie, put together on iMovie, is finally done! I'm really proud of it as a first try, especially. It is too long to share here (I made it for my grandparents in Alberta) but I'll see if I can figure out how to post just a snippet to YouTube and then put it here so you can get a taste. How exciting!

Sleep is wonderful

After about a week or two (or was it even more? I've lost track now), Hope is, for the moment, back to going to sleep easily on her own and staying down for a few hours at a time. For some reason, she stopped doing this and was very difficult to get to sleep and was waking up in the night every hour to two hours. Was not pleasant.

The difficulty with babies is that you never can really know why they all of a sudden change their good habits to bad habits. I did nothing different in her routine. However, these critters are changing, learning, developing all the time and the one thing that always seems to be affected by these changes is their sleep. Anyway, I enjoyed a decent sleep last night and an easy put-to-bed the last two days. But, I'm not naive enough to believe that it will last long. I just will appreciate it while it does. This time, the cure was giving her back the breastfeeding pillow that she has some kind of addiction too. A few days ago, she was sleeping terribly with it, I took it away, sleep improved, a few days of that and sleep got bad again, gave it back, sleep is good again.

Of course, I write this after having to run up to give her the soother back twice already during this nap. I blame that more on the lack of poop though. Yes, still no poop. In fact, I'm not going to mention it again until it happens. You can just assume there is no poop until you get the poop from me.

Now a chance to enjoy some time to myself.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The thermometer

When Jen's daughter, Gwen, was backed up, the doctor told Jen to insert a rectal thermometer in the ole sphincter and see what happens. It is supposed to open the floodgates as it were, or, if nothing happens, then you know that there just isn't anything there to let loose. So, I went for it today.

I have never used a rectal thermometer before. With Emily, I always used the armpit method being totally freaked out by sticking something up her bum. Also, she would have hollared and cried and carried on. But Hope, in typical Hope fashion, actually seemed to like it! She cooed and giggled and smiled at me all the while there was a thermometer sticking out of her bum. Odd kid that one.

Anyway, I was all prepared for the Niagara Falls of poop. I strategically laid down a couple of cloth diapers to catch the spray. But.... nothing. Nothing at all. Not even a dribble.

Well, maybe she just has such an efficient digestive system that she creates no waste. Or maybe I have such great breastmilk that it is completely what she needs with zero waste. I am a walking nutrition bar.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Day Six

Still no poop. The gas is getting nauseating and the kicking and grunting is monumental. I keep opening the diaper hoping and yet dreading that the deed is done. Poor little kid.

On the bright side, Beth explained to me how to resize the photos so that is good. Now I just have to find my camera.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Maybe it isn't a real word, but I use it every year at this time. I think I enjoy deChristmasification as much as I enjoy decorating for Christmas. By the first week of January, the decorations have been up for almost a month, the tree for about 2 and a half weeks and I'm ready to see them all go.

So, today I took everything down and un-decorated the Christmas tree. Everything is away, a scraggly tree is standing in the living room waiting for John to pitch it on the front lawn, and the house is in total shambles as Emily ran rampant around the main floor and basement while I was focussed (maybe too focussed) on my project of un-yuling the house.

I'm well into the movie I'm making on the Mac. It is too much fun. Too much fun to the point where I go to bed at midnight and after four days of this I'm seriously feeling the pain. Especially since Hope had a brutal night last night - up every 45 minutes if I left her in her crib but slept well beside me. Of course, if she's beside me, I don't sleep well.

Emily often slept in the bed with us and I got used to it. I tried it again the first three nights after Hope was born but it just wasn't her thing. She was too boob-obsessed and was constantly rooting around for something (me) to suck on. So, she has always slept beside us on the floor on a little mattress and now has graduated to the playpen with a bassinet insert (okay, too much detail - I'm totally falling into the trap of mommy-blogging. Sorry. Will stop. Now). Anyway, all of a sudden, as of last night, she's happier beside me. Don't know why. Hope it stops. I like my space now. My only theory is that she hasn't pooped in five days. Five. F-I-V-E. She seems pretty happy considering but last night, every time she woke up, she kicked and grunted like she was trying to will the poop right out of the shoot. Of course I'm concerned for her comfort, but really, I'm more concerned for me when that eagle finally lands. I really hope I'm out of target range and she has several layers of clothes on.

Okay, for Mac users out there, I'm frustrated and need your advice: in iPhoto I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to resize photos to be, say, 600X800. How the heck do I do that? I've looked all through the help and the tutorials and I'm frustrated! Please help me before I hurt my new love by throwing something at it.