Monday, April 30, 2007

AWOL Like Me

John pointed out to me tonight, not that he had to, that I haven't posted since last Wednesday. Over the last couple of weeks, the delay between my posts has become longer and longer. I'm just finding it hard to find the time to post lately. The girls don't always sleep at the same time. When this happens it only leaves me the evening to post. I've been cherishing my time with John lately that we only get in the evenings when all is quiet. Oh, also, we're addicted to Dead Like Me on DVD. Yah, that.

When the girls do nap at the same time, I've been spending time doing our taxes (got them in right under the wire today!), looking into options for next year (navel gazing post is coming very soon.... I promise.... I think), or cleaning (minimally - really not my forte or my favourite thing to do. Ever), or cooking. Doing lots and lots of cooking. With the nice turn in the weather, I always want to be outside with the girls after their afternoon naps so I have to get the cooking underway before they wake up. Again, little time left to blog.

The thing is, I really miss my almost daily posts and I really miss reading my favourite blogs which I am WAY behind on, too. For me, like many bloggers, this is a creative outlet and a place for me to explore and even realize my take on the things going on in my own life and the world at large. I miss it. I'll be back but it will still be a bit scarce for the next while.

At least until we hit the end of Dead Like Me. I just love that Inigo Montoya guy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What's cooking Wednesday - rage and a little placenta

Today should be What's Cooking Wednesday around here but today was also CHEO day for Hope and I so thinking about cooking, much less blogging about it, was put on the back burner. In fact, it was put out in the driveway somewhere. We did eat supper that was cooked in our very own kitchen and it was delicious fajitas made with leftover chicken and some shrimp thrown in but no recipe to share. However, I'm currently baking bread so I think I'll give you that recipe tomorrow as a late WCW. How's that sound?

The day at CHEO (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario) went fine. We had an 11:00 appointment for an ultrasound and miraculously, when we arrived we were ushered right in... no waiting. Unheard of! Stephen Harper's reduction of wait times must be working. Oh, right, I guess that's not exactly what he had in mind.

She loved the ultrasound - the screen, the jelly, the wand, the radiologist. All of it good. From there, we had lunch in the cafeteria and then back up for a 1:00 appointment for some procedure with a long acronym that has a U in it. And a C I think. Anywho.

She hated it. She cried. Not blood curdling screams. Just annoyed, get me out of here, I've had enough of this and I'm naked, haven't napped, haven't eaten kind of cries. She didn't take a nap, as much as I tried, before we left the house this morning. She couldn't eat for four hours before the ultrasound and then, being Hope, was too distracted to breastfeed between the ultrasound and the long acronym procedure. Recipe for disaster. I guess it is What's Cooking Wednesday after all.

I have to say that what made that procedure better, and made the whole experience much better than it could have been, was the amazing staff at CHEO. Everyone who we encountered was great. They were, not surprisingly, great with Hope and truly love working with kids - you could see it. It is so nice to be in a place where people seem to feel that they're making a difference. It shows in how they do their jobs and how they talk to the patients and families. Refreshing to say the least.

And as the cherry on the sundae, I finally freed up some room in our freezer by dropping off my placenta for incineration while I was there.

Bet you weren't expecting me to end this post with this little tidbit, eh?

Since Hope was born at home, we were left, as is the style, of doing away with the placenta. You're given a couple of options: bury it (but it has to be 3 feet into the ground and who wants to dig a 3 foot hole right after giving birth) or take it to the hospital for incineration. We had great plans to make it a family event so as to avoid paying for parking - one of us would run in and drop off the frozen block of placenta while the other stayed in the car - but it just never happened. So, today I saw my opportunity. Only thing was that I was at CHEO and I was supposed to drop the placenta at the General - the neighbouring regular hospital - on the same grounds but a good walk away. I took matters into my own hands and wandered up to the lab floor.

The lab floor is clearly not a place where laypeople go too often. There was no reception, just a lot of busy doctor-type people working behind complicated machinery. I poked my head into the one room where I found two people who weren't examining nasty bits and told my sordid story in as few words as possible. I think my brevity may have made my story seem extra weird. Especially to the Eastern European man to whom I was blathering.

Turns out he was some head honcho up there. He kept referring to his "assistant" who would help me out. I expected a peon lab tech to retrieve my lovely gift but it was another doctor, who seemed rather senior himself - or at least pretty knowledgeable and all. After explaining my story several times (head honcho didn't get that I actually had the placenta in my car in the parking lot and that it wasn't already with his technicians waiting for incineration) and that this wasn't so odd because I had a homebirth, I got quick agreement that they would be happy to take it and burn it up for all eternity (after doing some poking and prodding just for the sake of science). I have to imagine that peon assistant is amusing his wife tonight with stories of this crazy hippie mother who kept her placenta in her freezer in a tupperwear container for seven months and then delivered it to him today in a Loeb bag to avoid walking a kilometer or so. Actually, he seemed bemused by the whole thing and kind of giddy in a science geek kind of way. It was kind of endearing.

Anyway, this house is now placenta free.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Going green and putting away the Green Card

Since Emily was born, I have spent more time than ever before thinking about the environment and my affect on it, my "eco-footprint" as the kids are saying. This isn't a recent jump on the enviro bandwagon as the media has done lately. It has been on my mind a lot, although in their defence, moreso since the media has been printing articles almost everyday on how regular people can reduce the wear and tear on the earth.

I started by removing all the nasty chemical cleaners from our house when Emily was a baby. I infrequently used cloth diapers, always used organic baby wash for her baths and occasionally bought organic produce if the price was right. We replaced our Tungsten bulbs with CFL bulbs. It wasn't much, admittedly.

I've stepped it up in the last year. I've started to get delivery of organic produce every Friday. I use cloth diapers constantly on Hope (except at night). I've joined an Organic Buyers Co-op for all my cleaning products and dry goods. We compost. I'm not trying to toot my own horn here. I'm simply making a laundry list and I realize that there is a lot more I can do.

This weekend the Ottawa Citizen, probably like every other paper in the country, had a lot on the environment in honour of Earth Day. There was an article about a couple in New York City who realized that one of the major factors affecting the environment is our consumerism so they decided to stop spending for one year on everything except food and rent, hydro and those sorts of necessities. So, no clothes, books, lattes, no nuthin'. Not only did they help the Earth, they also helped their bank account and paid off (quickly) a multi-thousand dollar credit card debt.

So, I've challenged myself to do this for one month. There will be two blips though: our trip to Boston and my trip to Kitchener (where I simply must buy a giant hunk of summer sausage but hey, that's food so it doesn't count). Also, my birthday is May 10 so I will be spending my birthday money (should I receive any.... HINT) on the garden. Aside from that, no red tea lattes from Starbucks, no books from Chapters, no donuts (for Emily, of course) from Timmy's. I started yesterday and so far so good. So, my Green Card is put away for the time being.

I know I need to reduce my consumer behaviour. I buy too many little things that I really don't need and that habit is no longer a question of me wasting my own money but also one of wasting resources, energy and chemicals in the production of all these things I don't need.

Want to join me?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Updates, ramblings, general chaos

The old mercury finally started climbing northward today and it didn't stop when it hit the permafrost line, either. It was about 20 degrees here today. Emily and Hope both had sun hats and sunscreen on and it was bliss. We went walking, to the sandbox, to the playground. I saw what our summer will be like, the promise of it. It is wonderful.

For those of you wondering how things have gone regarding Hope and breastfeeding, as expected, things are back to normal, or close to it. I never went to the doctor in the end because she started turning her nose up at the other side and then it was confirmed, as I expected, that she is enthralled with sitting up right now and would rather practise that than spend time, I dunno, getting sustenance. It's getting a little better now but it still takes a while to feed her and I can only really do so successfully in her dark bedroom.

This poses a bit of a problem because we're going to Boston in about 3 weeks and I'm not sure what will go on with the breastfeeding/distraction thing in the middle of the Public Garden or Harvard Square when she needs to eat and there is just so much sitting up and looking around to do. Wow, that was a long sentence.

Yes, we're going to Boston. It is purely vacation, purely fun, could be purely hell if the stars don't align so that we can all peacefully sleep in the same hotel room together. Be sure that there will be many stories to tell upon our return. And of course, many pictures. I'm VERY excited. VERY.

We haven't had a trip just for fun since.... I can't remember. We went to Austin two Christmases ago and that was great because I love Austin and I love being with Beth, but it was also Christmas and the first Christmas without my mum so it wasn't the same as just picking a random destination and exploring. I can't wait.

The rest of this week has been comprised of doing taxes and thinking about next year. It has been causing me angst, great angst (the taxes, too) and kept me rom blogging much. Maybe because I want to blog about my concerns and struggles about next year but I first have to nail down my feelings about it a little better and also figure out some of the facts and options a little better too. There will be a post soon. It might be a bit of navel gazing. Wait. That's pretty much the definition of a mommy-blog. I guess I don't have to make any excuses then. Still, it will probably push the limit. You may want to skim.

Suffice it to say, I'm having problems regarding my choices and decisions regarding my return to work. Like most mothers on maternity leave. Really, this is not the most cutting edge problem, but it's mine and right now it seems huge.

Well, the house is shutting down so it is time for one of my favourite parts of the day. Getting into bed and reading. I'm thinking tonight I'll start Fast Food Nation. It's the feel good story of the year.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What's cooking Wednesday

What's cooking around here? Germs and snot and tears (I'm listening to Hope give 'er through the monitor right now). So, it was leftovers from last night, but man, they are my favourite leftovers. The recipe is a regular (kind of) in our house... about once every couple of months. It would be more often if the recipe wasn't a sure bet to clog your arteries. Enjoy it... but not too often.

I love it because it is darn tasty but also because it is so retro. In the original recipe given to me by John's mom, it actually called for hot Mazola. You gotta love that.

Sweet and Sour Spareribs

1 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
several bay leaves

Combine above ingredients in decent size pot. Simmer.

Meanwhile, cut up a bunch of pork short ribs (the little ones). Mix together a bunch of flour, salt and pepper and some oregano and put in a ziploc bag. Put the ribs into the bag in batches and shake. Brown in a hot frying pan (this is where the hot Mazola comes in). Transfer all ribs into the sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve over fried rice.

No photo I'm afraid. I was to focussed on eating and keeping my eyes open after last night. Just trust me that it is gooey, sticky, yummy and sure to be a crowd pleaser. Oh, and dead easy. I know it sounds ridiculously easy and the ingredients sound kind of basic and maybe a bit bland but seriously, you gotta try it. Sometimes the most simple is the most tasty. Fried pork? You can't go wrong!

Be sure to check out the home of What's Cooking Wednesday at Tales from the Fairy Blogmother.


Emily had a cold when she woke up on Sunday morning. She's been braving it quite well considering her nose is constantly running down her face. Then the predictable but unfortunate happened yesterday: Hope caught the cold.

It stinks when babies have colds. You can't give them anything, they don't know how to blow their noses so you have to stick the hoover thingy up there to hose it out, they can't sleep and therefore neither can I. Last night I honestly lost count of how many times I was up. I remember that between 2 and 3:30 or so I was up every 15 minutes. After that it was every 45 minutes to an hour. And getting her back to sleep without breastfeeding her? Hah! That'll be the day. When she's feeling bad, it's all she wants.

Well, enough with the complaining... it's not like this hasn't happened to every parent. Still, it makes me feel better (slightly) to whine about it for a while.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Politically astute at 2 years old

When Beth was here she and I and the kids went for a walk one morning around Parliament Hill. Or as Emily called it then, the Castle. Emily believes that all big, old buildings are castles, but Parliament is the Castle to end all Castles. It's not hard to see why. Look:

While we were traipsing around the building, looking at the feral cats, the statues of prime ministers, the Queen on her horse, the Famous Five, etc. the Peace Tower clock started to chime (not surprising as the sucker goes off every 15 minutes). Emily loved this, as any two-year old would, but particularly because we have been singing a song a Kindermusik about a church steeple that goes "ding dong, ding dong." Art imitating life, I guess, toddler-style.


Since that visit to Parliament, whenever Emily sees the front of our newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen (their logo is the Peace Tower), or if she spots the Peace Tower from the car, she squeals: The Ding Dong Castle, Mummy! Look!

Our seat of government, the historic and regal buildings that house our federal politicians and their oh-so-intelligent debates, is now known in our house as the Ding Dong Castle.

Everytime she does this, I laugh. I laugh pretty hard. Never has a building been so aptly renamed for the group of people who are regularly inside it. Wise beyond her years that one.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Joan was right

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote post about the trials and tribulations of Emily's toilet training. Okay, I better be more specific since, really, I've written many, many posts about the trials and tribulations of Emily's toilet training. I'm talking about this post.

In response to the post, Joan wrote a comment suggesting that I step back and let Emily figure it out on her own, relieving me of the stress of trying to get her to poop on the toilet. I gave it about a week of trying the no pants, no t.v. routine and then when that didn't work (I wasn't really surprised) I took Joan's advice.

I told Emily that I wasn't going to bug her about it anymore, that she could poop in the toilet when she was ready, but that she was going to have to wear Pull-Ups in the meantime because I wasn't going to clean poop out of underwear (anymore). She didn't like having to give up her underwear but she didn't resist too much.

The first two days saw me clean poop out of the Pull-Ups but by the third day or so, she was running for the toilet, not quite making it but almost.

Yesterday was the Boo-Yah moment. She told me she had to poop, she didn't want me to come, she went in there, did the deed and then proudly showed me what she deposited (let me just say: impressive). It was one of my best parenting moments so far. You all knew that poop would have to play a part.

So, Joan, thanks. Maybe it would have happened regardless of me taking your advice, but I'm giving you credit here because I think it was indeed the fact that she saw that I didn't care anymore so what was the point of resisting. Especially if it meant not sitting in her own shit.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What's cooking Wednesday

Another vegetarian feast for What's Cooking Wednesday. John declared it a "home run." Can't be bad if there is sour cream and apple sauce on the side!

Sweet Potato Pancakes

4 cups (packed) coarsely grated sweet potatoes (about 2) - if you have a food processor, definitely pull it out
1/2 cup grated onion
3 to 4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
black pepper, to taste
4 beaten eggs
1/3 cup flour
oil for frying (just a bit though)

1. Combine all ingredients (except oil) and mix well.

2. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet until it is very hot.

3. Use a non-slotted spoon to form thin pancakes, patting the batter down. Fry on both sides until brown, adding small amounts of additional oil, if/as needed.

4. Serve hot with sour cream and apple sauce.

I served it with a cucumber salad (also very good) and corn. John has been craving corn for 3 days so he finally got it. Odd, I know.

And, look who's sitting up all by her lonesome:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where you get to hear way more about my breasts than you ever wanted to

I have been supremely blessed by Hope and her textbook breastfeeding. She's had very few issues and thus, so have I. Until last week.

For some reason that I have yet to figure out, Hope is not so interested in my right breast anymore. For her, it's the ugly cousin she's been forced to take to the prom. The left one is the President of Student Council and just way more interesting.

I can dupe her by getting her on there in the night or if her room is really dark or if she is supremely hungry (any ole' port looks good in a storm). I've tried breastfeeding in different rooms, in different positions, with or without pillows, distraction and no distraction... none of those things seem to matter. I seem to be able to get her on there about 3 or 4 times in a 24 hour period. It is likely that my supply on that side has gone down a bit as a result.

After almost a week of this, I called La Leche League yesterday, the grandmommies of breastfeeding. The person I talked to confirmed that I was doing everything right in trying to figure it out and trying to persuade her to take it. They also asked questions about the health of that breast. That's what has put me in a bit of a state for the remainder of today.

I have a very small cyst on that breast. My doctor has told me at least twice that it is nothing to worry about because it is right under the skin and not in the breast tissue. She also said that no surgeon would touch it until I'm done breastfeeding. However the La Leche League lady (we'll refer to her now as LLLL) asked if I'd had it biopsied. Ah, wah? She said that there have been five cases (out of how many, I have no idea) of women whose baby suddenly stopped feeding on one breast where the breast turned out to have a tumour in it. That is the precise moment when my heart stopped. Just for a moment.

I know that it is entirely unlikely that this is my case but just for a moment, the movie reel that plays out my adult life in my mind spit the film onto the floor and the crowd started to get pretty surly. I talked about it with John who confirmed that I should call my doctor just to put my mind at ease and ensure that there are no breast issues and also that this is likely Hope just being finicky for a while.

The likely scenario is that my flow is a little slower in that breast. I have a wad of scar tissue in there from a squash injury from years ago (poor right breast, everything happens to you) and come to think of it, Emily was more fond of the left as well. Babies will often favour the breast with the faster flow. Up until now, Hope hasn't seemed to care but maybe she's decided that all this work is for chumps and she wants to sit back and have her milk margarita delivered to her without getting up from her lounge chair.

LLLL also suggested that I express a bit of milk first in the problem breast to see if that entices her to go for it. It seemed to help during the last feeding, as did a bit of distraction (a funky necklace around my neck - thanks, Pam!).

All this to say, when breastfeeding works, it's great, when it doesn't, it can eat at you to your core until you get it worked out. No one explains very well the emotional issues and attachments that go along with breastfeeding. Those are ours to find out the hard way.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter All

The annual egg hunt went off splendidly this morning. I used those snap together plastic eggs and filled them with stickers and some chocolates. Their size and colour made it really easy for Emily this year. I'll definitely do that again next year. Yes, I am the last parent on Earth to discover these. So what? I didn't know what an iPod was until two years ago either.

Egg hunting was followed by church. As it has been for the last three weeks or so, Emily was not stellar during the service, and neither, for that matter, was Hope. Of course, I don't blame Hope for that, she is only 7 months old after all (as of yesterday, it turns out). But, Emily? She can do better. Way better.

It's hard to be motivated to keep going though when John and I have to divide and conquer and really don't even get to hear the sermon because we're managing the kids (surprisingly, this doesn't seem to bother John too much). Today was even worse because there wasn't a Children's Hour program so Emily had to either make it through the whole service (hah!) or go into the nursery or play in the hallway with all the other wayward toddlers.

We left early.

I decided to use Easter as a good segue into effective discipline and tell her that Jesus died because he wouldn't be quiet and listen in church. She cried. No harm done though, right?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Diane Arbus in the making

When my old digital camera died, I gave it to Emily to play with. There were no batteries in it and for a while she was satisfied with just pretending. But then she asked for batteries so she could take pictures. I decided to show her how to use it and see what would happen. What has happened is a wonderful, huge collection of photos that Emily has taken herself. After only a few days, she has figured out how to take photos (and not just of the floor anymore), how to review her photos and I think she's teaching herself the zoom function already. Beth asked that I put some of her photos up here.

I know it is just a two-year old fooling around with a camera but to me it is also a glimpse into how she sees the world, how she interprets it... and what it's like to be so freaking short.

Being that there were a few I wanted to put up, I decided to post them through Flickr. Here is a taste of what you'll see there:

Friday, April 06, 2007

A quiet blog but a great week

I had great plans to post everyday on all the fun things we've been doing while Beth has been here but, what with all the fun things going on, I didn't have time to post. So, I'm going to cram it all into one post. I'll apologize now for the rambling, eclectic post that isn't particularly coherent.

We've had a great week but the best thing we did was sans children. On Wednesday, Beth and I treated ourselves to Afternoon Tea at the Chateau Laurier. Chateau Laurier is an old CP hotel, now a Fairmont Hotel, so is a member of a special group of hotels in Canada: the Royal York, Hotel MacDonald, The Empress, Chateau Frontenac, Banff Springs to name a few. They are all gorgeous, castle-like (thus the "chateau") and are a real treat just to walk through. It's even more of a treat to sit down for afternoon tea.
We chose the Traditional Tea, which included finger sandwiches (crusts cut off of course), scones with jam and clotted cream, and some tarts, oh yeah, and some tea (chosen from a beautiful tea cart). We decided that ladies who lunch must have sherry. It was perfect. We also decided that this will now be our tradition when we're visiting each other. How lovely.

On Thursday, we all went to the library and then to the "coffee shop" (read: Tim's). My Dad and his wife were here, which was really nice, so they joined us before heading home. Emily loves to spend time with Papa.

That afternoon, Beth kept the kids while I used the gift certificate she got me for Christmas to get a pedicure. I drank a large glass of red while my feet were pampered. How lovely.

On Friday, being a Good Friday, we went to the Museum of Science and Technology. Isn't that what you're supposed to do on a holy day? From there, we went out for a traditional Easter lunch of Dim Sum. Beth can't get Dim Sum in Austin, so we usually do that when she's here. Yesterday afternoon we finally did something Eastery and made Paska (Mennonite, of course). It is, well, lovely.

Now, it is Saturday and I hate today because Beth has to go home. But, she doesn't leave until supper time so we have the whole day to do something fun. Not sure yet what that will be but it may involve skis or tobaggons since there is about 2 inches on the ground right now. Not lovely at all.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What's cooking Wednesday

Although the weather in Ottawa is less than stellar, for today's What's cooking Wednesday, I decided to do Cedar Planked Salmon on the barbecue. It's just yummy and I wanted it so I stood in the cold and rain and got it together. Truthfully, there is no hovering over the barbecue which is one of the reasons I like this so much.

Cedar Planked Salmon with Soy-Maple Syrup Glaze

Soak plank overnight in water or for at least one hour. (I find about four hours is great.) Meanwhile prepare glaze.

Combine 1 cup of (real) maple syrup, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger, 1 tbsp lemon juice, salt and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer until reduced to about 1 cup (approximately 30 minutes). Set aside to cool.

Preheat grill. Let temperature come up to above 500 degrees. Pour about half of sauce over salmon. Put plank on until it starts to crackle, about 5 minutes. Chop some green onions (green part only) into two to 3 inch pieces. Place green onions on plank and put salmon pieces on top of them. Close BBQ lid and reduce heat to medium low. Grill until the salmon flakes nicely.

Remove from grill. You'll probably want to use large tongs and remove the whole board onto a cookie sheet and then remove the salmon pieces. Put salmon on a platter and pour on remaining sauce. Yum, yum good.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The meme I was born to play

The lovely and elegant Shannon at Tales from the Fairy Blogmother (sorry, I'm using Safari and can't link over for some reason) tagged me for this meme the other day. As I read through her answers I was secretly hoping that she would tag me, not that she would have had to - I probably still would have done it, because I love food and I love to talk about food. Hmm. I don't really talk about it too much here though, but it often dominates conversations in our house. Allrighty then.

1. Can you cook? If yes do you like to cook?
If you read my blog often, you know the answer... a big yes to both.

2. When does your whole family come together to eat?
We always eat dinner together and on weekends we eat all three meals together.

3. What do you have for breakfast?
I'm such a creature of habit at breakfast. Toast (almost always on homemade bread) with peanut butter (natural) and either jam or Nutella.

4. When, where and how do you eat through the week?
Breakfast at about 7:00 at the table in the dining room while reading the paper. It is totally "me time".
Lunch around 12:30 at the table with Emily. I'm often up and down about twenty times it seems to get milk, no wait Mummy, I want water, can I have pickles?, I want ketchup, more this, more that, I need a bib, a new fork, you name it. You get the picture.
Dinner around 5:30 or 6:00 at the table with everyone. See lunch for how it all works.

5. How often do you eat out?
Maybe once every two weeks and not at the kind of places we used to eat. Now it's Licks or Kelsey's or shawarma. Mmm shawarma.

6.How often do you order in or get take out?
Maybe once a month at the most.

7.Re: 5 &. 6 - if money were no object would like to do it more often?
Probably not. We really like to cook and eat good homemade food. If money were no object, I'd have a personal chef on call.

8.Are there any standards that make a regular appearance at your table?
For sure. Sweet and sour spareribs, Moroccan stew, cauliflower and cheese pie, pasta with sausage, fishcakes, bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, blueberry pancakes.

9.Have you ever tried a recipe from another blog?
I have great plans to but I haven't yet.

10.Are there any quarrels because of food?
No, John and I have a great chemistry together in the kitchen and like the same things. Emily, on the other hand, does quarrel with us over some things, mainly when we won't let her eat Smarties for dinner.

11.Are you a vegetarian or could you imagine living as a vegetarian?
I could easily be a vegetarian, although I'm not one now. I would have said "not on your life" just a couple of months ago, but I've been cooking a lot more vegetarian meals lately and the more I cook that way, well, the more I cook that way. I could easily be a vegetarian and might get there yet.

12.What would you like to try out that you haven't dared yet?
Chicken feet, just for the ick factor. And the sauce.

13.Would you rather cook or bake?
I do both, and do both very well, but when it comes down to it, I prefer to bake.

14.What was the most terrible mess you've ever made in the kitchen?
A few weeks ago, I got myself in a pickle trying to bake bread for ourselves and bread for another family including a batch of Chelsea buns. Bad things happened. I was so frustrated by the whole thing, and so frazzled, that I couldn't even blog about it. John was left with the task of cleaning up pretty much every dish and surface and baking ustensil in the kitchen. I love that guy.

15.What do your kids like to eat best? What would your kids never eat?
Emily loves everything. Tonight she pigged out on chick peas. Yes, chick peas! Her favourites are bagels with cream cheese and red pepper jelly, any kind of fruit, sandwiches, homemade macaroni and cheese with spinach (she loves spinach), veggies and dip, sour cream (she'll eat it with a spoon). Emily will try anything once. I can't really think of anything that she'll never eat. She's very adventurous. Maybe chicken feet.

16.What do you dislike most?
Vegemite is disgusting. Also, I don't like squash on its own. I'm not crazy about mashed potatoes (weird, I know), I despise baked apples in any form, and finally, my most hated food: raisins. What a waste of grapes.

Well, that's it. Now, for a tag: I think I'll keep it really simple this time: Beth.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Something good

Everyone: Emily just came to me, asked to poop in the toilet, and then did. Oh. My. God. Thank you.

More updates later. Must go play with new soccer ball she now has.

Try to keep up with this one

Beth is here! Beth is here! Beth is here! Can you tell that I'm excited?

My sister arrived from Texas on Saturday afternoon and is here until next Saturday and it is sooooo great. Emily is beside herself with excitement every morning as she waits for Beth to get up. They've already baked (a lot), played, we went to Parliament yesterday and saw the creepy cat sanctuary, went to the market for tea and still have an entire week ahead of us. We're not exactly sure what all we'll do but I'm sure we'll have no trouble filling it. So far we're thinking of swimming, a museum, playgroup and Kindermusik, and for me, a trip to the spa. Oh my, yes.

Today we're staying in. It's raining and I'm getting a quote for having our roof done (ouch, I'm sure) and an electrician is coming to fix the three outlets in our kitchen that don't work. Right now everything is plugged into either the stove or the one remaining outlet that works. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that that, well, it's a little irritating.

This post, as you've likely already noticed, is jumping all over the place. Hold on for one more jump, Mr. Gaeta.

I was preparing to leave the house on Saturday afternoon to do a few groceries. I was taking Hope with me. Emily was staying home with John. John was cleaning the house. As I left, Emily told John that she wanted to play outside on her new climber thingy. As I was about to walk out the door I heard him say to her: You can play outside but I'm not coming. I'm going to be vacuuming upstairs.

Um, HUH?

I quickly explained why a two-year old shouldn't play alone in an unfenced yard with climbing equipment that has public trails going behind it and then I left the house. I seethed the entire time I was away, secretly hoping that John was kidding. His reaction to that when I asked him later was: "Um, if you say so."

We then had an extended discussion, with him nodding the whole time and looking a bit sheepish in his own John way, about why a two-year old should not be playing outside alone. We were both kind of laughing at the tragedy of it all.

Father of the Year Award people? I think I have a prime candidate you may want to consider.