Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Good Tuesday.

Although today started with a slight change of plans - I was supposed to take the car and go to Mom's group and town but Cory ended up needing it - it was altogether a good one. I've been dealing with a more-fussy-than-normal baby the past couple days, but today seemed to be an improvement, though still not back to his normal self. My poor husband... I left last night for an hour to go to the new Pilates class at the school, and apparently the wee one screamed his head off the entire time. He was finally asleep when I got home, so I got to miss the entire meltdown. I feel bad for Eli, but worse for Cory, who was trying every trick he knew to get him to calm down. Eventually he just put him in his crib, he cried for ten more minutes and then fell asleep just before I came home.
Today, though, he was better. Behaviour-wise, anyway. When we got up in the morning I put him on the change table, took off his sleeper and his diaper, at which point he promptly peed all over himself. Then puked. All over himself. Then smiled up at me. So, being the dutiful mother that I am, I ran a bath for him, washed him down, dried him off and put him back on the change table to get him dressed, at which point he promptly peed all over himself. I realize that any mother worth her salt would have patiently and sweetly drawn him another bath and washed him down again, but I didn't. I said "screw it" and wiped him off with a damp cloth.
After THAT was over, we got a lot done in the morning, and read books and giggled and had a good time, just the two of us. After lunch we went for a walk! I felt motivated after the Pilates class of the night before, so we very ambitiously decided to walk around Beulah. PHEW! I did it on Friday and was fine, but I wasn't pushing a stroller then. Pushing Eli makes it a lot harder, and there are a lot of steep hills in Beulah, especially the LONG hill at the end. I really have no idea how far it is, but I'm thinking around 3km, maybe a bit longer. It took me about 40 minutes anyway.
After Cory got home from work today he too felt ambitious, so he decided to RUN around Beulah! The man hasn't run in over a year, and he just up and decides to run around Beulah. Then he does it! In twenty minutes! I was so impressed.
Speaking of impressed, imagine my surprise the other day when I came home from a homeschool meeting and found out that he had decided to make whipped cream for the dessert I left him. That's impressive enough on its own, but here's the clincher: he whipped it by hand. As in, with a whisk. Not the beaters, just a hand-held whisk. I asked him if he was crazy, and he said "Don't you always do it that way?" HA! As if! I don't even think I COULD do it that way if I wanted to. He said it was really hard, and the only thing that kept him going was thinking "If Emily can do this, I can do this." Imagine his disgust when he learned that I use the beaters. "Oh. That would have been easier." Poor man.
So supper tonight: stir fry. It was delicious, and completely a spur of the moment decision. The problem with buying a side of beef whole instead of individual cuts of meat at the store is that you really aren't quite sure have the time what you're pulling out of the freezer. I thought I had grabbed a couple of T-bone steaks for dinner, but instead when they thawed found these super thin, kind of icky-looking steaks that really didn't look like they would be that good on their own. So last second I decided to slice them up and make a stir-fry instead, and it turned out deliciously. Cory ate a massive plate of it, then an hour and a half later ate a tuna sandwich with an entire can of tuna, and half a box of Kraft Dinner. I think that run really increased his appetite.
The night finished off with turning on the TV just in time to watch Canada get another gold medal. We've had ridiculous luck with that, we've seen three gold medals live so far, and we barely turn the TV on! We just have a good instinct I guess. And right now... Troy is here fixing my dryer for me! Hooray for a dryer again!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lent

I don't think I've ever actually (successfully) given something up for Lent before, so, in my 20th year of life, I concluded that it's time to start. I will not consume, for the 40 days of Lent, the following:

Junk Food - including chips of all sorts and varieties (including those danged wonderful multigrain Tostitos), candy, and chocolate.

Sweets - desserts. All desserts. And anything with a really high sugar content. I realize that's a bit objective, but I'm just going to try to avoid unhealthy sweets.

This gives me an excuse to try making those fat-free sugar-free granola cookies I've been dying to try! Oh, and the exception clause: can't forget. Cory's birthday is on Friday, so I've decided I'm allowed to eat any sweets connected with that event, like if someone makes him a cake or we go out to dinner or something. But other than that...!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

I had to blog about my valentines day - as cliche as that is, because it was simply and truly the best one I've ever had. We had our dear friends Chester and Ashley Dana come stay with us this weekend, which was splendid, but it also meant Eli slept in the office, and not very well. He was up a lot through the night, and in the end I brought him into our bed to sleep. Not that that makes him sleep any better, I was just worried about him waking everyone else up. So I woke up tired, but my dear husband wished me a happy Valentine's Day first thing, then got up and took care of the baby for me and cleaned the house so I could get ready for church and start the stew for Sunday lunch, which was at our house. We had more than the usual crowd, in fact if everyone had come that normally comes, there would have been 29 people there. However we were missing a few, so there were only 22. It was very nice to meet the Macburnies, a family who used to come to our church but had moved out west for a few years. They've moved back, so while I had never met them personally I had heard lots about them, and it was nice to meet them. After church my sweet husband surprised me with a ridiculous and mildly suggestive Valentines card, the contents of which will not be repeated on the internet. I hadn't really expected him to get me anything, so I was shocked and slightly embarrassed. But it made me laugh. A few minutes later when I was nursing the baby he brought out a box of lindor chocolates, my favourite! Another surprise, that sweetheart! Then everyone started arriving for lunch and we had a wonderful afternoon of visiting and laughing. After everyone left Cory took charge of baby boy again and let me take a nap, but just before I fell asleep he came back into our room. He'd bought me hairbands, which were really cute, and a straightener! Not your typical valentine's gift, but I was so pleased because I'd been kind of wanting a hair straightener for a couple of months now but every time I went to look at them I could never justify it in my mind, so I never got one. Unlike in high school - where if I wanted something and had the money, I bought it - I now have other priorities. So I was so happy he got me one, because I probably never would have bought one on my own! Another completely unexpected gift! After my nap we went to evening service at church, while I thought that the gifts were done. Little did I know. After we got home Cory brought out smoked oysters, and sparkling wine, and while we cuddled on the couch enjoying that he brought out ANOTHER small box... earrings! Beautiful, elegant earrings. I have the best husband in the world.
And I still have dinner to look forward to - back at Christmas Cory won a gift certificate to Granan's in a draw at work, which is too expensive for us normally but with this we'll be able to go. So excited! My husband is so great!

Postscript: I wish there were some way to inform the whole world at one time that it's called Valentine's Day, not Valentime's Day. But there isn't. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Garlic, TV and right-handedness.

I've watched parents of older children (say, two or three), try to figure out whether their child is going to be right-handed or left-handed. Analyzing which hand they use for various activities... colouring, throwing a ball, etc. However with Eli, I will not have that opportunity. He's made it clear from about two months old that he is extremely right-handed. At first he would only use his right hand at all, and no attempts to convince him to use his left would work. While he will use it a bit more now, I still frequently have to remind him that it exists. He tends to get it worked down to his side while sitting in the high chair or jumperoo and then is frustrated that he can't pick up his toys. When I pull his left arm out from underneath him and put a toy in it, the look on his face is so precious! "Oh! Look at that!" Then he looks up at me exited to show me that he can now shove his toy into his mouth.

He will be five months old on Saturday. Time's gone by so fast! He's so handsome, and happy, he's a joy to be around. The chubby cheeks make me giggle, and he's so much more responsive than he used to be. When I stagger into his room at 3:00 in the morning for a feeding he looks up at me from his crib and his whole face lights up, he's so happy to see me. "She came!!" I love that I can put him down at eight now, and count on him not getting up for a good 7 or 8 hours. It's nice to have that time to spend with Cory.

In other news, we moved the TV into the living room. Shock, horror! We've had the TV since we moved in, but have actually never watched it. With no cable, no DVD player and crappy reception on the three channels we did kind of get, we just left it unplugged in the office, only occasionally plugging it in when the kids were over to play Nintendo. I was actually kind of proud of this fact, not having a TV seems so hip and granola. But the Olympics are coming up, and Lynn gave us an old DVD player and an antenna, so we get slightly better reception and as soon as we get an adaptor to hook up the DVD player we'll watch movies on that instead of the laptop. We both wanted to watch the Olympics too... so that will be nice.

Last night I made a loaf of bread and some garlic butter to go with our spaghetti and caesar salad. It's funny, spaghetti is probably Cory's favourite meal, but to me it's more of a "I didn't feel like cooking tonight" kind of thing, unless I make my own spaghetti sauce. But I usually just use the stuff in a jar (spinach and cheese is my favourite!). So last night to feel more gourmet I made a loaf of white bread. I hate the white bread that you buy at the grocery store, but the homemade stuff? Oh wow oh wow. I also made some garlic butter - last time I made it I just mixed garlic powder and dehydrated parsely in with some butter, but last night I minced up some fresh garlic and fresh parsely, and it was night and day. A thousand times better! On warm white bread fresh out of the oven... fantastic. However for once I wished I had a garlic press. I always just chop up my garlic with a knife, it's fast and easy, but for this I wanted it really fine to mix it all in, but I don't have a press. I just took a bit longer with the knife, but I still think it would have been better to have the press. Oh well, maybe someday when I have an extra $10 floating around. Like that will ever happen.

And tonight for supper - one of my all time favourites. Sesame noodles with chicken and cucumbers. Sounds weird, but sooooooo good. Baby is tiring of Jumperoo, so I suppose this must come to a close.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Food

Over at the Resurgence blog today, which I check on a semi-regular basis, there is a new post about the top ten healthy foods you should add to your diet. I was quite pleased to see how many of them I already eat on a regular basis, namely apples, avacados, blueberries, garlic, fish, and mushrooms. I've been meaning to start eating more cabbage for a while now, I just need some good ideas of what do DO with it. I don't remember eating cabbage much as a child, and I'm just not sure what to put it in. I'll have to start experimenting. Also, I think I'll pick up some flax seeds and stir them into my granola recipe - there's a simple way to get them into my diet, since I eat granola every morning anyway. Pomegranates scare me a little bit, since they seem rather intimidating to figure out, but the internet will help me on that. Perhaps that can replace the grapes I love to munch on. I actually don't even think I've ever tried eating a pomegranate, but I LOVE pomegranate juice, so surely it can't be that far off. As for red wine - I cook with that a lot, does that count? I have a hard time stomaching the dry wines... they're very strong, but maybe eventually I'll develop a taste for them, who knows. At any rate, six out of ten ain't bad for now. I'll work on the rest of them!

Meanwhile, learning to cook is still a daily task. I love it, cooking is probably my favourite part of the day, but it can also be frustrating. Mostly just when I let ingredients go bad in the fridge... I HATE wasting stuff, but it's hard with only two people! Less and less often do I create a real flop, in fact I can't really remember the last time we hated something that I made. The other night we had spinach salad with hot bacon dressing... oh wow oh wow oh wow. I made steak bites that night too, our hands down favourite way to eat steak. Because we bought a quarter cow this year, eating beef is often an adventure. I pull some unidentifiable cut of meat out of the freezer and have to figure out what to do with it! The t-bone steakes I cook whole, but the bigger, un-named steaks I like to trim, then cut into one inch cubes. Toss them in a little flour and salt and pepper, then fry them up really quickly in super hot butter so they're still a little rare on the inside. Absolutely melt in your mouth, completely takes away that toughness that you get in a bigger steak. I also find it means we eat less of it, which is good too. Leftovers for tomorrow!

Tonight is a beef stew night. I sort of blended together the boeuf bourguignon recipe by Julia Child that I'm sure everyone who even remotely likes to cook has attempted since watching that movie, and PW's Beef Stew with Mushrooms. The Julia Child recipe is ridiculously complex and has way too many steps, but I like the larger variety of ingredients. So sort of like... her ingredients, with PW's preparation method. But cooked way way longer, so the beef is tender. And served on brown rice. Perfection. I made it once before and we almost died it was so delicious. Can't wait to have it again tonight! Now off to trim some beef...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jesus


For Christmas this year, I bought Eli the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. What an excellent decision that was! It's the most beautiful children's Bible I've ever had the pleasure of reading. So many children's Bible's are merely based on the individual stories in the Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones takes the entire story of God's sovereign plan of redemption through Christ and weaves it through the entire thing. The subtitle is "Every story whispers his name," and it really does! She ends every single tale, Noah and the Ark, Moses and the Red Sea, David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion's Den, Jonah and the Big Fish, etc., by showing simply and beautifully how that individual story ties in to the bigger picture of God's plan for his people. She doesn't hesistate to present the truths of the Scripture as they really happened, but the book is simple enough for little ones to understand.
Ok... not my little one, quite yet, but that doesn't stop me from reading it to him every single day! He screams while I read. Not angry screams, and not really happy shrieks either - just random yelling. I'm not sure why he does that, but I just ignore him and keep going. I often get choked up as I read it to him, the truth of the Bible is so simple that a little child could understand it, but it's so beautiful that it moves me - who has grown up hearing the word of God all my life - to tears sometimes. The way she writes the Lord's Prayer is especially beautiful. I love the Lord's Prayer, but it can become so rote and dry. She writes:

Hello Daddy!
We want to know you.
And be close to you.
Please show us how.
Make everything in the world right again.
And in our hearts, too.
Do what is best - just like you do in heaven.
And please do it down here, too.
Please give us everything we need today.
Forgive us for doing wrong, for hurting you.
Forgive us just as we forgive other people
when they hurt us.
Rescue us! We need you.
We don't want to keep running away
and hiding from you.
Keep us safe from our enemies.
You're strong God.
You can do whatever you want.
You are in charge.
Now and forever and for always!
We think you're great!
Amen!
Yes we do!