Saturday, February 26, 2011

In Which I Try to Explain My Absence

So, I haven't been posting. Whoops. Who knew having two kids is hard?
Actually, if I'm going to be honest (which I try to do on this blog), I'm not doing the greatest. It's lonely out here. It sucks being so far away from friends and family. Many things are still really unfamiliar about St. John's and that can get me down.
Basically, I have my good days and my bad days.

The Bad: 

  • G's temper tantrums - at least one a day, sometimes as many as five a day. Living with a toddler feels like living with a bi-polar person whose mood changes every 10 minutes. They are taking their toll on both of us. I try take the advice of parenting books and articles, but I still feel like I'm doing everything wrong.
  • The potty training nightmare (I don't discuss poo online, cause I don't think people need to hear about that, and I want to give my child a bit of dignity, but let's just say - nothing is good about the stage we're in).
  • Even though my children sleep well, sometimes I don't.
  • Trying to find a church home we both can agree on (and trying to forget how amazing St. Margaret's was)
  • There are no sidewalks. They plow the roads onto the sidewalks to create 6 foot snowbanks instead. So, if I walk anywhere, I walk on the street. If I drive anywhere, I drive around the poor people that are walking on the street. 

The Good:

  • Getting out of the house every day to playgroups, Le Leche meetings, the drop-in gym, library storytime and shopping trips. 
  • Meeting other people at those places, and even better, meeting people repeatedly and building a solid bunch of acquaintances with potential for eventual friendships
  • It may be insanely windy and have crazy amounts of snow, but it is not -40 and I don't have to bundle my children in five thousand layers.
  • Paul decided to celebrate Valentine's Day*  by leaving love notes all over the apartment for me to find. I am still finding them. 
  • M is still an amazingly mellow baby. 
  • We managed to take G's soother away really easily and she hasn't asked for it since.**
  • When G isn't temper tantruming, she is hilarious. She makes up stories, songs and dances. And she's started asking hilarious questions like "What do aliens eat?" and "What does a crab say?" 
So, I can list more good then bad. I suppose that says something. 

*we never have, because it is a stupid non-holiday where flowers cost thrice as much and everything smells like yucky red cinnamon hearts.

**Soother Fairy - I may explain this in a later post. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Talking Stove

For Christmas, we got this great Little Tikes Kitchen from my mom and dad for G and M. It has everything. In fact, since it has 
-an iron
-a microwave
-a washer and dryer
-a dishwasher
it is much more well-equipped then our kitchen! 
It also takes 8 batteries. The washer and dryer go splish-splash and BUZZ, the phone makes (quite realistic) beeping phone sounds, the iron makes an iron-y hiss sound and the stove, well... the stove. It talks. 
We didn't realize when we first tried it out how many things the stove says. When we turned the knob, it seemed to only say "Hi, let's get cooking!" and "It's time to eat!" 
What we didn't realize is that it KNOWS things. What the voice says changes depending on what's on the element. We first noticed this when there was a pot on the stove and it started to make sizzle sounds. But it wasn't until this week when G put the toy food that came with the stove onto the element that we realized how complex this thing really is. Suddenly, the stove said "Ooh, a chocolate chip cookie!". 
So here's the problem with that. We have other things in our house, other toy food. Food that doesn't have the microchip or whatever it is that lets the stove know what to say. This can make G a wee bit upset. She talks back to the stove. 
Stove: "Hi! Let's get get cooking!" G: " Say plum! Say plum, Lady!" 
Stove: "Don't forget to clean up!" G: "No! I don't want to clean up!"
Stove: "Let's cook your favourite!" G: "That's not my favourite."
Then, the stove said "Woof! Woof! Oh no, the dog got in the groceries!" 
G really wanted the stove to say that again. "Say dog groceries! Say dog groceries!" But it wouldn't say it. 
So she tried to use logic on it:


Monday, February 7, 2011

In Which I Like to Make Up Recipes

I made something yummy today and thought I'd share it with you. I like making recipes up off the top of my head, and this is one of them. It was inspired by something I ate years ago on a progressive supper when we were leading the youth group.

Coconut-Peanut Soup with Chicken 
(I'll show the pictures first, the recipe is below a la Smitten Kitchen)






1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced (I use jarred minced garlic* - it changed my life)
1/2 can of coconut milk (200ml)
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy - I would make it more spicy if G wasn't eating it)
2 Chicken breasts*, sliced thinly (I find that it's easier to slice thin when it's still partly frozen)
Bean sprouts (handful)
Vermicelli Rice Noodles (about half a cup cooked)

Fry up the onion - actually, my favourite way of doing onions is by steaming them in bit of water until it boils off, then adding a small splash of oil until they're fried - seems to cook them way faster (I learned this from Michael Smith, your chef at home, who is my hero).
Add chicken stock, peanut butter and bring to a boil. Turn down to low, add coconut milk and spices.

Fry chicken strips in a splash of olive oil until they are white and cooked.
Boil  and drain noodles, either breaking them up beforehand, or cutting them up (I use scissors) afterwards.

Layer in the bowl with noodles, then some bean sprouts, then the chicken, and pour the soup over top.


No-Name things I used in this meal.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Matchy Matchy

When we found out we were having a second girl, I asked Paul about whether we would put them in matching outfits. Both of us were pretty sure we wouldn't - they aren't twins, after all.
But, we got matching dresses recently and discovered that they have matching pajamas... and it's just too cute not to do!
Matching dresses
Pretty in Pink
Matching Jamas
Yellow Fuzzy Jamas

You'll also notice my new haircut. I am not sure how I feel about the cut itself - I went to a cheap salon, so it's not the greatest - but I do love having short hair again. I'll probably go even shorter soon. The hairdressers kept going on and on about my long thick "virgin" hair. I just wanted it off!  The hair that I cut off was a 10-inch long braid, so I donated it to Locks of Love. That's the second time I've done something like that and I gotta say, it feels pretty good.