Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Smarty Pants

So the right thing to do as a parent is to teach your child things... right? But what happens when they take what seemed like a cute thing to do, and run with it? No, really, I'm asking... Fiona has developed a number of habits that I'd prefer not to continue. At least in public.

Case number 1: 'On your head' game.

We play a cute game that I imaginatively call 'putting stuff on your head'. Here's how it works... you put something on your head... a block, stuffed animal, lego container... whatever. Fiona giggles like crazy and takes it back off your head. Aww, cute.

Then Fiona learned that she can put stuff on her own head. So smart!! She likes to put the lego box on her head then play peekaboo... here's a video.

I know! Adorable!

But... then she started putting other things on her head... like the bowl her dinner was in...


Then she wants to cuddle, and before you kow it, I'm covered in food too.

Case 2: "Where's Fiona's belly button"

What began as a cute game of 'find your belly button' has evolved into a horrifying public peepshow. Fiona is now determined to prove that everyone else also has a belly button, and look, there it is, she found it. In addition to that, after she's pulled my shirt up, she likes to lay her head on my naked tummy and cuddle...

but sometimes she'll decide my tummy looks good enough to eat, and will start licking me, which more often than not turns into chomping on my sensitive tummy flesh. Weird, I know. And not appropriate public behaviour!!

Case 3: Banging on the keyboard.

Ben found some fun baby games online where things pop up and noises happen when you bang on the keyboard. Unfortunately now Fiona gravitates towards the keyboard whenever she sees it. We listen to music and dance a lot during the day, and as a result, many of our songs/folders in iTunes now have exciting new names...


Case 4: Cuddles.

Fiona loves Brodie. And Brodie loves Fiona. Fiona has recently learned how to give cuddles. But mostly she just gives them to Brodie. It's super cute, but I'm starting to feel bad for Brodie...

Then again, he can move significantly faster than her, so it would be easy for him to excuse himself if he'd had enough. I guess I'll just keep encouraging this one :-)

So there you have it. Too smart for hor own good. And for my good, and for the good of public decency. It's mostly quite adorable. The biting has to stop though, I'm starting to look like I've been mauled by a Tiger.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day

So Sunday was Father's day.

Side note: Dad - I tried to skype you, but you all must have been out doing something exciting. Either that or ignoring me. Happy Father's day anyway!

On Sunday Fiona woke up super early. 4.45 early. After listening to her babble through the monitor for a while it became clear that she was not going back to sleep, and was getting increasingly angry at being ignored, so I hauled myself out of bed.

We spent some time eating breakfast together and playing, and then we made a card for her Daddy. She seemed to enjoy it, but next time the crayons will not be used in the same room as the couch. I should have known better.

After all this it was almost 8am, so we decided that Father's day priveledges only extend so far, and it was time to pay Daddy a visit.

Fiona was VERY excited to find Daddy. Ben... not so much.

Still, it was ok. Fiona took a nap, and I made Ben his favourite breakfast... Omelette and hash browns. I was going to take a picture, but I forgot. It looked (and apparently was) delicious. Much better than my last cooking endeavour.

Fiona woke up, and we did some stuff. I forget what. Then we headed to Fuddruckers for a traditional Father's day late lunch. Fuddruckers is Ben's favourite restaurant, so we go there for "his" occasions.

Here's Ben hanging with the Fi. (The woman in the background is totally posing for my picture)

And for nostalgia, here's the Father's day celebration at Fuddruckers last year...

Crazy. This year Fiona did a lot less sleeping and a lot more milkshake demanding.

When we got home Fiona took another nap and Ben opened his presents. Fiona and I gave him a thermos named "Stainless King" to take his coffee to work in, and Garden State on DVD. Garden State is one of my our favourite movies and I we enjoyed watching it later that evening!

That was about it. It was a nice day. Happy Father's day Ben!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Adventure in a shopping trolley

Today we went out and ran some errands. I got a super secret item in a super secret location (it's father's day tomorrow), and then we went to Home Depot to get paint for the basement. We're trying their new 'no voc' Freshaire paint, which is free of 'volatile organic compounds'. According to the EPA, VOC exposure can cause...

Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.

Sounds lovely, right? The VOC's also remain in the air for a significant time after the paint has been applied, and continue to compromise the air quality. So in our continued efforts to live a greener life, we're trying the no VOC paint, and it had better be awesome, because if course it costs four times as much! (Although, to be fair, the cancer and birth defect causing paint - and yes, these warnings are right there ON THE CAN - is only $11, so it's not like it cost that much, given the added benefits!)

And now that I've shared all that useful information with you, here's the cuteness section... Fiona got to ride in the cart (trolley) that has steering wheels like a car, and she LOVED it.

She was kind of grumpy before, but as soon as she got in, she started laughing and steering. The pictures are with the old camera, because oddly I didn't consider bringing the fancy camera to the hardware store!

And now Ben is painting and I'm blogging. It's not Father's day yet you know! But I suppose I should go and bring him a cold beer and mop his tired brow. Or at least point out some spots he's missed...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Elevenses with Tanya

Once a week or so Fiona and I have tea with our friend Tanya. Today we planned to get together for elevenses. In preparation for the tea party I thought I'd make these yummy sounding ginger-lemon cakes that I found in one of my cook books. Turns out I should have just gone to the baker down the road!!

I followed the instructions, and definitely used the right amounts of ingredients, etc, but by the time I was done, the 'stiff dough' that I was meant to have was a bit floppy. Still, I hoped for the best, and plopped lumps of it onto a baking tray, as directed. I set the timer for fifteen minutes and waited for the magic to happen...

About 5 minutes in, the kitchen looked a little hazy... I cleaned off my glasses, but it was still hazy, so I had a peek in the oven. Clouds of smoke were released, and I quickly opened the windows and pointed the fan out the way to try to get rid of the smoke before it set off the smoke detector and woke Fiona. Luckily, crisis was averted. And there seemed to be some kind of spill in the oven responsible for the smoke, rather than the cakes.

Another five minutes passed, and I thought I'd better check on them again, and to my horror, they looked like they'd passed 'done' and entered 'char-broiled'. Whoops. Not only that, but they were much smoother and flatter and less appetizing looking than the picture...

And their bottoms didn't look quite right...

Still, I hoped for the best. Fiona woke up from her nap, and Tanya arrived, and I put the kettle on. Fiona was looking a little peckish...

The cakes were ok after some burn removal. They were a little dry too, but butter helped with that. Fiona enjoyed hers, and even insisted on eating the burned bits that I cut off mine. Funny girl. After she was finished, she sprinkled the crumbs in her hair.

Luckily, in addition to the questionable cakes, Tanya had brought some incredible flourless chocolate cake. It was the richest, most decadent chocolate cake ever, and put my sad little cake rocks to shame!

Thanks for the cake Tanya, and thanks for a fun tea time!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Erik and Laurie!

On Sunday we celebrated Erik and Laurie's birthdays. Happy Birthdays! Before the party, Ben and I got a new camera, so part of this party post will be an 'I am so totally in love with this camera' post. We got a Canon T1i (or 500D if you live in a different country). And I'm totally in love with this camera!

Anyway, birthday party... we celebrated at Bill and Ginger's house. Before we ate dinner, Fiona entertained us with a piano recital...

Fiona then enjoyed sharing her dinner with the rest of her face...

After dinner we sang to the birthday girl and boy, and they blew out their candles.

Ginger made tunnel of fudge cake and angel food cake and they were both incredibly delicious!

Laurie is going to the Dominican Republic in a few weeks, so her gift was many useful things, like travel sized toothpaste, and diarrhea relief medicine. Yep, we're that funny.

After dinner we hung out and visited, and Fiona ate dog food. I stand firmly by my belief that Ben was responsible for watching her at that point. She seemed to think it was pretty tasty!

It was a fun party! Happy Birthday! And now I think I'll go and eat some leftover Birthday Cake!

Mmmmmmmmm cake.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nature Adventure

On Saturday the sun came out. We packed up Fiona and Brodie and headed to Lake Nokomis to eat some ice cream and walk around.

While we were on our walk we came across a furry caterpillar. I think it was a Spiny Elm Caterpillar, the larva of the mourning cloak butterfly. Fiona thought it was very funny when I showed it to her, and really wanted to eat it!

When looking for a description of the caterpillar we found, I came across a site with information on caterpillars that sting (and some that don't). It seems that the general rule is that the more crazy it looks, the more likely it is to sting, but in general if you're stung, it's probably not going to cause much of a reaction. If you would like to see pictures of some really wacky caterpillars, check them out here!

A little bit further round the lake a toad jumped out in front of Brodie. He desperately wanted to chase it, but we saved it.

Then not long after that, we spotted this Heron (at least, I'm pretty sure it's a Heron!). According to NPR (where I get all of my trivia) there's quite a large Heron population at Lake Nokomis. They're huge, and very impressive, and I always enjoy spotting them.

I tried to sneak up on it to take a closer picture, but it flew off. You can see here that its wings touched the water with the first few flaps after it started flying (remember to click to see a bigger picture).

Fiona seemed to enjoy the walk, and seeing the different creatures along the way, but most of all she liked relaxing in the stroller and watching all the different dogs walk by.

That's the life!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thai Food Adventure

Since we moved here, Ben and I have been on a quest to find a 'go-to' Thai restaurant. We've tried a few, but generally we've found them to be overpriced and not that tasty. There's one in particular though (True Thai, on Franklin) that we've passed by many, many times, but have never gone to. Recently we were near by and decided to pick up takeaway from there to give it a try. When we got home I had a closer look at the menu, and found that this is no ordinary Thai food..

Maybe you'd like to start with some soup? Oh, this one sounds good...

"Sure to please"? If it's that determined to "please" maybe they should be calling it Wanton soup. Hussy.

If you're trying to be a little more subtle about your intentions, here's a better choice...

Awww, Sweet!! I hope it also comes with a side of Sebastian from the Little Mermaid to serenade you in a boat. Now that's an enchanted evening! And if you're VERY lucky, a few years later you might still be serenaded from time to time...

But maybe you're not in that kind of mood. Maybe you just want to smile... oh, what do you know? Here's a good choice!

I'm smiling and I didn't even eat it! This stuff is powerful...

But you might be the kind of person who is happiest when at the cutting edge of the latest trend. Then you should have this one...

Or perhaps you don't care about what wacky combination of flavours are there, all you want is something that fits your lifestyle of skydiving and cliff climbing... something adventurous...

But maybe I'm being selfish. Maybe I should be focusing more on how the food feels, and less about my own happiness... Maybe I should be ordering a dish like this...

I'm hoping for an invitation to the baby corn-snow pea wedding. I bet they'll have a long and happy life together. And imagine how cute their kids would be!!

Not only does this menu have something for everyone, it also comes with good advice...

Mmmm Thai food. Delicious and entertaining. We'll definitely be back.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ben's new love

I'm sorry I haven't written about our adventures in the last week, but I've been too busy sobbing into my pillow... you see, Ben has a new love in his life. She's curvy, sexy, and wears a lot of red. She hugs him tight and roars with excitement when he caresses her with his... um... foot. Yes, I should stop with the analogies there. She's a car. 

Isn't she lovely? She's a Mazda RX-8, and usually after Ben comes home from work, he'll pop out to the garage a couple of times in the evening to visit her. 

One of the reasons I was presented with for why she was the best choice of car was that she has back seats, and half back doors, so Fiona can fit in the back. And this is true, however, car seat manufacturers don't seem to have considered that you may want to fit your child in the back of a sports car, and the seat that we have for "my" car is much too big for the RX-8. 

So on Sunday, after some fruitless internet research (apparently providing dimensions for car seats is too much work for the manufacturers), we set off on an expedition to babies 'r' us, in search of a miniature car seat.

We found that interestingly, the more expensive a car seat is, generally, the larger it becomes. By the time you pay $369 for the Britax Advocate, it comes with 8 cup holders, and a troop of tiny circus clowns and elephants living inside it ready to pop up at a moment's notice and entertain your child. Of course, you do have to drive a car the size of a tank in order to accommodate it. Luckily, we wanted something small, and we're cheap, and the two seem to go hand in hand, so we went with this one:

It's the Evenflo Tribute V, and you can see it only has one cup holder. Which of course, we didn't attach, because just the thought of liquids being spilled in Ben's new love causes him to hyperventilate.  So here it is... a public service announcement for those who, like us, try to fit a giant car seat in a ridiculously tiny car. You can fit this one, rear facing, in the back of an RX-8, and still fit a 5'10" passenger in the seat in front. You're welcome for the help! :-)

Thus ends the new car excitement. For me anyway. Ben's out there right now, caressing her gentle curves. He claims to be sorting the recycling, but with a booty like this, how could he possibly resist?