Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April Resolutions

I know the traditional time to make resolutions is January 1st, but Ben and I seem to miss the boat by a few months each year and our resolutions usually are made in April instead. Last April we resolved to try not eating meat and we've been doing that for over a year now (we still eat fish, but no mammals or poultry).

This April I decided I wanted to do more cooking, and make better food. I have been feeling guilty for a while about the lack of healthy, home cooked meals that come out of my kitchen, and wanted to make better food for Ben and I, and for the girls. Although Fiona is a big fan of toast and frozen pizza, I'd like to branch out a little :-)

I was given the 12 best foods cookbook as a wedding gift, and after reading it like a novel for a few years but never trying any of the recipes, I decided to cook something from it! It's full of recipes made with some of the healthiest, most nutritious foods. For my first attempt, I chose the salmon and creamed corn chowder. Salmon is a really healthy seafood choice because it's full of Omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, help to lower blood pressure, and may benefit people with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

First we went to the local Co-Op to shop for ingredients for food for the week, and to search for things I've never bought before, like hot smoked/kippered salmon. The difference between this and the usual kind of smoked salmon is that it's more cooked, is solid, and can be flaked easily. The co-op is a fun place to shop because they have more organic foods, and tell you which items are local so you can choose foods which are produced/farmed nearby and not shipped from thousands of miles away.

Here's the salmon after flaking it...

And here's the finished product...

I asked Ben to rate it out of 10, but he had a hard time choosing a number. He said compared to other soup it was an 8. I love soup, so I think compared to all other food it was also an 8. In the scale of 'disaster, questionable, good, repeat, and make for company' it was a 'make for company'. Clearly this is a very scientific scale

It was very quick to make, and really delicious. I'm glad I took the plunge into trying a new recipe and new ingredients. I'm excited to make more new things, and I'm hoping to write about one new meal we tried every week. I was going to call this "meals on Monday" but it's already Tuesday... Oh well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flying Penguin

Fiona has been interested in animals for some time. She loves to watch animal videos on youtube. I came in last week to catch a snippet of this one... make sure you watch it before reading on...

Isn't that incredible? I thought it was the most wonderful video. I didn't think too hard about how feasible it was that they'd discovered a new species of flying penguin, never mind how likely it would be for them to land in South America. And Fiona LOVES this video. When we watch it she gets so excited and jumps around yelling "pehguings... fwy! fwy!". It's really fun.

So you can imagine my disappointment to find that the video was a BBC April Fool's joke! I feel a bit dopey for not realising it, but most of all I'm just worried that Fiona is going to grow up thinking Penguins can fly ;-)

If you're interested, there's a video about how they made it.

Later this evening Ben, in fake frustration, jokingly stomped his foot and exclaimed "dang it!". Fiona laughed so hard I thought she was going to wet herself. Maybe she did, she does wear diapers, I'd never know... For the rest of the evening Ben, Me, or Fiona would say "dang it!" and Fiona would crack up all over again. I haven't laughed so hard in a long long time. And yes, we really have to watch what we say around her now!

She's so funny :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A collection of things...

We've been busy since last time. There was Easter. Spring cleaning. Work. Sickness. Health. Tantrums. Cuddles. A brief stroke of genius. Growing. Learning. Laughing. Here's a sampling of what we've been up to...

We had a wonderful time colouring easter eggs at Cathy's house. On Easter morning instead of an egg hunt, I hid* chocolate buttons for Fiona to find. These are Fiona's all time favourite things and we have to have them specially imported from Britain via visiting Grannies... Fiona was overjoyed to find each one. She'll do pretty much anything for a chocolate button.

*"Hid" = "Placed in plain sight in obvious locations"

We were seriously considering selling out house and moving, and were making preparations such as cleaning, repainting, de-cluttering, etc. For a variety of reasons we decided in the end to hold off for a couple of years, but Fiona was very helpful and really excited to help clean! I don't know where this comes from because Ben and I are far from neat freaks, but she really wanted to help.

Adele has been very smiley and happy recently, despite Fiona realizing that this small creature may pose a threat to her house dominance. Fiona has started to be quite possessive of her toys, and "mine!" has become her catchphrase. Adele doesn't mind that Fiona has an aversion to sharing, and has been frequently making happy faces.

In other Adele news, we had her 4 month checkup. She's doing really well! She weighs 9lbs 10oz now, and when you compare her to other 2 month olds she's in the 25th percentile for height, weight, and head circumference. We thought she had an oversized noggin, but she's perfectly in proportion. Fiona was 11lbs 2oz at 2 months, so Adele's still a little smaller, but perfect :-). She also doesn't need the apnea monitor any more as of today, so that's great news! No more wires! I'm not sure how much sleep I'll get tonight, but hopefully she won't wake up when I poke at her every 15 minutes.

I had a brief, but useful stroke of genius. Ben and I (being the classy, highly cultured wine lovers that we are) drink a lot of "wine in a box". The trouble is that it's really hard to hold Adele with one arm and hold a glass and twist the tap and aim the wine with the other. And putting Adele down is not an option. Trust me. Hence, the stroke of genius...

Nice, huh? And yes, that's Franzia. It's The world's most popular wine (TM)

Other than that we've been doing the usual. Fiona loves playing outside, and it's been warm enough to take a lot of walks and play in the garden.

When we suggest going out she gets really excited and puts her shoes on and asks for Brodie's "weesh" (leash). She loves Brodie so much!

Adele is sleeping well and sometimes will even sleep 6 or 7 hour stretches. Those nights are wonderful! Fiona has started saying things are "funny"... usually things that are really not funny, like when she tries to sit on Adele or balances on the arm of the couch... And she has also cultivated an evil laugh for these situations...

There's not much else to say to that, really!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Five years ago today...

Five years ago we were here:

No, not Paris! HERE!!

We were there to do a little gambling...

Although I stuck to this... I can't count fast enough under pressure to play with real people... it's very stressful!

We were there to enjoy the sun...

And spend time with some friends...

And sample some seriously huge margaritas!

But mostly we were there to do this...

Yep, 5 years ago today Ben and I were married. A lot was different back then. We has less two less children and a car with only two seats. We were able to stay up past 10pm without getting cranky. Ben looked a lot younger (not me though, I obviously still have a youthful 22 year old face ;-). Now the combined number of seats in cars is 11, total children = 2. Plus a dog. We spend a lot more on diapers, and showering every day has become an unanticipated challenge. Sleep is shorter, patience is tested, and our lives are so full up with joy and laughter and love that I never imagined back then.

Happy Anniversary Super Love! I am so happy we got married way back then and love the life we have together that it has led to!