Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fiona is 2!

Wow, things have been busy! We got back from our trip to Scotland last Friday, and haven't stopped since then. The girls took a few days to adjust, but both are doing well now, and sleeping pretty well most nights. I'll write about the trip later, but for now it's all about Fiona's 2nd birthday!

Fiona turned 2 on May 24th. She had a very nice birthday. She has mostly grasped the concept of a birthday, and kept referring to "Feena's happy day". She loves the song "Happy Birthday" on any day, and will request that I sing "Happy Day Granny/Daddy/Brodie, etc." so she loved that people kept saying, and singing, Happy Birthday. She understands presents too now, and gets excited about opening them (usually in the hope that she will find a bag of chocolate buttons inside).

I asked her what she'd like for "Happy Day" dinner and she requested toast and watermelon. So that's what we had.

Then it was time for cake! (And yes, I'm laughing halfway though because the cat fails to jump onto the table and falls on the floor).

Fiona liked the singing and candles so much that we lit them quite a few times...

Then it was time for presents! She liked her tricycle but isn't quite tall enough to pedal it. For now she had daddy push her around and she sneakily hides pacifiers and dish towels in the little storage box on the back. I'm totally onto her though ;-)

We gave her some books and some more duplo too. She loves duplo, and likes to build towers. She also likes people to build impossible things for her, like boats and lions. Impossible for me anyway, I'm only supremely gifted at play-doh creations...

(Thanks for the picture Uncle Michael!)

Here she is working very hard...

Daddy loves Duplo too and was eager to play!

Even Adele loves duplo!

It was a really nice day!

Today Fiona had her 2 year checkup. She weighs 23lb 9oz, which puts her in the 12th percentile for weight, and she's 34 inches tall/56th percentile for height. She's growing well, and learning like crazy. She loves to read stories, talks non-stop and is, of course, a genius ;-)

So there it is. 2 years old already. I know I say this all the time but... time flies.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Week 2: Spicy Black Bean Burgers

We're in week 2 of trying new foods made with real food. Last week we had some yummy stuff (the soup definitely still wins) and some slightly questionable combinations - "shepherd's pie" made with broccoli, cheesy sauce and sweet potatoes... an interesting combination of flavours that are unlikely to be repeated!

Black beans are really healthy so tonight I had a go at homemade black bean burgers. I found the recipe here. One of the fun things is that Fiona likes to help, so she will sit in the high chair and stir things and add ingredients to the bowl. Here are most of the ingredients we used tonight...

Fiona helped to mash up the beans and then Daddy came home so she took a break.

After everything was mixed together I had a mushy pungent mixture. I was a little concerned about the amount of spice the recipe called for - I've never added a tablespoon of cumin to anything before, so I didn't add quite the whole tablespoon of that or the chili powder.

I didn't have any breadcrumbs and didn't feel like making any, so I used panko. I don't have a food processer to finely chop things, so I just chopped it pretty small with my knife. I used a lot less breadcrumbs than the recipe specified to try to keep the burgers moist, but patted some on the outside to make them easier to handle. Here they are, ready to go in the oven...

I made a kind of dodgy packet of pasta/veggie/cheesy thing to go with them. I would have liked salad, but I'm trying to avoid buying any groceries since we're leaving for 2 weeks on Friday and our fridge is pretty bare. Ben gave the side dish a 2/10, and I agree, it was bad.

However, the burgers were great! After they were cooked I topped them with blue cheese and broiled them for a minute along with some bread (since I didn't have burger buns). I may have also added mayo to mine...

Mmmm. They were moist and flavourous. Definitely not over spiced (next time I'd use the whole tablespoonfuls, and a little more salt). Next time I'd add some corn too, I think that would be good. Ben gave the burgers a 7 or 8, but thought the blue cheese was too intense. I have 2 left so we'll have them with cheddar tomorrow).

Using my scientific scale (disaster, questionable, good, repeat, make for company) they are a 'repeat, with further modifications'. And they were really quick to make, so that gives them extra points too.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sleepy girls

Tomorrow Adele will be 5 months old. Time FLIES!! She's about 3 months adjusted and is turning into such a happy, smiley, generally easygoing baby. It's wonderful!

Adele has started to enjoy just sitting and observing and smiling at the action around her. She relaxes while Fiona runs and jumps about, and frequently closes her eyes and...

Sometimes she's joined by a friend too :-) Don't worry, he isn't actually lying on top of her leg!

The first time she did this I was amazed. I'd heard of babies that could be put down "drowsy but awake" who would put themselves to sleep, but I thought it was kind of an urban legend. At this age Fiona needed a lot of rocking then the most careful, gentle laying in the crib to avoid waking her up and starting all over again. To have a child who will frequently just drift off to sleep is nice.

And since she started doing this I've been putting her down before she's totally asleep, and generally she will put herself to sleep. And every time she does it, I am totally shocked.

She's even rubbing off on her big sister...

Adele has also been rolling over (front to back) for a couple of weeks. It took me some time to get it on video, but here it is!

We've been working on moving Fiona into a 'big girl bed'. She's obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine, so I even got Thomas sheets to make it more enticing. Until tonight she only wanted to use it for "exercise"...

But tonight she insisted on sleeping in it! Unfortunately she was so excited that she kept bouncing around and not going to sleep. Eventually she settled down and went to sleep, so I'll consider night 1 a success. I don't know if she's sleeping on the floor, or in the closet, or under the table, but she's sleeping!

We're leaving for Scotland on Friday for two weeks, so I'm sure we'll have a whole new bunch of sleep issues once we get there, but for now, it's a start!