Thursday, June 28, 2007

my cutie!

The weather is starting to improve again, so we were hanging out in the backyard! I love it when the rains hold off and it is nice enough to just get outside! Longer I am off, the more I recognize that I am an outdoorsy girl rather than a mall rat, and at times, a bit of a loner. Spent some time with our infant development program peoples today, Brandon is doing well, but could use some help in stretching out his leg muscles. Apparently he is a kid that will benefit from yoga as he gets older to keep everything long and supple, so it is up to us to help him out with some stretches. His legs can be pretty stiff, and already after a few exercises it is nice to see a bit of a difference in his willingness to straighten out and to bend them a little more! He isn't much of a sitter, but it is something that I will be working on. Walking is still a ways off, but Brandon is up and about, cruising, and taking it all in. One of the things about being a parent is the worrying that you are providing both enough support and enough challenges to keep your kid moving ahead and somewhat on their track. I would like to see him close to walking before I go back to work. I would rather those steps happen with us, rather than at daycare!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Strawberries herald the coming of summer for me. It means time for some great desserts, and time to make some jam!!! Although they weren't honking big this year, they were tasty!!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The back 40

Back at last!!! As I am catching up and writing this looking back a week, this was a good holiday. For me, there is something about a road trip and getting out and seeing new places (or old places that you haven't been for a few years), and just getting out of your normal comfort zone.

We headed out just over a week ago to stay with Nej for a night, and then to head further north to head out to Bowron Lake. Bowron is one of my favorite places to visit. As long as the weather doesn't sock in for several days, storms usually pass with in a few hours, and you get the whole gamut of weather types, every day. I love our family history here as well - that my great grandparents on my dad's side first moved here back in the 30's and carved out their existence at the lake, and then living in town the rest of the year. I love that my Nana's cabin still stands, even if it holds canoe carts now. I love that although the lodge has changed, and it is my cousin Jim that runs the show instead of my Uncle Roy, at this point it is still family run and my maiden name still is well known. Amazing that in this land of recent peoples, our family has been at this lake for 5 generations. That is something! I guess it is the whole ball of wax - I like the Cariboo, I like being out the woods and I was glad that we rented a cabin, it was good to be with my folks, the fishing was good, we got out to Barkerville for a day, saw some wildlife at a distance (black bears, moose, deer, rabbits, eagles, etc) the weather was decent - we got everything from thunder and lightning and hail, to bright blue sun. Sometimes the extremes happened all in the same day. There were times where the lake looked like the ocean!! Once again, so much for going for a swim. I am just not as willing to freeze my ass off to say that I made it in for a swim!!

It was a learning experience for how long it is good to have an infant in the car on a road trip (about 5 hours max a day is reasonable, make a note for future excursions), and it is always good to not have a dinky dough nut for a spare tire it a flat happens when you are out in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road (we had a real spare which was employed after a rock lodged itself firmly in a tire on the way back to the lake).

I could go on and on about our trip, but almost easier to do a bit of a photo collage.

I am not sure how to explain this tree, perhaps you can hazard a guess??!!!

Some rainbows and some kokanees, fresh out of the lake and on to the fire!

A wild strawberry... tasty, but small!!!

It is almost more dramatic when the blue skies peek through the clouds and the lake is as smooth as glass, I can sit and look out at the lake for hours.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Current mood - crabby

Call it what you will, but I am borderline crabby right now. I am doing my best to fight off my crabbiness before it really starts looking like bitchiness *sigh*.

I am really looking forward to getting out of town on Saturday morning, but I am having a series of moments where I feel really scattered and not all that sure of where to start. I have a few projects started, but nothing is finished. I guess that is what the mad panic friday night is for... I have several lists on the go, which almost helps, but the interrupted sleep last night didn't help. I think that Brandon was up about 5ish, went back down about 7, we slept until about 9:30 since I was too exhausted to be much good to anyone let alone myself. Got a few errands done this morning, played and had some fun, and now he is down for his afternoon nap.

I think it comes down to I need a break from just being around here, dealing with the same old, same old. At times it has felt like I have done so much introspection I am more than happy with myself, but give it a rest, you know?

I guess this scattered blathering about crabbiness stems from feeling a little derailed right now. A little off kilter. I guess from the true unknowns about camping (even if we are in a cabin) with an infant, the 900 plus kilometer drive, and hoping that I have enough foresight to pack the bare essentials and then some to help things run smoothly. Probably also stemming from Brandon contracting a common childhood rash that took us off guard - the day after he finished his cycle of antibiotics from last week's fever. Gave us another scare (nothing like seeing your kid with bright red cheeks and little dots on their arms and legs), but it is a non-starter and a virus that runs its course with no side effects. Just time. Comes with the territory too, I suppose.

I can't wait to get out on the lake in a canoe, and just paddle. Maybe throw a line in, maybe do some hiking. I am also looking forward to chilling with Nej and the boys, some back yard games and a pail of something spiked. Turns out to be the perfect stopping place to where we are headed :D

A mood lifter has invaded - Ripley is sitting on my hands and pushing his face in to mine. I am glad that my moods don't usually settle for long, kind of hard when your cat just wants lots of loving and doesn't really settle for no, not right now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Caramel Sauce woes

Every now and then I come across some great recipes that I just have to try from afternoon forays in watching this adventurous chef. It helps that he is easy on the eyes, but he does something of just about everything and doesn't do fancy schmancy stuff that a normal person can't at least attempt. I don't always go out of my "cooking comfort zone", so I find that watching this helps me push my own boundaries here and there, and try out some new dishes. Well, one of the more recent shows had what looked like a super easy-peasy dessert. I love pineapple and I just happened to have one kicking around.

The grilling, easy. No shit eh? The toasting of the coconut.. well, I decided to skip that step because our broiler doesn't always work so good. The caramel sauce. Son of a bitch.

It is an easy recipe. I don't know what I was doing wrong, or what I wasn't reading in those directions, but it wasn't happening. The sugar did melt in the water, and the first time was a dismal failure. After more than a 1/2 hour, nothing, and I mean nothing was happening. Tried again. Still, no joy except succeeding in covering my sauce pan with solidified sugar. Found a different caramel recipe and substituted the heavy cream for coconut milk, finally, a measure of success. Actually, the third try was the charm with that slight variation of coconut milk.

There was a lot of caramel left over, so I speared a few apples, stood them on wax paper, and made my own caramel apples. Can't go wrong with that?! So much for my 10 minute dessert. I started making this about 7:30 and finished up close to 9. Brutal. Not to mention having to clean up my mess close to 11. I guess it didn't help I also decided to try my hand at doing ribs for the first time today as well. I would say that they were a success. It was fun making my own rum marinade after boiling the ribs in water and beer. Ah, an alcoholic theme emerges, my slightly drunken ribs.

Aside from this culinary foray, I also decided that today was the day that I would clean out our 90 gallon fish tank. Didn't quite remember how to hook the filter back up, and ended up with a few gallons of water on the carpet after I connected the damn thing wrong. Nothing like experiential learning, next time I won't make that mistake again.

We are heading out on holidays next week so I have this mental list of tiny projects that I feel should be attended to before we leave. The bigger projects end up as tasks on my email calendar (sadly, it helps, then I remember to do the things that nag at the edge of my consciousness)! I've learned from experience that if the tank isn't clean when I leave, something strange happens and there is a general decay in my fish population. I also like to leave the house in good shape, I hate coming home to chaos, especially when you unpack you just end up adding to the chaos so it takes the next week to put things somewhat to right again. I can't wait to get out of town again. This time will involve a little visiting , and a lot of time out in the back 40 getting back to nature.

Friday, June 8, 2007


Brandon had his first fever this week. Of course, being a first time mom and having gone through what we have, after 24 hours I took him to our doc. Made sleep on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and last night seem optional because he woke up numerous times for either a few minutes or hours, and it feels like this week has gone by on wings. My moods have swung from elation (when I finally get to have a shower or finish a cup of tea, I am off the joe for now) to being really tired and somewhat emotional because of feeling a little stretched from not getting enough sleep.

Routines are good for mom too, not just the babes.

With a week like this, it sounds like a recipe for some retail therapy! Short trip to that somewhat evil swedish store to buy some picture frames, and then off to a park that borders the Fraser River. A few days ago when I went looky-looing, it had a big notice posted that it could be closing within 24 hours. Well, today the park was closed. Being the somewhat cheeky person that I am, and not seeing any flood waters creeping up through the industrial park, I drove through the industrial park to park kitty corner to the boat launch. Which also happened to be right next to a local news truck. For a closed park there were at least a dozen of us brazen folks who had to go to the river to have a look. It is definitely high, but seeing as it was close to low tide, it was more daunting checking out the high tide marks.

After which I did some mundane grocery shopping, grabbed some pics I ordered to put in my swanky new frames, and then came home to pre-order a certain book online. It has only been 17 months since we got married, but I finally have a few pics up on the wall. Not that I have printed out more than a handful, that will be a future project, getting an album put together!

AND to top it all off, Ken is playing a crazy late hockey game, and I just spent the last two hours on the phone chatting to Nej since Ken is out and Brandon sleeps (YAY!). Damn, it was a great chat. I have this stupid little grin on my face, and so much for being overtired. I am sure that once I go to bed, the slumber gods will hopefully be generous.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Fast flow teatss???

I consider us pretty damn lucky that we have been so fortunate to get a lot of hand me downs when it comes to Brandon and kids gear. It is a life saver, and we pay stuff forward what we don't store, just because.

Well, I acquired a great set of baby bottles, a breast pump and all the accoutrements that go along with it, so I didn't really give it another thought. Although, I did think that those teats/bottle nipples with the number 1 on the side seemed to go down a lot slower than the ones with the 2s on the side.

It s eems that there are about 4 types of baby teats out there. The 1s, which are for newborns and the holes are pretty damn small (helps encourage babes to b'feed since bottle isn't easy), and the 2s have 2 holes in stead of one. What I didn't know was that once your baby was about 3 months old, you move to a 3, and about 6 months old, a 4. The difference is the rate of flow.

Since I just discovered this fact on Saturday, it makes sense that a bottle with a 1 takes a long time to get in him, where the 2s seem to go a lot quicker, but not really fast enough.

Needless to say I purchased some "fast" flow nipples today.

They work like a hot damn, and a feed for an 8 ounce bottle went from about 30 mins down to under 10!!!! Gadzooks!!!! In a sense, getting all the stages of nipples is a total money grab, but I am glad that I have either 2s or the fast ones now.. should make a big difference to the wee guy - making getting his feeds in a LOT easier.

Who knew?

Saturday, June 2, 2007

24 degrees

Today was the perfect day for a BBQ, and ironically enough, our hockey team wind up BBQ was this afternoon. I half feel bad about being in groups of friends - in a sense, I am half relieved because other people are around that are really keen to hold Brandon!! It gives me a few minutes just to tend to things, like putting corn on to boil, or do a little socializing, or just be a person talking to a friend for a few moments.

It was a night where it struck me, what a difference a year makes. Last year I was really pregnant and couldn't go in the hot tub (I love hot tubbing, even if the heat gets to me and I can't stay in forever, I just love being able to go in the tub... especially this one since it has an amazing view of Deep Cove). This year, I have a little cool dude to go with the big dude, definitely went in the hot tub, had a cider (or two) before I went back to water, and played with the other kids there. I also talked a lot about kids. Turns out I am just as bad as all those other parents who talk about their kids, and life with kids. I didn't know I would or could be this person... I have always been goofy with kids, and a lot of fun, and loud, and playful, but this new woman? Talking kids, and birth stories, and sharing opinions about kids.. where did she come from??? The changes start slowly and then they start to snowball in to something else entirely. I guess, aside from all my posts about getting rid of clutter, I am wide eyed with wonder with this new self that is also emerging.

It was a cool BBQ. Strange being first to be there, and one of the first to leave (rather than staying until everything has been cleaned up and every one's eyes are drooping and all the scotch is gone, and my hubby is a prune from being in the tub for 5 hours) to put Brandon to bed. It tweaked me something fierce I only got to spare one game last year (I don't get it), but I am letting it go (work in progress, but really, it is a game, and it is in the past, it is going, going... gone). It was great to see everyone, and just hang. Been through a lot with this somewhat diverse, crazy group of people brought together by the love of hockey!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Beach weather

So, this morning, after a few plans got redefined, I packed up Brandon and we headed out to a Marine Park. I love it here. I love that it isn't that widely known, and that most times, I really don't see many people here. I love that it is on the ocean, and you never know what you are going to see. Today is was clear, a little bit of a breeze, and warm. It feels like July or August, not the first of June. I was pretty snap happy, capturing moments in the sun, and just trying to get some good candid shots. It is the strangest beach front area because the dykes are all built up from old asphalt and bricks, and cement blocks with poles or fence posts sticking out of them - a real hodge podge of urban detritus meets the pounding surf and relentless pull of the tides.

In some areas, it looks like walls that come out from nowhere along the beach, and random blocks of cement with a pole that has been forgotten in the sand. Then you look up, and you can see clear out to North Vancouver and then out across at Belcarra, and it is easy to forget that you are so close to the city. I love little known areas that people don't always frequent.. it is nice to not be shoulder to shoulder with the person next to you. In that way, I have to laugh when I realize I have still held on to some of my small town roots.

Ok. Perhaps scattered roots since we moved around a lot when I was growing up, although when push comes to shove, I do consider a small town in the valley my home town. Maybe not so much anymore, but it is where I consider that I "grew up"... which is a whole different post for another day.