Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Melting, Voting & Baking, Oh My!

Good Morning Humble Readers...

Things here on the flatland are pretty good this morning.  The weatherman is predicting that we are supposed to be getting closer to seasonal temps, which means that some of this might actually melt...

The poor cedar tree by our front door

Above the poor cedar tree...

On the front of our building... it's now more than 6 feet long
Yup, those icicles are all around my house.  Talk about frightening!  (and I think the condo board should have had the eaves cleaned out, huh?)  The weatherman is, of course, predicting that we will get another 10cm of snow next weekend, but I'm choosing to ignore that for the moment.

So, I'm not sure if my friends south of the border have heard, but as of Friday, we are being sent to the polls AGAIN!  The joys of electing a minority goverment repeatedly.  Gah!  One thing I have to say I like about Canadian elections though... There are very specific limitations on how long the campaign actually lasts (36 days).  I just hope that we get a clear majority this time, so that maybe the government can get something done and we don't have to do this again for another four or five years. 

Remember how I mentioned yesterday that I was going to be baking some buns to go with dinner?  I have a great recipe for dinner rolls that I love.  But please keep in mind that my baking skills are less than stellar.  On a whim I decided to substitute whole wheat flour for the all-purpose that the recipe called for.  Um... yeah... can we say bad idea?  They turned into hockey pucks.  Oh well, lesson learned.  Have you had any kitchen flubs recently? 

Ginny has turned into a drool monster!  It's like someone has turned on a faucet or something.  It looks like teething is just around the corner.  What's really funny is that my Beloved gets seriously grossed out by it.  It's hilarious!

I think I'm going to bake some chocolate chip cookies today.  Or maybe a cinnamon loaf.  Or maybe both.  Hmmmm...

I'm going to be making a pork roast tomorrow for dinner.  I'm looking for something different than my usual... do any of you have a suggestion? 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ginevra @ Four Months

Good Morning Humble Readers...

Okay, so this ICLW has been a bit of a write-off for me.  I just couldn't get into the zone.  Honestly, I think I just needed a break from my computer, to unplug for a few days.  Just crappy timing...

But, now that I'm plugged back in, it's time for some new pics of my wee sweet girl. 

Such pretty eyes!
Ginny's four months old as of yesterday and I happen to think that she's pretty gosh darn adorable. 

All dressed up for church
At our most recent doctor's appointment, a week and a half ago, she weighed in at 13 pounds 6.5 ounces. Her cradle cap is getting much better, and her neck and back are getting stronger every day.  She's certainly come a long way in two months, from hardly being able to hold her head up to being able to sit up (with Mommy or Daddy near by) for a minute here or there. 

Rockin' the bumbo chair!
Sadly, she's losing her hair.  It started with the ubiquitous spot on the back of her head where it rubs, but now she's losing it on the sides too.  It won't be long before she's bald, I'm sure.  She's also had some bumps along the way already (like when she used her legs to push herself off the couch... scared the tar out of us both!), but she wouldn't be my child otherwise. 

Look at me, I'm standin'!

Oops!  Not any more!
I'm not sure that she's ever going to recognize her name as her's.  Both my Beloved and I tend to use pet names when we talk to her, and her real name (not Ginevra, for those new to the hobbit-hole.  That's just her bloggy name.  Check out the posts just after she was born if you want to be in the know!) rarely gets used.  Honestly, it still feels strange to say it, like it feels funny in my mouth, if that makes any sense.  I think part of it is because we had her name chosen for so long that it's still surreal to actually say it aloud. 

Yesterday she got to meet her new cousin, Thor (technically, he's our great-nephew).  He's the little guy who was born 7 weeks early, and his EDD was today.  It was our first time getting to meet him and he's just a little dolly!

Hangin' with Great-Gramma
Thor's almost doubled in weight, and in comparison with the pictures we saw when he was first born he's looking much more filled out.  It was so odd holding him, because Ginny was just so much heavier even as a newborn.  It was like holding a little ball of fluff in comparison.  And he still has that new baby cry (not to be confused with the new car smell)...

Great-Gramma/Gramma hangin' out with the babies
We came to a decision about how Ginny is going to address her cousins on Beloved's side of the family.  Because they are all so much older than her, she will call them Aunt and Uncle.  I mean, she's got cousins who are only a few years younger than me... and it's important to me that she show respect to the adults in her life. 
Well that's about it for now.  I need to go start some buns to go with dinner...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Has Spring Sprung?

Good Morning Humble Readers...

Welcome to all who are visiting from ICLW!  I'm sorry that there was no nifty little intro post yesterday.  Our wee sweet girl and I had a rough day yesterday (just general fussiness and fighting sleep) and by the time that I had time to actually post, my brain was too mushy to come up with something fun. 

So, has spring sprung where you are?  I've been reading blog posts from some of my friends that talk about warmer weather and being able to fling open windows to allow the springtime breezes in.  And I am sick with jealousy!  This winter is never going to end for us here on the frozen flatland.  While it has warmed up a bit (no longer in the deep deep freeze), we are still below seasonal temps and it's been snowing since Sunday, and it's not expected to stop until sometime Thursday.  Ugh!  The killer is, just over a week ago, we were given a taste of the good life... temps above freezing and the ginormous piles of snow were melting.  It's enough to make a hobbit want to pull her hair out. 

Ginevra has started to play with some of her toys.  It's really awesome to watch her awareness change when she's holding her set of plastic keys or her squeaky elephant.  She's also developed a fondness for being sung to... which is a challenge.  I don't remember many children's songs, so I end up singing 'Frerre Jacques' (I'm sure that's spelled wrong) over and over again. 

I've been struggling a bit getting back into the bbt charting habit.  It's amazing to me that it used to be second nature to reach for my thermometer before anything else in the morning, and now I invariably forget until I've gotten up to go pee. 

We went down to my MIL's place on the weekend.  We had a great visit, but it's apparent that she's becoming more and more like a stereotypical senior citizen.  She's still very active, always coming and going, but things are changing.  When my FIL was alive, they always ate earlier than what I was used to (no later than 5:30), but now she eats dinner between 4 and 4:30.  Oy! 

I know I've mentioned before that I have moved a lot in my life (59 or 60 homes in three countries, three provinces and three states).  Because of my very mobile past, every now and then I start to get the itch that it's time to move.  I confess that the itch has been making itself known over the past few weeks.  I've found myself looking at real estate listings, and dreaming about a three bedroom, two bath town house with a finished basement, a teeny yard, near to schools and a park. 

I have a ton of stuff on my to do list for today, so I should sign off.  Laundry, housework, baking and maybe a bit of crafting if I get the chance... What's on your to do list for the day?

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Very Merry Un-Birthday!

Hey Humble Readers!

I hope you all have been having a good week, and that you have something fun planned for the weekend ahead of you!  My week has been pretty blech, but it is getting better now.  My weekend plans aren't anything spectacular, but provided that the weather holds we'll be headed south to visit my MIL tomorrow afternoon, then church on Sunday. 

This morning I was surprised to realize what the date was... my un-birthday, or rather my half-birthday.  And while I don't normally get gifts on my un-birthday, last year I got a doozy!  :)  Some of you may recall this post, when I got my first faint positive hpt that hinted at the impending arrival of our sweet wee girl. 

A bit blurry because she's ALWAYS in motion!
It's so amazing to see the difference a year makes. 

So, I wasn't expecting a gift on this un-birthday.  But I did...

AF showed up this afternoon.  :)

Did I freak you out?  LOL!  Probably not, but I think it's darn funny.  At least I know that my body is starting to get back to normal.  I know that my cycle will likely be wonky for the next while, but I'm just glad that there's a reason for all the cramps and pms I've had for the last week and a half.  I'm actually already starting to feel a bit more like myself.  I honestly thought I was losing my mind.  Now I just have a killer backache and some mild cramps. 

Who thought I would be this happy to have the witch show up? 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not Your Regularly Scheduled Hobbit-ish Ramblings

Hey Humble Readers...

I thought long and hard about posting this here, as I may be opening a huge can of worms, but ulitmately I decided that this is my blog, and if I can't vent my spleen here, then where can I?  I apologize in advance for the preachy-soap-boxy nature of this post.

I tend to get most of my news online.  I would rather read something once and process the information than listen to a news anchor on tv use every homonym for catastrophe over and over and over.  The problem with reading my news online comes at the end of the articles... when you get to the comments.  The general lack of intelligence displayed in the comment section on your average news story makes my skin crawl.  I appreciate the right to speak your mind.  I wouldn't bother to blog otherwise.  But out and out ignorance just makes me mad.  (and don't even get me started on the bad grammar and spelling... lol)

Since last week, I have been watching, along with the rest of the world, the news of the tragedy unfolding in Japan with a heavy heart. So many people lost and displaced by the earthquake and tsunami, and now the increasing danger asscoiated with the damage done to the nuclear reactors... it's heartbreaking.

What really gets under my skin are comments on news stories about the situation in Japan that quote Scripture to show that events like these are punishments on our world from an angry God, or that they are signs of the impending end of the world. 

I am a believer.  My faith is an integral part of who I am.  And as a believer, I am seriously offended by comments that say things like "this is a sign of God's anger at our greedy culture" or "this is a sign of the end of days".  And I find it especially offensive when people use the pain and suffering of other human beings as a pulpit for their hellfire-and-brimstone theology.

Yes, there are places in Scripture where it talks about the end times and how "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places" (Matt 24:6, NIV).  And there are verses that talk about God's anger at the sins of man.   

But more pervasive, throughout all of Scripture, is the idea that we are to love our fellow man, and help our neighbours.  Luke 10:25-28 sums up Jesus' views on this pretty succinctly: 
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" 27 [The expert in the law] answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' " 28 "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."  NIV
Pretty straight forward if you ask me.

And what is a truer expression of  faith?  To stand in a safe place and shout at the injured about the sins of mankind, or to climb into the mess that has been inflicted to help pull them from the rubble? 

Okay... sermon over.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Slightly Neurotic Hobbit

Hey Humble Readers...

This post is definitely categorized in the realm of TMI.  I know that some of my readers don't really want to know the inner workings of my reproductive system, and I am now giving you the opportunity to skip this post.  Scroll down and read last night's musings, or come back tomorrow when there will be something more your speed.

Here's the deal.  AF still hasn't made a come back.  Instead, she's playing with my mind. 

I have had consistent mild menstrual cramps for several days (getting progressively worse).  I have been feeling mildly PMS-y and tired and headachey.  All of that makes me think that the witch should be making an appearance any time now. 

But here's the thing... I've started checking my CM again, just to get back in the habit, and it's all over the place.  One day I'll have EWCM and then the next day it will be creamy or dry, and then back to EWCM.  And it varies in amount too... one day there will be scads and then the next day hardly any.  But then, I've also had intermittent twinges that I have always associated with ovulation.  Talk about messed up!  I haven't started temping again yet, as I have been waiting for AF to get here.

I stopped breastfeeding last week, and I'm sure that's a part of it.  I'm still dealing with a bit of leaking and discomfort on one side. 

And just to be sure, I did take a hpt a few days ago and it came back negative.  I honestly wasn't expecting it to be positive, but I just wanted to get that thought out of my mind. 

Do any of you have any thoughts?  I feel like I'm way to hung up on this right now, but I can't escape the physical side of it all.  It's driving me nuts.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Wanna-be Writer's Angst

Hey Humble Readers...

I think I've mentioned this here before, but one of the things I really want to do in my lifetime is to write.  Not only pedantic blog posts about my lack of motivation and relatively boring life, but stories... fiction... novels. 

I have dozens of stories to tell.  They're rattling around in my head.  Kids stories, chick lit, romance, fantasy, period pieces... they're all there, bumping into each other and distracting me when I have too much other stuff to do.  I have snippets of conversations between characters floating through my brain.  But very few of the stories have ever actually made it out onto paper or a screen.

I am the queen of excuses... 

My computer is too slow. 

I don't have the right program. 

I want to write longhand and I need a new notebook. 

I can't write with anything but a fountain pen and I'm out of ink. 

I have laundry to do. 

The house is a mess and I can't possibly waste time writing when I should be dusting or vacuuming or cleaning the toilet. 

And of course, now with a wee girl whose needs supersede everything, I have even more excuses and less time.  **sigh**

And the kicker is, I used to be pretty good at it.  I took a couple of creative writing classes in college and I did well in them, and got lots of good responses to what I wrote from my peers and from my prof. 

So why am I going on and on about this, rather than using this time to do some actual writing?  Because of this...

My Beloved gave me this beautiful notebook/journal for Christmas.  Actually, he said it was from Ginevra.  It's leather bound, hand tooled and stitched, with handmade 100% recycled cotton (tree-free) paper... crafted in India.  I saw it at the craft show last fall and fell in love.  And he was listening and remembered! 

I am absolutely terrified of the blank pages.  I mean, these pages are meant for something that will be kept for posterity.  I cannot bring myself to write in it.  I've never been one to keep a journal, at least not for very long at any one time.  (I don't look at my blog as a journal, but more like one side of a conversation.)  I'm scared that I'll start writing in this beautiful book and, following my usual pattern, crap out a quarter of the way into whatever I start. 

Then I will have ruined this work of art. 

Oh, the humanity...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Audition

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I spent the latter half of this afternoon on pins and needles, hoping and praying that all was going well in Salt Lake. 

Well, I just got off the phone with my Beloved and he said that things went well.  His mock game was only a few questions, but he said that he was able to answer the majority of them correctly, including some tough ones.  He is pretty sure he did really well on the written quiz, and during his interview he told the story of how he proposed to me ('will you marry me' written in green peppers on a pizza).  All the folks at the audition were told that they are now in the contestant pool for the show and we could get a call any time in the next 18 months. 

So, now we just sit and wait...  oy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lameness 'R' Us

Hey Humble Readers...

I'm sorry that I haven't been around the last few days.  I've hit a big a$$ wall of BLAH and have been really unmotivated.  My plan is to go to bed kind of early tonight and hopefully when I get up in the morning I will have some sense of direction. 

I know that part of it is that my Beloved is away.  I really have been dreading this.  I know I'm pathetic, and that many of you live without your beloved ones on a regular basis because of work or military responsibilities.  As much as I want him to do this whole Jeopardy thing, and have fun, damn it I hate that he's not here.   He hasn't even been gone 12 hours yet, and I miss him like crazy.  Told you I'm a wuss.  *** He just called and is in Pheonix, waiting for his connection to Salt Lake.  His flight from Calgary to Pheonix was full of Calgary Flames fans who were heading to the hockey game there tonight.  Included among the Flames fans... my Beloved's former boss (ick!) and Paul Brandt (OMG... PAUL BRANDT?!?!... he's 99.9% certain it was him).  ***

There have been a few things kind of weighing on me this week, and I don't want to whine about them here, at least not right now.  I'm just struggling to feel chipper and talkative.  I hope you'll forgive me. 

In other, way more interesting news, Ginny is doing her darnedest to try to sit up!  Not from a complete laying-down position, but when I have her sort of reclined on pillows (about a 45 degree angle) she is working those abdominal muscles and she gets really frustrated when it doesn't get her anywhere.  She's also doing well with her tummy time, really working on pushing herself up. 

I think, if I can get my a$$ in gear tomorrow, I might start my spring cleaning.  Our closets need a good going through, and I noticed a few unruly dust bunnies that need corralling. 

According to the weather network, we might actually be seeing the end of winter soon.  Tomorrow is supposed to be yucky and snowy, but it's warming up and by Sunday we will be on the plus side of freezing.  Of course, it's probably going to take a month for all the snow to melt, but at least I might be able to go outside for more than a few minutes at a time. 

And in a trifecta of kitchen upsets... this week our hot air popcorn popper died, my salt mill bit the dust, and the handle on the lid to my cast iron pot fell off.  At least it's three things, so nothing else can fall apart, right? 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Foodie P*O*R*N

Hey Humble Readers...

I have a bunch of food pics that I have been wanting to share, but I have gotten behind.  I've been doing a lot of experimenting and trying of new recipes lately.  So here, for your viewing pleasure...

Monkey Bread

A basic bread dough, formed into balls, then dipped in a butter-brown sugar-cinnamon sauce
(with a sprinkling of golden raisins), stacked in a bundt pan & baked.  YUM!
My first attempt at Homemade Pizza (pepperoni, mushroom & spinach)

This dough recipe called for half a can of beer... can't go wrong with that!
Creamy Chicken Turnovers

Puff pastry, stuffed with shredded chicken breast, scallions & cream cheese!
Pizza Pinwheels

Refridgerator dough topped with your favourite pizza fixin's and rolled.
Wing Platter - Asian Sesame Wings, Crunchy Parmesean Wings, Honey Mint Wings

The honey mint wings were a new recipe, and disappointing.  But the other
two types totally rock and are amazingly easy!
And even though I don't have a picture of it, I have to tell you about tonight's dinner... the Fake Out Coq Au Vin.  I got the recipe from the Rac.hael R.ay magazine... so simple and soooo good!  Chicken breasts, mushrooms, onion, red wine... like I said, super simple and it tasted amazing!

I know it's lame to show you the pics without the recipes, but I'm a tired hobbit.  Let me know which ones you're interested in and I will break it down for you!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Have You Ever Wanted To...

really cause someone pain? 

Humble Readers, I'm not a violent person.  And I don't think I am a vindictive person, either.

But there is someone who, although I only know him indirectly, I really REALLY want to kick in the nads.  HARD.

This person has hurt a good friend despicably, hurt her while she's in the midst of other immense pain. 

It's not my place to tell her story, but my friend needs a lot of prayer and good thoughts sent her way right now.  And pray that if I ever see the a$$hole I won't do something I will regret. 

(I know this post is random, but I have been sitting on a well of anger all day, and I needed to vent a little)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: In Like A Lion

Hey Humble Readers...

I know that I whine a lot about the weather, and really there's no point to it... BUT I have to say that even for Canada, this is getting ridiculous!  When my Beloved left for work this morning it was -25C (-40C with the wind).  Our normal average temp this time of year is -3C.  And Environment Canada just released their forecast for the next three months, and they are saying to expect a slow, cold spring.  Argh!  I just want to get out and go for walks!

Confession time... after my initial huge weightloss after Ginny was born, things plateaued big time, and in the last few weeks things have started going in the other direction.  The fact that I'm baking more often now isn't helping things, that's for sure.  I need to get more active.  I have been really intrigued by Zumba, but a gym membership isn't in the budget just now, so I went looking for dvds.  Couldn't find anything online called Zumba, except for a book.  In the end, I decided on a dance workout dvd done by one of the Dancing With The Stars pros.  We'll see how it goes. 

My Beloved is getting kinda antsy about Jeopardy.  He spends part of every evening brushing up on trivia and he talks about it all the time.  It's really kind of cute.  I'm not looking forward to being apart from him for three days (I know I'm a wuss), but I am hoping that above all this is just a great experience for him.  Of course, if he does well and ends up on the show, well, that wouldn't be a bad thing either. 

I have a question for all the moms out there... more specifically those of you who had heartburn during pregnancy.  Did your heartburn go away?  Ever?  I've tried to wean myself off the Zan.tac, but I'm hurting here.  I'm going to be seeing Dr. B in a couple weeks... I just don't want to be on meds for this for the rest of my life. 

I've been feeling some twinges that are making me think that AF might be fixing to make a come back.  I find I'm actually looking forward to it, because I want to see what my cycle is like now.  Will it be the same as before?  Will my luteal phase miraculously reset to what it should be?  Or wil there be new and scary changes?  I'm planning on a going a cycle or two with out the supplements that I took to extend my luteal phase (b-vitamins, baby aspirin, etc), just to see where things are at.  We're hoping to be back at the ttc game by late spring/early summer.  This here hobbit ain't getting any younger.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ginevra @ Three Months: Miles of Smiles

Good Afternoon Humble Readers...

I cannot believe that our wee girl is three months old already.  Actually it was on Sunday, but then I'm in a bit of denial about it. 

My favourite part of every day with her is when she's just waking up, be it from a nap or first thing in the morning.  She might be fussing and hungry (particularly in the morning), but as soon as she sees me standing over her, her whole face lights up.  She smiles with her whole body, arms flung wide, legs and feet kicking for all they're worth, and eyes bigger than big. 

She's so big now.  I weighed her yesterday, and she's 13lb 4oz!  I had to go through her clothes again this week and  move a bunch of stuff out of her dresser and into the trunk in her closet, set aside for the possibility of Halfling 2.0.  She's almost too big for the 3 month things that she's been wearing for the last month and a half, and is well into the 3-6 month clothes. 

She sits up tall and holds her head up with very little help.  She sucks her thumb and bats her eyelashes at her Daddy and you can actually watch him melt. 

Her new favourite game is blowing bubbles... especially when I blow in her face, she blows her slobbery bubbles right back at me.  She wiggles and squirms, and can turn herself almost in a complete circle in her crib or playpen.  She likes when I sing to her, even if it's off key, and she does a great Stevie Wonder impression, swaying back and forth to the music. 

She loves her dolly and hates the car seat.  She has a dresser full of pink things, and looks best in yellow.

She sleeps in her crib at night now because she's outgrown the cradle, and that was a hard transition for Mommy.  She only breastfeeds once a day now, and that's not going to last long as my milk is almost non-existent. 

Ginny has a fickle schedule during the day, sleeping and eating whenever she has a mind to do either, and I'm okay with that.  In the evening, she falls asleep around 8 and we wake her up at 11ish for a diaper change and a small feeding.  Then she sleep through until 7 or 8 in the morning. 

She has so many names... sweet baby girl, angel, Bert, precious, puddin' and yes, even princess (much to my chagrin). 

We love her to bits and I can hardly imagine life without her. 

We are truly blessed.