Monday, January 31, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday: A Winter Day's Soup

Greetings Humble Readers...

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.  Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

This morning we woke up to this sort of a day...

It looks beautiful, doesn't it?  Blue sky against the fresh snow from Saturday.  Beautiful!  Until I checked the temperature, that is... this morning at 10am it was -37C!!  That's what my mom calls "snappin' a$$holes cold". 

So I thought that it was a fine day to make a big pot of soup and stay inside!

We had half a veggie tray left over from our little luncheon yesterday after Ginny's baptism, so I set myself to choppin'.

Of course I started with some carrots and celery, then I diced up an onion.

Then I found a zucchini in the fridge that had been languishing for a few days.  So I chopped it up too.

After that, I added some garlic, canned diced tomatoes and chicken stock.  Then I rummaged through my spice cupboard.  Added a little salt and pepper, some thyme, oregano, and basil.  Then I found a bit of pearl barley in the pantry and tossed it in too.

And this is what the finished product looked like.  It tasted wonderful, and it was such a nice way to stay warm on such a cold day.  

Want to check out more Perfect Moments?  Stop by Write Mind Open Heart and join in the fun!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Two Months, An Opportunity, & An Event

Howdy Humble Readers...

I hope you are all doing really well.  We're pretty content here on the not-so-frozen flatland.  Ginevra and I were able to go out for a walk yesterday without fear of slipping on ice or freezing our tukkuses off.  A chinook has blown through (and for those of you who remember me asking... a chinook is a warm west wind that blows through central & southern Alberta, and can dramatically change the weather quickly.  It can be -20 in the morning and +10 degrees in the afternoon), so we had to take advantage of it.  It was wet and sloppy, but oh so nice to be out of the house.

Ginevra is two months old today.  I can't believe it's been two months already.  She's such a little dolly most of the time, and even when she's being a stinker I still wouldn't trade a minute of it.  The poor little hobbit has been struggling with a unhappy tummy for the last couple of days (moderate constipation) and it's put her in a foul mood, but overall she is a cheerful little girl.  One funny thing... she is trying to figure out how to suck her thumb, but she hasn't quite gotten that she actually has to stick her thumb out to do it.  She'll suck on her fist for ages and then get upset.  Her two month shots are coming up next week, and I'm a bit apprehensive about that.  Any tips on getting through it without melting down too much (me or her)?

My Beloved has a big opportunity ahead.  He's always been a gameshow junkie, and he does the Jeop.ardy online test every year, but he's never heard back from them.  A couple of days ago, he got an email inviting him to audition for the show.  This is a dream come true for him.  The kicker is that the audition is in Salt Lake City.  And in case you don't know your Canadian geography, Salt Lake is a heck of a long way from the middle of the frozen flatland in the middle of Alberta.  So, do we spend the money that we should be getting back for our income tax refund (money that we were going to put towards our debt) on a shot in the dark that he might get picked to be on the show?  What would you all do?

 This Sunday is a big day for our baby girl.  She's getting baptized.  We had her christening gown made from my wedding dress, and it turned out beautifully.  I'm hoping to get lots of pics and maybe even video to share with you guys.  Afterward we're going to have a houseful for lunch... at least ten people in our little condo.  Yikes! 

So, in honour of Ginny's two months, I have a few pics to share...

Snoozing with Daddy

The closest I could capture of her smiles...

Serious sleeping.... so serious...

Check out those lashes!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday: Smiles & Thankfulness

Howdy Humble Readers...

So, how have I not done this even once in the last 2+ years?  How have I not participated in Perfect Moment Mondays? 

For the one or two of you who might not know what it is, Perfect Moment Mondays are about capturing those perfect moments, the ones that probably weren't planned, but they take root in our hearts. 

My perfect moment this week has been something that has been slowly developing over the last little while.  Ginevra has bestowed a few gassy smiles on us over the past weeks, but in the last few days she has truly begun to smile at me.  When I'm changing her diaper, when I bend over her cradle to pick her up, when I get in her face and make the sign language sign for mommy...  Her gummy little grin just lights up her face and my heart. 

And over the last couple of days, those smiles have illicited many prayers for a hurting friend, and of thankfulness for so many blessings.

I hope I can share a picture of her beautiful smiles with you soon.  I just can't seem to catch them on the camera yet. 

Join in share your perfect moments.  Hop over to Write Mind Open Heart and check out Perfect Moment Mondays.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sometimes Moms Just Know

Hey Humble Readers...

Yesterday was a pretty blue day for me.  My heart was (and still is) hurting for WiseGuy, and I was feeling pretty low emotionally.  So it was a huge blessing when I got an email from my mom last night that made me laugh my ass off.  She sent it because she thought I needed a giggle, and I want to share it with you all, because laughter brings so much healing.

Keep in mind that this is a Canadian joke.  I don't mean it to be insulting to anyone, and it could easily be told the opposite way and be just as funny... maybe  ;)

Condom Emergency

The largest condom factory in the States burned down. President Obama was awakened at 4 am by telephone.

"Sorry to bother you at this hour, Sir, but there is an emergency! I've just received word that the Durex factory in Washington has burned to the ground. It is estimated that the entire USA supply of condoms will be gone by the end of the week."

Obama: "Oh damn! The economy will never be able to cope with all those unplanned babies. We'll be ruined. We'll have to ship some in from Mexico ."

Telephone voice says, "Bad idea... The Mexicans will have a field day with this one. We'll be a laughing stock. What about Canada ?"

Obama: "Okay, I'll call Stephen Harper and tell him we need five million condoms, ten inches long and three inches thick. That way, they'll continue to respect us as Americans."

Three days later, a delighted President Obama ran out to open the first of the 10,000 boxes that had just arrived.

He found five million condoms, 10 inches long and 3 inches thick, just as requested... all colored with red maple leaves with small writing on each one:


Saturday, January 22, 2011

We Need Your Help

Hey Humble Readers...

Kristin over at Dragondreamer's Lair has some thoughts on something that we can do for WiseGuy as a memorial for Lola.  Please swing by and contact Kristin if you want to be a part of this project. 

This is going to happen quickly, so please contact Kristin asap.

A Sister Needs Us...

Dearest Humble Readers...

Please go and shower our friend WiseGuy in love.  She has lost her precious Lola.

There are no words for how heartbroken I am for her.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: New Beginnings and Celebrations

Howdy Humble Readers...

I am striving to improve both my blogging and commenting, as they have significantly sucked over the last couple of months.  Granted, I have had a wonderful new distraction, but I miss you all!  In hopes that it will help my blogging re-birth, I have signed up last minute for this month's ICLW.  I'm going for my 6 comments a day... so maybe I'll be back into the swing of things by the end of the week.

Feel like doing a happy dance with me?  I finally went clothes shopping last weekend, because all my pants were falling off my ass (seriously, I had two pairs of pants left that fit, and I hated one of them and strongly disliked the other).  Pre-Ginny, I was either a 26 or a 28 (told ya I was plus sized) depending on the cut.  I started out optomistically with 24s, but in the dressing room discovered that I needed 22s instead!  Woohoo!  I haven't been that size since sometime just after college.  I ended up with two new pairs of jeans, a pair of casual pants, and 2 shirts... and I got pretty good deals too!

Speaking of weightloss and such... I was looking back, and since this time last year I have lost 56 pounds!  I lost almost 20 pounds just prior to getting pregnant and with all that I lost right after Ginevra's birth, I'm doing pretty gosh darn well, if I do say so myself.

Have any of you tried quinoa?  Am I the last person in the world to discover how amazing this stuff is?  I made sausage and peppers last week, and served it over quinoa... Absosmurfly fantastic!  And good for you too!  What a bonus!

Ginny is growing like a weed.  I had to pack away most of her newborn clothes this past week. (insert tear-y moment)  Because she was so big when she was born, and because of how small my niece and nephew were at birth, Ginny looks to me to be the size of a four month old.  She's getting close to 12 pounds now, and it's almost time for her 2 month vaccinations. 

Breastfeeding has taken a turn for the worse.  Because she's growing so much, Ginny is needing a more milk than I am capable of producing, even with medical help.  She gets 4-6 goes at the b00b throughout the day, but generally by 3 or 4 in the afternoon, I'm tapped out.  I'm thankful that there are things like formula to help in situations like this, but I still feel a bit like I'm failing her. 

I mentioned to my Beloved the other day that I was excited because I saw tulips at the grocery store.  That means that spring is coming!  So guess what he came home with for me last night?  A nice little bouquet of red & yellow tulips.  How sweet is he?

I have a pork roast in the slow cooker tonight, in preparation for a trip to my MIL tomorrow.  We're going to be having BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and broccoli slaw.  What's on the menu for your family?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Life On The Other Side: Healing, Grief, & Friendship

Howdy Humble Readers...

***Warning... for those of my humble readers who read my blog to keep up with Beloved, Ginny and me in our day to day life, and who don't want to know about certain, ahem, parts of my life, you might want to skip this post.  Just so ya know...***

I've been thinking about this post a lot over the last few weeks.  Yes, this the the 'I'm-a-mom-now-am-I-still-an-IFer/RPLer?" post. 

And I have known the answer for quite some time.  It's a resounding 'YES'. 

I have been blessed with a beautiful baby girl, and while her presence has gone a long way to heal certain hurts in my heart, there are places that I could never expect her to fill. 

The baggage is still here, just a little bit lighter. 

IF/RPL will always be a part of who I am.  It's with me every time I wake up from one of those ridiculous nightmares, or when I stand over Ginevra's cradle watching her chest rise and fall.  It's a part of why I'm dealing with anxiety in relation to our sex life... the idea that we could get pregnant again right away is not totally undesirable, but it is still shit-scary nonetheless.  (It's the whole not knowing if/when I'll be ovulating and all that's stressing me out, among other things)

Thoughts of my identity as a mother and an IFer have been brought to the forefront even more so recently, as I have had a good friend go through the agony of a miscarriage (her second loss).  Understanding the pain, physical and emotional, that she is dealing with is one thing, but knowing how to provide support for her from this side of the delivery room is another.  How do I have the right to voice my care for her and my understanding, when I have just given birth?  (And how self-centered is that?  Worrying about me, when she's the one dealing with a loss... ugh! Sometimes I disgust myself.)  My heart broke for her when I got her email after the ultrasound that showed an empty sac, and I remember how I felt about people with babies when I was going through it, and I didn't want to push in. 

When we lost our angel babies, I was angry with people in my life who avoided me or the subject of our losses.  But knowing what to say is a hard thing... harder than I expected.

*sigh*  Nothing in this life is ever easy, tho, is it?

On a slightly different note, next week marks the second anniversary of our loss of Olivia Noelle.  I miss her.  I miss who she might have been.  But it doesn't hurt quite as much as it did.  It's amazing how so much grief and love can exist in a heart at the same time. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Randomness & Some Pics

Howdy Humble Readers...

Because there are still so many things to bring you up to date on, I'm going to continue in a hobbit-ish potpurri type format.  Hope you all don't mind...

Ginevra has the worst case of baby acne I've ever seen.  We're supposed to have some professional photos taken next week, and I'm hoping that the spots are at least down to a dull roar by then.  Interesting to note... mommy has also started to break out again, for the first time in 8 months or so.  Connected? Perhaps...

That cake I mentioned the other day... OMG!  It turned out soooooo good.  And it was super easy.  For someone like me who is baking-challenged, it is by far the best cake recipe ever!  And the recipe is totally alterable, which you can never really do with baked goods.  Love it!  Here's a pic...

The only thing that didn't really work out was the ganache I made as a glaze.  I wasn't thinking and used half & half rather than heavy cream, and the ganache didn't turn out very smooth.  Still tasted great tho...

We're heading to K-town to visit my family at the beginning of next month.  Ginny's first airplane ride... I hope and pray we don't end up being 'that' family with the ubiquitous screaming baby on the plane.  And I'm also praying that the week before we have to drive to Calgary (the airport) we get a nice big chinook.  Bonus hobbit points for anyone not from western Canada who knows what a chinook is!  (no cheating and looking it up online!)

Big news in this hobbit's world... New Kids On The Block are coming to Edmonton again!  Woohooo!  The teenage girl that still lives in a small corner of my heart is ecstatic!  Hopefully my sister and I will be able to go.  Yes, I am that big of a geek, but you all knew that...  (and if you didn't know, let me tell you about when we camped out for tickets when we were in highschool...)

Something to ponder... I'm still on the Zan.tac that I was put on during pregnancy.  I've tried unsuccessfully to wean myself off it a few times.  Every time I'm stop taking it completely the heartburn comes back, and surprisingly, I get an IBS flare.  Can an antacid control IBS?  Hmm...

If I continue losing weight, I'm going to have to take my rings in to be sized.  And I seriously need to do some shopping... I have exactly two pairs of pants that fit, and I don't like either one. 

And now for the really good stuff... pics of my girl
Dressed Up for Christmas

Isn't my flower divine?

Rockin' her first pair of jeans!

100% Organic (the baby that is!)
I adore this face...

Daddy and his girl

Ginevra with her cousins, Oscar & Felix

(I hate me in this pic, but...) Mommy & Baby Girl catchin' some zzzzz

Asleep in the wrapping paper

In the cradle

My future's soooo bright...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Clearing Out the Cobwebs

Hey Humble Readers...

Are you still out there? 

Have you given up on me?  I wouldn't blame you one bit if you had. 

My only excuse for my ridiculous absence is a love affair of gargantuan proportions.  Honestly, I could stare at her for hours... watching her sleep, holding her (even when she's screaming her lungs out), watching her eyes light up when she recognizes me or my Beloved... heck even changing her stinky diapers is a joy.  I am gaga over her, and proud of it.  My only regret is that I am woefully out of touch with my bloggy sisters.  But I hope to correct that starting today.

Ginevra is growing like a weed!  She's now over 11 pounds and has already outgrown much of her newborn wardrobe.  In most developmental areas, she's doing very well, altho she is still a little on the slow side when it comes to holding up her head... but that is primarily due to how she was positioned inside me.  Her neck is slowly getting stronger, and soon will catch up with the rest of her.  Ginny sleeps like a trooper, and she's even given us two nights with 8 hours of sleep (she usually averages about 6.5).  I know we're being spoiled, and I fully expect the other shoe to drop, either when teething starts or when she's 13... who knows.  She started bestowing little gummy smiles on us around Christmas, but they are still more gas related rather than joy induced.  She loves her bathtime, and if she didn't have such dry skin I would bathe her everyday just to watch the look on her face when she hits the water.  I can't believe it's been more than 6 weeks since she was born!

I knew to expect weird dreams during pregnancy, but why did no one warn me about the nightmares after the baby is born?  Countless nights I have woken up gasping for breath and trembling after watching her fall down stairs (a recurring image) or seeing some grotesque deformity (like eyeballs sprouting in her cheeks) form. 

Breastfeeding is still not perfect, but it's gotten better.  She typically nurses all day and evening, and only gets one formula bottle at night.  I'm still on the domperidone, and I've added fenugreek to help my milk supply.  I have almost completely stopped pumping, which is a relief.  I would gladly have done it for months if I had to, but it really was tiresome.  The one thing I'm still struggling with, and it might just be a matter of being shy, is bf-ing in public.  Being a plus size woman, I am not able to hold her in the typical cross cradle hold.  I use the football hold instead.  But figuring out how to manage that when we are out and about, and still feel discreet is a huge challenge.  Any suggestions? 

My weight loss has plateaued, and over Christmas I actually gained a little bit back.  Not that that was entirely unexpected, given how quickly I lost all that weight, and the fact that I was eating all kinds of crap.  I'm trying to be better behaved now and am working out every day with my Wii Active.  Since the GD, I have developed a huge sweet tooth, which I can't seem to shake.  I've always loved carbs, but now, bring on the sugary goodies... I used to be more about the salty snacks.  Odd...  I have to go for a GTT next week (yuck!) but my blood sugars have been well in line ever since Ginevra was born. 

Old Man Winter decided this weekend that we had been getting off easy on the frozen flatland.  Temps plummeted again (today it's -19 C, -26 C with the wind chill), and we got a huge dump of snow on Saturday.  I learned a valuable lesson on Sunday afternoon... those 'Shape Up' shoes do not work well when you are in knee deep snow.  I fell twice trying to carry in the groceries.  I didn't hurt myself too bad, but I did land on my a$$ in the snow surrounded by cans of frozen juice. 

I'm off to go bake a cake... and if it turns out well, I'll post pics tomorrow.  I don't normally do too well with the whole baking thing, but this recipe seems like a no-brainer.