Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Great meals - cheap!
A writer I used to work with decided to run off and become a chef. She just graduated from the Pearson Adult & Career Centre Professional Cooking Department. They have a small restaurant at the back of the school and they serve amazing meals (lunches and some suppers) for very little money. I had butternut squash gnocchi, fresh Atlantic halibut braised in tomato-fennel broth over homemade linguini, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate torte with orange-scented creme anglaise served with oven-roasted cinnamon ice cream, and amazing homemade bread, all for $12.50. They even serve wine. Fine food, and you can show up in jeans! I've been told not to go at the very beginning of the semester because they're still learning the recipes, and don't go during exams because they're nervous and food might be a bit undercooked. Don't tell everybody, I want to be able to have a nice lunch once in a while. They also sell meat (they learn how to cut their own meat) which I've been told is good quality, and baked goods.
Still loving the AR, but was completely stunned and disgusted by the two NY gals who lost because they couldn't drive a manual transmission car. What the hell? You're preparing for a travel race and you don't think to learn to drive standard? I was yelling at the tv. It wasn't like they were driving old Yugos either - these were brand new Volkswagon Touregs with clutches like warm butter. How could you stall a machine that forgiving more than twice? Last week, I almost cried for the two mormon women who were ahead and then spent 8 hours rolling out hay bales and were still out there in the dark when the host came to tell them to forget it. The episode this week was rather bland. They were downplaying the hyper-yelling guy, and focused on the whining guy who lives with his parents, who is about as interesting as a loaf of bread. There was no drama. The old couple came in last, but it wasn't an elimination stop, so they just lose their money. All in all, kinda dull.
- Christmas shopping - nearly done
- Baking - not started (I did make some really good gingerbread cupcakes last Friday for work)
- Sewing - partially started
- Wrapping - nope
- Cleaning - not really
- Christmas cards - 25% finished
- Something to wear to Christmas parties - nope
- Space for family to sleep - nearly done
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
We also tuned in to The Amazing Race last night. If you haven't watched it, it really is worth a gander. They were in Iceland, and I was blown away by how beautiful it looked - it's definitely been added to my travel list.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Friday, November 12, 2004
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
To be fair though, the office makes up for its windowlessness by being big, and it's still better than a cubicle.
This Sunday we went up to the townies and helped my parents install their new computer and we put on our snow tires. The snow tires are on just in time, it snowed this morning. Fortunately, the snow isn't staying, but I'm ready for it!
I also picked up a sweet little film camera for almost nothing. The guy only used it for two rolls of film!
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
How to use an elevator:
When you arrive at the elevator, decide if you would like to go up or down and press the appropriate button ONCE. Frantically pressing the button every 1/2 second upsets the elevator god.
When the elevator arrives, stand back from the doors and give the people in the elevator a chance to get out. Barging into the elevator and pressing your floor number before people can get out will result in a thrashing.
When you get out of the elevator, keep going. I know that you think that you are very important and that the people behind you are either capable of walking through solid matter or, in fact, not even there, but some of us cannot walk through incredibly dense material. Be understanding.
When you see someone coming towards the elevator as the doors are about to close, OPEN the door. Do not pretend that you are pushing the open door button and shrug your shoulders.
Monday, November 01, 2004
Friday, October 29, 2004
Thursday, October 28, 2004
The Homesense side was smaller than it should have been, and there was an enormous amount of knickknack stuff cluttering shelves throughout the middle of the store. I guess many people are searching for an antique-looking wooden car for their coffeetables, or another glass vase. I found it a bit off-putting, like a dollar store had exploded. The bedding section was nice, everything was neatly organized and decidedly not an ugly selection of sheets and bedding. The bath section was a little slim except for the towels. I was drawn to the kitchen section, lots of pots and utensils, no electronic appliances though. A small but good selection of dishware and glasses, and lots of holiday-ware for Christmas. The prices were fairly decent, I found many things around $20 and under. There's also a nice selection of frames and framed art/mirrors. There were a few larger pieces (chairs, sofas) in the back of the store, but they looked like they were there for display only. The current layout does not support large items. All in all, there are some good deals to be had at Homesense, but I think they should streamline the space and concentrate on bedding, kitchenware and bath, and decrease the floor space given for the knickknacks.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
A couple of years back, there was a show on the Life network called "Taking it Off" that followed a group of people who wanted to lose weight and get in shape. That show had realistic goals, showed people how to eat and exercise properly and the group had good motivation. If the producers of TBL started with that show concept, they really missed the boat.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
We have finally entered the sweater portion of the Fall season. Last night, it went down to 0. Time to get in gear and get those fireplace doors so we can have some cozy fires!
Thursday, October 14, 2004
- Commercials for My Little Pony make me appreciate that I have a son.
- Things that Ben has attempted to eat recently: a quarter, hair, keys, socks, shoes, pom-poms, paper, kleenex, Steve's shoulder, mousepad, tupperware, footstool, my knee
- People who leave huge bowls of individually wrapped mini-swiss chocolate squares sitting within easy reach of my desk are evil.
- Pricing new computers for my folks is much more interesting than editing a 300-page upgrade guide.
- My hair is in dire need of a fairy godmother
Thanksgiving weekend was pretty relaxing, we saw the folks and did some chores and did some tidying around the house. I made my fabulous banana bread, but baked it in mini-muffin tins for Ben - he loves getting his little muffin and breaking it apart and stuffing it in his mouth. He's so cute when he's eating. He grabs handfuls of food and makes yum noises and hums and kicks his feet and enjoys his food. Ben walked all over the place this weekend, he's walking farther and faster everyday.
I finally got around to creating a brand-spanking new c.v. this week. I was looking around for inspiration and was surprised at how many awful microblah template cvs there are out there. Even the samples from web sites that sell cv writing services are grim.
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Friday, September 24, 2004
Ben's on the mend. He made it through the surgery without incident and now it's just a question of healing and some rather bad diarrhea caused by the antibiotics. He has to go back next Thursday to take a tube out of a very sensitive area, but we're coping. When he's not bothered by the tube and diaper changes, Ben's his old self, tearing through the house and getting into everything in site. We're just so glad that it's over and we're hoping that Ben doesn't remember this when he gets older.
Friday, September 17, 2004
Thursday, September 16, 2004
I've been listening to ex-Men at Work guy, Colin Hay's album Man @ Work. I am especially attached to his acoustic remake of Overkill, which is funny because I didn't really care for the original at all.
Monday, September 13, 2004
We had a great vacation. San Francisco's a nice city. I was a bit surprised to discover that although I really enjoyed SF, I didn't fall in love with it, and wouldn't choose to live there. The weather was beautiful, the people were very pleasant, but there was something about the city and me that didn't click. Perhaps it was the endless hills to drive and walk up, or the relentless search for decent parking, or that it was just so warm and sunny everyday. I loved the taquerias, the cable cars, the street cars, the ocean, the redwoods, the fact that you can find wonderful organic produce on almost every block, the ultra-blue sky, and that breath-taking view of GG bridge and the city. Seeing our friends Dan and Libby was the best part of the trip. Libby's looking great, and Dan makes a cup of coffee you'd trade your parking spot for :-) They were excellent hosts, even though Ben was constantly creating chaos in their nice clean home! It's so weird to think that the next time we see them, they'll be parents too, well, at least they've had a brief glimpse into their future.
This weekend was spent visting the folks and Maggie and Andrew which means that we didn't get much cleaning done. I managed to make some muffins for Ben, but that was it. He's eating more everyday thanks to his new teeth. His latest favorite is plain wholewheat pasta, I'm amazed that he can eat so much of it. He's still not walking yet, but he's so close that I know that one day he's just going to go for it - I hope I'm home when he does.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
I would love to live near the ocean, I could walk along a beach every day and never tire of it. Must be that maritime blood kicking in.
We spent a lot of time with Steve's family to end the Vancouver leg of the trip, we are sad to go, but are now looking forward to seeing Dan and Libby tomorrow! Here we come guys, wheeee! It's also our anniversary tomorrow and Dan's birthday, I sense a few alcoholic beverages in my future :-)
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Day 3 began with a phone call from Steve's folks, looks like we brought the 24-hour stomach flu with us and gave it to Steve's mom, brother, and grandmother. So far, I seem to have side-stepped the bug, but I'm armed with gravol and pepto bismol! We went to the aquarium which was a lot of fun, but the constant rain made it difficult to enjoy the outdoor areas. That's ok, there was plenty to see inside and Ben loved the fishies.
We drove around Stanley Park while Ben slept in the carseat, it's huge and beautiful and only $5/day for parking! After our tour, we headed to Granville Island for a little shopping.
We had hoped to take a ferry across, but it was too yucky out, but we lucked out and nabbed some parking and had a nice lunch and look around. After all this I was pooped, so we headed back to the hotel, found out that Steve's family was feeling a bit better, and I passed out on the bed. We have a nice view from the hotel and Ben loves the sink.
We woke up this morning and Ben was sick all over our bed, looks like he caught the bug again, or he wasn't quite finished yet. He's sleeping it off while we wait for some pizza to be delivered. Hopefully he'll be feeling better by tonight.
Friday, August 27, 2004
We picked up our rental at the airport - a PT Cruiser. The guy actually gave me a choice between that and a minivan - what was he thinking? I gave it a hug just for you Maggie!
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Friday, August 13, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Friday, July 23, 2004
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Sunday, July 18, 2004
You changed our lives in that moment. Before you came, we were shadows of the people that we are today. Because of you, we have discovered new heights of love, joy, amazement, and sleep deprivation. We delight in every new thing that you discover every day, and our capacity to love you more and more as time goes by.
Happy birthday Booboo, thank you for coming into our lives and making us a family.
A thousand hugs and kisses,
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
It's just a shame that I had to put so much effort into it just to get some proper service.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Then it was back to work. Work's going alright, so little has changed here. The only thing truly noteworthy is that I got a brand new hp laptop and flat monitor. It has bluetooth, so when I brought it home, Steve and I could beam stuff back and forth from the laptop to his palm pilot which was cool. It also found my laser printer and connected itself through the infrared port.
The one thing that has changed since I've been back at work is my whole attitude. Since Ben, my priorities have been reset, and that means that I'm not killing myself at work anymore, or taking too much on myself because of my silly high work ethic. I may work through lunch, but I leave at 5 so I can rush home to my two favorite men. I don't want to be the one that everyone runs to when there's a problem, or the one who always stays late to get the job done. I want to do my work and go home and get the big smile and squeal when I walk in my front door and sit on the floor and play with toys and hear all about how my little guy napped and pooped and babbled. That's the important stuff, everything else is just not.
Saturday, June 12, 2004
Friday, May 28, 2004
Steve's dad is coming in today, he hasn't seen Ben since he was born, so it should be an interesting meeting. Ben is very good with new people, so I doubt there will be a problem.
In other news, I've lost eight pounds! I was very surprised when I stepped on the scale this morning. Of course, when you have a lot to lose, the first pounds come off easy. I log all my food at Fitday.com, I put all the chocolate in the freezer, and I've made a couple of weight watchers casserole recipes for my lunches. If I manage to throw in some exercise, I should have a plan that I can market and sell a book :-)
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
I am enjoying a day with Ben, although I wish that it was a sunny warm day and not this cold, damp, and rainy day. Last night was the first he slept in his crib all night, and Steve and I are exhausted because we kept waking up to check on him. He was fine, but we missed him terribly and Steve sprang out of bed as soon as he heard him stirring to bring him in to cuddle and play with us on our bed. Why does he have to grow up?
Friday, May 21, 2004
40ish guy on a bicycle wearing a helmet and a big gas mask (the kind you use when you're painting a car or under terrorist attack). He passed me and went right through a red light without even slowing down. Is this so his lungs would be clean in case he gets hit by a bus?
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
It feels so surreal to be here, almost as though nothing's really changed. Actually, looking at my old projects, not much has actually changed. Driving to work was weird, what is this thing called traffic? I'd forgotten all about that. I can't wait to leave here and get home and kiss my Boo. The only things I brought with me this morning were a coffee mug and two pictures of Ben for my desk. The coffee is still really awful, shouldn't have bothered with the mug.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Ben and I will go out for a walk when he wakes up and I'll feel better.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Friday, May 07, 2004
I have just finished several hours (interspersed with naps, playtime, feeding, and other such Ben activities) of peeling and cutting up carrots, leeks, parsnips, rutabagas, and squash for Ben's food. Making your own babyfood is easy, and certainly cheaper, but the prep is somewhat tedious. I made lentils with carrots, leek, and squash earlier today that he loved. I'm hoping that tomorrow I can get some other meals done and in the freezer, and that he likes to eat them. Last week I tried macaroni and cheese, but he didn't like it, so I ate it. He seems to have a problem with textures. He's hated bananas from day one, and I can tell it's because they're slimey. He doesn't like avocado for the same reason. I'm trying to switch him over to foods in chunks that he can pick up, but so far he's refused cooked carrots, zucchini, squash (his favorite puree), and potato. He loves all of these when smooth. Maybe he just needs a few more teeth. On the other hand, he loves cheerios and toast. I guess that he'll get the hang of it eventually, I can't see him at 20 carrying around a blender everywhere so that he can suck all his meals through a straw.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Looks like I may have my job back after all. A few of my colleagues are leaving, which leaves a few spaces open. I've also heard that since the company posted a profit, they're probably not going to start layoffs - yay! Steve is starting to get excited again about staying home with Ben. They want me to come back part-time this month-ugh! I'm trying to work starting again around the 17 or so. Steve's mom said that she would come back and stay while we're transitioning between my part-time and full-time and Steve staying home which is a huge help! All we need to do is get her to master unfolding the stroller:-) I'm a bit freaked out about going back to work. I like my job, but if someone handed me a winning lottery ticket I'd be out of there pretty quick. It's going to be so weird not being near Ben all the time. I'm wondering if I'll be able to concentrate on my job, or even remember what I was doing before I left! I think that I created sentences out of engineer mumblings, but I'm not sure....
Monday, April 26, 2004
Dad's doing ok. He's been up on the ward for almost a week and he's been walking a bit almost every day. He's had a bit of an infection, which we're concerned about, but if the doctors manage to get that fixed, he'll be able to go home in another week or so. I've been driving out almost everyday - that's 325km round trip. I know every pothole and dead animal on the highway now. Ben's been a very good sport about the whole thing and has slept in the car and entertained his Poppy and kept up his spirits. Today we are at home because I'm pooped and there's a ton of stuff to get done around here. Ben is also kinda out of sorts today, I think he's cutting a new tooth. We are also weaning because he's just losing interest in the boobs and since he's bitten me three times now, I'm starting to think that it's not so bad. At the same time, my heart breaks a little each time he refuses to breastfeed, sigh.....sniff, sniff.
Saturday, April 17, 2004
After seven hours of surgery, my Dad is in ICU and recovering. It's still too early to predict anything, but the surgical team said that it went pretty well. We are very lucky, the aortic aneurysm could have burst at anytime and would have meant almost certain death. I can't thank the radiologist who caught the problem while reviewing the x-rays, and the surgical team at the CHU in Sherbrooke for moving so quickly. He's awake this morning, but just in and out. It's going to be a long recovery. Thank you to everyone for your positive mental vibes :-)
Friday, April 16, 2004
Lou has the best heart. He's a warm, loving, generous father, husband and Poppy. He's always treated me like a daughter.
So, please, send a positive thought his way today.
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Sometimes he chooses the most unlikely people, biker guys, rigid businessmen, or teenage boys. He almost always gets a positive response for his troubles. I know that at some point I am going to have to teach Ben about strangers, but it breaks my heart to think that one day he's going to have to know that there are bad people and dangers in this world. Every parent in the world must feel this way.
Sunday, April 11, 2004
Monday, April 05, 2004
A big WOOHOO to Lisa and her incredible proposing fiancé!
The day of no naps
Ben decided not to have naps today, and I've discovered how much I need his naps to get anything done. He wasn't in a bad mood, just not tired, at all, no matter what I did or fed him. I did finally give up and let him play on his mat while I got a few chores done. I also made a marvelous banana bread with pecans that filled the house with the most glorious smell! Ben conked out after supper and some nursing around 7:00, and I fully expect him to stay that way until 6:30am.
Ben's bottom teeth are coming in, you can just see them peaking through the gums. So far, he hasn't bitten me while he's nursing, let's keep our fingers crossed! The weekend was great, except for the snow on Sunday. We did a lot around the house, got Ben's new car seat, had a short visit to a park (Ben's first), and had dinner with our friends Dan and Libby who we haven't seen for a bit.
The car seat was a bit of a pain. Last weekend our friends with a slightly younger son mentioned they had to change car seats, and sure enough, when we returned home and I looked at the manual, I realised that we were overdue for a larger seat. Oops! So, I get on the internet and start researching convertible car seats (ones that are rear-facing until 1 year and then forward-facing until 40lbs), because you can't get help at the big toy store or department stores. I narrow it down to two seats. One is made in the UK and REALLY expensive, the other is made in the states and reasonably priced and just as safe. There is a third choice which seems to be widely available and used by many friends, but I was more interested in the second seat. I went looking for the second seat and couldn't find it anywhere. After phoning the company's head office in Ohio, I learn that they don't import it to Canada. Ah! So that leaves me with the third choice, which seems to be the only game in town. We couldn't afford the UK seat, and I couldn't find anyone that even sold it in Montreal. I found a decent, smaller store where the saleslady really knew a lot about car seats and was exceedingly helpful. We paid about twenty dollars more for the seat, but I prefer to keep a smaller store in business where you can get service over that cold mega toy store.
Friday, March 26, 2004
The funeral service for my grandmother was very nice. The minister knew her well and so it was very personal, and the eulogy given by my cousin was wonderful. All the grandkids got up and said something, mine was short and sobby - I've never been good at composure when it comes to stuff like this. I took Ben up with me though, which I hope distracted people from my shortcomings as a public speaker. I don't think that it's quite sunk in. I'm sure that when Easter comes, I'll buy her some lillies and daffodils like I always do.
Thursday, March 11, 2004
I was her first grandchild, the one who received her name. She made tapes of her telling stories so that I would know her even though we lived far away. When I was older and lived closer, she told me stories of how she came to Canada and met my grandfather, toured Europe on a motorcycle, made it through the depression and the war, and eventually learned how to be a country wife.
I wish that she could have lived forever.