Friday, August 29, 2008

A Visit From Mr. & Mrs. Hollywood


Growing up the eldest of three children (and being the only girl!), I never knew what it was like to have a sister. I often wondered what it would be like to have an older sister to give me advice, show me how to apply make-up, take me shopping, stay up all night talking about boys, and to console me when I needed a shoulder to cry on.

I never had a sister, but I did have Mrs. Hollywood. She was (and still is) the closest thing to a sister I could ever have. We grew up together, spent our summers and holidays together, had crushes on boys together...and there was a time when we were crazy about NKOTB together! I won't go into detail, but we were in love with those guys! We had it all planned out. Mrs. Hollywood would marry Joe and I would marry Jordan.

Mrs. Hollywood was the only person I would ever think of to be my Maid of Honor at our wedding. She was my obvious first choice since we had gone through so much together since we were kids.

It also came to no surprise that as soon as we discovered we were pregnant, that she'd be the first (with the exception of my Mom) that we'd call. She was also undoubtedly the first person to come to mind when we were thinking of who we should choose as our baby's godparents. (We also chose Hubby's wonderful siblings and my cousin, Super Boy)
This weekend, Mr. and Mrs. Hollywood are coming to visit us on "The Island"!!! They are my absolute favourite couple in the world! I can't wait to show them what my new life in the country is like. Though they are true city slickers, I'm sure they'll have a blast. We're going to take them to a plowing match and fish fry on Saturday. On Sunday, I'll take them to the Farmer's Market in the morning. I think we're also going hiking up the Cup and Saucer trails (part of the Niagara Escarpment). We'll also take them on the walking trails at the Bridal Veil Falls. Monday's schedule is still open, so whatever we don't get done on Sunday, we can do on Monday.

Jeanna
and Canine, I'm hoping to make a trip to the Chocolate Works for you while we're there! Hopefully, we'll get some time in to go to the beach. I want to take them to our special place...the beach Hubby and I got married on. The water is so clear and it's a great spot to swim. I refuse to swim anywhere else!

Mrs. Hollywood, thank you for being the sister I never had :)

By the way, Mrs. Hollywood knows how to throw a great party! Remember the bridal shower she threw for me? Ahhhh...Good times! xoxo
Thursday, August 28, 2008

Totally Random Thursday


Over the past week, it's been hard not to hear anything about the Listeria outbreak. Listeriosis has been all over the news. It's on TV, on the internet, in the newspapers, on the radio, in casual conversations between friends and people in line at the grocery store.

All these food recalls are pretty scary. Not only are some meat products/deli meats contaminated, but there have been other outbreaks with produce over the past while too. I may sound a bit anal, but this is one of the reasons I choose to grow my own produce. I know where my food comes from, I know what is in it, and I know what hasn't been put into it.

I can't tell you how many people have e-mailed me a list of recalled products in the past few days! All I can think of are the words Michael Pollan stressed in In Defense of Food. He wrote "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Of course, the argument is much more involved than that simple statement. You'll have to read the book to see what he's getting at. A lot of what he writes makes a lot of sense (at least to me it does!).Even before I read Michael Pollan's books, I tried to make sure Hubby and I don't eat too many processed or convenience foods. The idea of processed food just makes me feel like we're not eating real food.

Anyway, before I get slammed for my opinions on food choices, I'll go onto my next random topic.

We've got tons and tons...and TONS of fresh produce this summer. We've got beans,
zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and gourds coming out of our ears! What to do with all these fresh veggies?We've got lots of field corn too, but that's not for eating. The cattle will be very happy! This photo of Hubby in the corn field was taken a few weeks ago. The corn was about 7 ft tall then. Right now, it's about 9 ft tall. I did plant sweet corn too, but I sort of let things go. I just couldn't keep up with everything. We may get some corn for eating or we may not...but I hope we do.

Unfortunately, I spoke too soon a few weeks ago when I announced that my ALL DAY sickness, nausea, vomiting, and food aversions had miraculously disappeared! Guess what? For the past three days, I've been sick, sick, sick.

Before I got pregnant, I hated the taste of natural soy milk. It tasted like chalk to me! Last week, I couldn't get enough original flavoured soy milk! Now, it smells like cat litter to me! *Gag* I cannot believe how quickly my tastes and preferences change these days! Crazy!

Poor Hubby has had to go meatless again. I just can't stomach even the thought of meat! Here are a few of the dishes he's had to put up with!
Hey! I had to use up some of those tomatoes and beans!
An open-faced tomato sandwich and a piece of meatless/wheat-free lasagna. I didn't feel like using lasagna noodles and instead of meat, I used zucchini. Basically, it was almost all veggies. Hubby didn't complain, but I have a feeling he'll be going to my parents' house soon since they always serve meat!

Hmmm...more randomness for you. I'm in the process of organizing our 15 year high school reunion. With the aid of Facebook, I've been able to keep everyone in the loop by creating a Class of '93 group for our high school. If you've ever tried to organize a big event before, you'll agree with me that it's not an easy feat! Try accommodating everyone's schedules and pleasing everyone! It's impossible! We'll see if we can make this happen. A group of former classmates tried organizing a reunion for our 10 year, but that never came to fruition.

Here's the venue for our reunion (which we hope will take place in October).One last random tidbit. I've been thinking a lot about what our baby will look like. I am so curious to see what the mix of Hubby's and my genes will be like. Most of all, I just keep thinking of how I just want a happy and healthy baby. That's all that matters. This said, I am hoping that our little one will be as cute as my little nephew is! He is such a precious little angel! I just love, love, love him!!! Middle Bro and SIL, I hope you don't mind but I borrowed this from your Facebook! :)
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Baby Stuff


WARNING: This post is all about baby "stuff", so avert your eyes if this does not interest you! ;)

Lately, a lot of people have been asking me if I'm ready for Baby's arrival. Am I ready??? Gosh! I think I am, but I have absolutely no idea what to expect with the arrival of our little one. One thing is for sure...I'm really excited about having our baby in our home this winter!

A few girlfriends have asked if I've already started buying baby things. You know, the baby clothes, accessories for the baby's room, baby furniture, etc. I've also been asked if I had already started stocking up on diapers yet.

Gah! I hadn't even thought of that! I guess it would be a good idea to start doing some of that now, wouldn't it?

With the exception of my good pal, Gadget Girl painting the baby's room and receiving some baby clothes that friends have bought for "Junior" (and the really cute John Deere outfits that Hubby picked up while on a trip down south), we haven't really started preparing for baby's arrival. We haven't really begun accumulating baby items yet. I figure we're 17 weeks along and have five more months to get things done! That's loads of time left...Right???

These are a few items I've been checking out:

When Audrey was expecting her fourth son, Henry, she posted about this really cool sling. I love the idea of a sling. Anything that allows me to keep the baby with me and have my hands free to do other things is definitely a winner in my books. (Ahhh...I can always trust the girls at Mom Generations to find the coolest items for babies, moms, dads, kids, pets, and grandparents!)

I fell in love with this Peanut Shell:Because I'm picky, if I get one it will have to be in this colour and pattern:Wait! The search didn't stop there! Who knew that there were so many different types of slings, carriers, Mei-Tais, baby wearing devices, and attach-to-your-hip contraptions???

I also fell in love with this!Ooooh! So may different patterns to choose from!

I kind of like this:
and this:and this:If I do get a BabyHawk, it will most likely be similar in pattern to one of those three.

As far as diapers go, perhaps I'm being a bit ambitious, but I am hoping to do a combination of cloth diapers and disposable organic diapers. I don't know how convenient or feasible this will be, but I would really like to try.

I found these:The cloth diapers are to be used in conjunction with these diaper covers:My friend (and fellow-mama-to-be, except she with baby #2 and I with baby #1), Fancy Pansy mentioned these cloth diapers from Mommy's Touch.

Next items to look into:
-travel systems
-strollers
-car seats
-cribs
-playpens

and the list goes on...

*sigh*
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Odds and Ends


(1) Remember how I said that I'm so out of touch with what's cool in the eyes of tweens and teenagers? I had absolutely no idea who The Jonas Brothers were and I have never seen High School Musical. I don't think Zac Efron is the most incredible thing on earth, and I had no idea that Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus were the same person!

My nieces just love Hannah (errr...Miley!?), so I decided to do some online investigating. Would she be considered the Debbie Gibson of this generation?

The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour was on TV a few nights ago, so I checked it out just to see what kind of "stuff" the kids are raving about these days. The pup (Chance) was watching with me and the expression on his face says it all.
"I am not amused!"

(2) Oh! Remember those two pergolas my dad made for me earlier this year? This is what they look like with the plants and flowers growing. Don't pay attention to the grass that needs to be cut. Hubby and I have been too busy to cut the grass are trying to save on gas are trying to maintain a "green" and natural look haven't had a chance to get the lawn mower fixed yet.
I've also got some Clematis, Hollyhocks, Hostas, Columbine, Evening Primrose, and a few other plants and flowers growing by the pergolas.

(3) The past weekend was a very busy one. Friday kicked off the weekend with "The Meeting of the Drums". It is an event organized and hosted by the wonderful folks at the South Bay Art Gallery. Caribbean steel drums and the pow wow drums meet in a symbolic meshing of two cultures. It was a wonderful two day event. I was only able to attend the first night, since my Saturday was completely booked.
The Pan Fantasy Steel Band played popular steel drum tunes. Everyone was up and dancing to the lively music that reminded me of my many travels to Trinidad & Tobago as a child and teenager!
There was also a smudge ceremony and some First Nations drum groups played as well. The first night there were speeches. Among the speakers was Michael Lashley, the Consul General of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.
Here's a video of the steel band playing their festive island tunes. Sorry about the unsteady hand! It's hard to dance to steel band music and take a video!
(4) Saturday was our township's library bake sale/book sale. Keeping the library running is something that is very important to me. When our kids get older, I'd love to have them experience the joy of going to the library, picking out books, and reading actual books! The internet is a wonderful thing, but there's nothing like cracking open the spine of a well-loved book and having that tactile and visual experience. I used to love the bedtime stories my parents would read to us when we were kids.

Not only did I do some baking for the bake sale, but I also volunteered. Like the cute name tag one of the girls made for me to wear during the bake sale?I also got a t-shirt for a donation I made to the library. If you are an "Islander", you'll appreciate this!Those of you who have no idea why this is cute, clever, or funny, I'll clue you in. People who were born on "The Island" are known as "Haweaters". There's a plant called the hawthorn plant on the Island and the berries are used in jams, preserves, and other things. People who were born here are "haw eaters". Get it? :)

(5) Saturday was also the second night of Broadway and Beyond. If you ever get the chance to catch a show at The Burns Wharf Theater, please do! You will not be disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Every single song performed was brilliant! The Burns Wharf Theater Players are all so very talented.

(6) We attended church on Sunday morning and in the evening it was Mexican night with some friends. I have been craving Mexican food lately and our friends were so kind as to prepare a veritable Mexican feast! It was fantastic! For some reason, all I want to eat is either fruits, veggies or spicy food!!!

(7) We're in week 17 of our pregnancy and I've been looking online for info on fetal development. I found this video and thought I'd share it with you.

It must be all the crazy hormones one has when pregnant, because I was bawling my eyes out through the entire video!

I made Hubby watch the video with me. He kept laughing as I wept, "It's such a miracle! It's such a miracle! Can you believe this is happening inside my body now???" Then, the reality of having to actually deliver birth PUSH OUT a baby five months from now hit me! The weeping turned into full on sobbing!
Monday, August 25, 2008

How COOL is this???


I recently wrote a post on the Green is Her New Blog site about "Green Gadgets for Summer Fun". Randy from Algonquin Outfitters left a comment and mentioned other "green gadgets" that are available at Algonquin Outfitters. One of the gadgets that caught my attention was the ball that makes ice cream! How cool is that?Although summer is coming to a close, who says you can't have ice cream year-round? I'm not sure if this is the same ice cream ball that Algonquin Outfitters has, but I found this one online. The Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker is portable and compact, so you can make ice cream anywhere. This is great for picnics, family BBQ parties, and camping! There is no electricity required (except for a little human power). All that is required is rock salt and ice in one compartment and in the other compartment, cream, sugar and vanilla (or whatever ice cream mix you prefer).To make your ice cream, all you need to do is shake or roll the ball. Have a blast and toss or pass the ball around with the family. After a little fun, you can enjoy some homemade ice cream!

(This post is cross-posted at Green Is Her New Blog)
Friday, August 22, 2008

Freaky Friday


Image borrowed from here

It's not even 5:30 in the morning and I'm wide awake...and blogging! My sleep was disturbed by a very odd dream. Ever since I got pregnant (and this has been happening more consistently for the past week), I have been having really weird dreams!

A few nights ago, I had a dream that Momisodes, Babysodes and I went shopping. It was raining heavily, but the three of us refused to use an umbrella. We wanted to play in the rain and get wet. I have no idea why I had a dream of Momisodes. Perhaps it's because we were Tweeting back and forth earlier that night? I have no idea!

Yesterday, I had a dream that my friend (let's call him Mr. HappyGoLucky) who has got to be the nicest guy in the world ended up being a total jerk! In my dream, he was boasting about having five girlfriends (err...make that "friends", if you know what I mean!) at the same time. In real life, he is dating someone and seems really happy with this person. Weird!

Earlier this week, I had a dream that I was in my 20's and off jet setting again. I was traveling with this Euro Boy that I had never ever seen before in my life. I think he was Swiss and we were traveling to Greece. Weird. All I can remember is that he had a very keen eye for fashion!

Now, it gets even stranger. This morning, I woke up from a crazy (yet seemingly realistic) dream. In my dream, I was working at Seattle Grace Hospital (Any Grey's Anatomy fans out there?) and there was some sort of explosion. Many people were injured or killed. For some reason, my job was to write letters and e-mail to the families of the victims. Whaaaat? Weird, right? The only reason I can think of that I had a dream where I worked in a hospital is because of a post I read recently that Momisodes wrote. It was a post about her very first day as a registered nurse. Maybe that post had an impact on me and somehow filtered into my dreams?

In my dream, the hospital had its own mail carrier/mail delivery person and he stayed late to wait for me to finish all of my letters. This mailman started off being Gio from the TV show, Ugly Betty. Odd, because I haven't watched the show much and I'm not much of a Freddy Rodriguez fan.

Wait! It gets even stranger! The mailman all of a sudden turned into that really skinny scrawny guy who was high the entire time in the movie Knocked Up. You know, the one who had that Canadian maple leaf tattooed on his chest. That guy. I just IMDb'd him, and was surprised to see that he is Canadian...and from Ottawa (now residing in Montreal)!

Back to the dream. I was writing hundreds of letters to the families of the victims of the explosion and the mail guy was patiently waiting for me. In fact, he even tried assisting me in finishing the letters. Then it got weirder! Somewhere along the way, we were dating! Gah! Creepy, skinny guy was my boyfriend!

Funny, because neither he nor Gio are my "type" in terms of looks. Why couldn't I dream that Brad Pitt or Patrick Dempsey was my boyfriend? ;)My hand started cramping up from writing all those letters and in real life, I woke up because my hands were cramped. I think I slept on them last night, because they were all numb this morning. I woke up massaging my hands and crying, "My hands are numb! Am I going to drop the baby????"

Hubby opened one eye and said, "No"...and then he was asleep again in two seconds.

Holy Neurosis, Batman! I told you I've been having weird dreams!
Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let There Be Carbs!!!!


Image borrowed from here (via Google Images)

Ever since Hubby and I decided that we wanted to start a family, I made a conscious effort of making sure we eat very healthy. I decided to make all of our meals from scratch and forgo all the convenience foods and food with additives and artificial ingredients and preservatives. We eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies from our garden and avoid processed food when possible. The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and a few other books have helped me in making my decision to eat wholesome food. What began as a tiny little change in our eating habits has now become part of our lifestyle. Mind you, I'm not a saint. I try to live by my word, but I'm not always successful!

Now that I'm pregnant, I've been diligently following the pregnancy diet that I have been given by my health care providers. I have to admit, though I have been doing really well, I do sometimes crave 'not so good for you' food. The other day, when we were in Espanola, I told Hubby I NEEDED TO HAVE reeeeeeeally wanted was craving wouldn't mind having a Crispy Chicken Flame Thrower at Dairy Queen!

When we eat at other people's homes, we've pretty much adopted the saying "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". Hubby loves it when we eat at my parents' house. Why? Well, what happens when a Trinidadian-Chinese person marries a Spanish-Filipina person? You get wild, crazy, lively, fun parties, interesting cultural history and traditions, and...

AMAZING FOOD!!!
We don't usually eat fried food, so Dad's wontons are always a treat!

Mom always claims that she is a horrible cook, but we all beg to differ! We know the truth. She is an AMAZING cook!!!

Here's a quick intro to some typical Filipino dishes.
Mom's lumpia (spring rolls) are deeeelish! You know it's a special event or an important dinner party if Mom cooks Filipino food. The reason for this is that it's quite time consuming and labour intensive to prepare Filipino food. All the cutting and chopping and marinating takes a while!Fried rice
Pancit (noodles, veggies and a little meat and/or seafood)

Filipino fruit salad. Very rich, creamy, sweet, and probably a zillion calories...but it tastes soooooooooo good!

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About the Blog Author


City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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