Friday, February 27, 2009

Long Overdue


Just a quick update before I begin:

*Little One is doing great :) She hasn't been very cranky...except for yesterday, when we were out all day. We got home after 9PM and she was miserable from being overstimulated and having her routine thrown off.
*She loves gnawing on frozen teething rings.
*I feel a lot more rested today since Hubby gave Little One a bottle at 3AM and changed her diaper so I could sleep. Thank you, Hubby!
*Our house is still not quite ready for us to move in yet. I really have to thank my mom and dad for letting us stay with them. Luckily for them their house is designed in a way that we're completely separated from them and they never hear Little One fuss at 3AM.
*Cool new "green" baby find! I posted it on Green Is Her New Blog. While you're there, check out CK's awesome post.

Now for my long overdue post:

In December, Rosie, my lovely friend (in real life and in the blog world) gave me the following award. Thank you, Rosie!Now, I realize it's almost March and I still haven't had the chance to pass on this award. I do have a good excuse reason for being unable to pass it on in December! I was in the hospital for two months after giving birth to Little One. Now that we're home, I have all the time in the world to blog! Yeah, right.

Anyway, the rules are that the recipient is to list six things that make him/her happy before subsequently passing forward the glee to others.”

Six things that make me happy are:
1. Holding my sweet baby girl and kissing her sweet cheeks!
2. Spending time with Hubby and Little One.
3. Going to the beach with Chance, my canine baby. He's a happy puppy, but since the birth of Little One, I haven't been spending nearly enough time with him as I would like to.
4. Sunny days and blue skies
5. Cooking for friends and family
6. CHOCOLATE! Though I'm not a fan of cakes, pies, tarts, tortes, and overly sweet sweets, a little bit of chocolate once in a while makes me happy! ;p

Now I must pass on this award to six wonderful bloggers. This part is always the most difficult, because there are so many amazing bloggers out there :)
1. Jeanna from Wisconsin Candy Dish. She always makes me laugh!
2. J at Thinking About. Literary guru, foodie extraordinaire, friend...Need I go on?
3.Ms.Mamma-
Photographer, painter and arteest! Who on this planet is more kreativ than Ms.Mamma?
4. Green On The Rock. This is a new (as in new to me) blogger. We seem to share a lot in common. She's a green mama and hails from the same neck of the woods as me.
5. Green Is Her New Blog. No, I'm not giving myself an award. I'm passing it onto CK and Fancy. The green blog was CK's brainchild. She and Fancy add the most creative and informative posts!
6. Sandy @ Momisodes. Her posts are always kreativ and entertaining.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nooooooooo Way!!!


The other week, I had a terrible nightmare. In my dream, I was breastfeeding Little One and as I looked down at her delightfully sweet face, there was this crazy, fierce look in her eyes and she opened her mouth and flashed me these horrific yet sparkling vampire fangs!!!

Yes, I dreamt that my daughter was a vampire. Frightening? Not as frightening as what I am about to tell you.I mentioned in my last post that Little One has been super cranky. Nothing seems to appease her. She has started biting me. Yes, with that adorable, gummy, toothless "newborn" mouth of hers. Though she is technically only supposed to be a newborn, she has been living on this earth, outside of the womb for almost four months.

When the nurse made her routine visit, Little One was drooling, irritable, not feeling well, her gums were a bit tougher than before and the ridges looked like they were getting white. Oh, and she was gnawing at my hand.

Nurse: Oh! It looks like Little One is probably going to start teething soon!
Me: (in total shock...my eyes must have looked like they'd pop out of my head!) NO WAY! SERIOUSLY?
Nurse: (smiling) Yes, some babies start teething early. Generally they can start around four months. Little One is almost four months.
Me: (still in shock) But, she's so young. She's only supposed to be three weeks old!
Nurse: True, but she's also almost four months old. Maybe she's one of those early developers.

After the nurse left, being the super sleuth obsessed information hungry curious person I am, I Googled developmental milestones and found this!

Well, that would explain a lot. It's still hard to believe though.


Thank you, everyone...for sharing all your advice, tips, comments, experiences and comforting words. I did get some sleep and feel much more refreshed. I guess it was "one of those days" and you just happened to be there as I publicly announced that I was bonkers.
In all seriousness, Little One isn't as cranky as she was a few days ago... and I'm feeling a lot more rested :)
Monday, February 23, 2009

Is This What A Nervous Breakdown Feels Like?


The phone has been ringing off the hook all day. The baby has been reeeeeeeeeally cranky since yesterday because her tummy has been bothering her. The fire in the wood stove died and I had to get fire wood. I can't get the darn fire going. Now the baby is screaming and the phone is still ringing. I haven't slept in 24 hours because I took Hubby's two shifts (diaper changing and bottle feeding expressed breast milk for baby. I breastfeed, but let Hubby give Little One a bottle so I can sleep a bit)) so Hubby could sleep since he had an early morning start for work today. The laundry is half done. There are dishes in the sink. Where did they come from? I thought I just did the dishes!

Another phone call. It's Hubby. He asks if we're okay.

NO! WE'RE NOT OKAY! I FEEL FRAZZLED, EXHAUSTED, OVERWHELMED...AM I LOSING MY MIND? I HAVEN'T SLEPT YET BECAUSE I LET YOU SLEEP. THE BABY IS NOT FEELING WELL. AM I HAVING A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN? AM I PULLING THE HAIR OUT OF MY HEAD? No to the last question. Maybe to the second to last one and yes to all of the rest.

Oh, and the public health nurse is on her way over in 15 minutes for Little One's routine visit!

I don't know how all of you moms do it. I'm exhausted...and I only have one baby! I totally respect all of you who can juggle kidS, work, home, and everything in between...and not get bent out of sorts! I was hoping to have ESL students again this summer, but how am I ever going to be able to breathe with all of this lack of sleep on top of everything else? Will I ever get to that place where things get easier? I know Little One isn't feeling well, so t won't always be like this. She is typically a very easy baby. I feel like a bad mom because I ended up giving her a bottle today. She was frustrated because she wasn't feeling great. I was frustrated because I'm tired. The combination made breastfeeding very difficult. I succumbed and bottle fed her (breast milk, of course).

**Updated**

The public health nurse just left. Good news: Little One is now 6 lbs, 11 oz and 48 cm. As per her assessment, Little One is developmentally "on track". Though she is 3.5 months old (she's only supposed to be 21 days old because she was born 2 months early), the feedback from the developmental screen puts Little One at where a 4 month old term baby would be.
I feel better now. I'm still tired though!

WAIT! Before you go...
This is what Little One and I look like at 4AM! Despite the sleep deprivation from last night, I can't help but kiss Little One all over. I love my little munchkin.

Even when she does this to me:For a little preemie, the kid has got a strong grip!

P.S. Just in case anyone asks why I'm blogging and not napping right now... I'm multi-tasking. One-handed typing and nursing a cranky baby = a very difficult skill for me to master. *sigh*
Sunday, February 22, 2009

How's this for Artery Clogging?


Since Jeanna was so kind as to educate me on "the funnel cake", I thought I'd reciprocate. In these parts, we've got something we call the Beaver Tail. Yes, Jimmy. I did say "beaver" and "tail" in the same sentence.

Remember this post? I mentioned Beaver Tails before, but never really described what they were. Beaver Tails Canada Inc. is responsible for making these delicious treats accessible to the masses. A Beaver Tail is basically fried dough that looks like a beaver tail. Common toppings include the traditional cinnamon and sugar, maple walnut, chocolate and banana, and chocolate hazelnut.

I don't indulge in sweets often, but every now and then I'll cave and have a bite of something decadent, rich, and flavourful. Since Beaver Tails aren't something we come across too often, if we ever happen to find a Beaver Tail stand, Hubby and I go for the cinnamon and sugar tail. I'm a fairweather chocaholic, but I don't ever go for the chocolate-banana or chocolate hazelnut. For Beaver Tails, you've gotta go traditional. Jeanna's a purist when it comes to chocolate. I'm a purist when it comes to Beaver Tails.Photo "borrowed" from The Casual Baker. Hey, it was the best pic I could find with Google Images! :)

Here's a Beaver Tail recipe, if you are feeling ambitious.
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 cups whole wheat flour, or as needed

  • 1 quart oil for frying

  • 2 cups white sugar, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water, and a pinch of sugar. Let stand until slightly foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. When the yeast is foamy, add the other 1/3 cup of sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil and salt, and stir until smooth. Mix in about 3 cups of the flour, stirring with a spoon, then gradually add more flour, turning the dough out onto a floured surface when it is firm enough to handle. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes adding flour as needed to form a firm elastic dough. Place dough in a greased bowl, and cover. Let rise until doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, and pinch off a golf ball-sized piece of dough. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the ball out to an oval. Set aside to rest covered with a tea towel, and continue with remaining dough.
  4. Heat about 4 inches of oil for frying in a deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). If you do not have a deep fryer, a wok or Dutch oven will work. I toss in a tiny bit of dough and see if it sizzles and swells immediately. If it does, the oil temperature is where it should be.
  5. Just before placing the beaver tails in the oil, stretch the ovals out into a tail shape, thinning and enlarging them as you do. Carefully place the tails in the hot oil one or two at a time. Fry, turning once, until the tails are a deep brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove using tongs and drain on paper towels.
  6. Place remaining 2 cups of sugar in a large bowl, and stir in cinnamon if you are using it. Toss beaver tails in the sugar bowl while they are still hot. Shake off excess.
A friend gave me her recipe, but there are some things I'd rather other people make for me! The Beaver Tail Inc. people are the people who have perfected the recipe.

I've never made them before. I don't love them that much to want to make them. It's just one of those things that are great to enjoy as a treat when you're at a summer event or if you find yourself standing in front of the Beaver Tail kiosk in Old Montreal, Ottawa, Tobermory...Here's a photo I took when my students and I went to Tobermory.

Now for something totally unrelated...
video
Yes, I know she's telling me to stop taking videos and change her diaper already!!!
Saturday, February 21, 2009

Neglected


I was just thinking about how CK, Fancy and I have been so preoccupied lately that we haven't updated our "Green Is Her New Blog" blog in ages!

This is what has been keeping me away from the blog and the blog world :)The last time I posted on our green blog was August 25, 2008! Remember the "Green Gadgets for Summer Fun" post? I popped on over to post something, and was happy to see that our lovely and talented CK had posted something new!

My friends, I must say that I feel like a total fraud. I mentioned on the green blog that I was totally going with cloth diapers as opposed to disposables. I still intend on going the cloth route, but I haven't yet...and I feel very, very guilty.
Photo from here via Google Images

I had full intentions of using cloth diapers on Little One, but she ended up arriving way too early and in the NICU they use disposable everything (for infection prevention, hygienic reasons, and among other reasons which totally make sense to me being in a high risk unit with lots of babies who need medical attention). Plus, I don't even know if there are any places that make cloth diapers small enough to fit preemies that small. Then there's the whole thing about her having very sensitive skin. Twice in her NICU stay she had an awful bum sore...and that was with diapers that are quilted so that they wick away the wetness! The poor thing had a raw bottom. Just a tiny spot, but it looked very unpleasant. Nothing that three days of Zinc oxide and some air drying didn't cure though. Poor little bum bum!Photo of Little One while she was in the NICU. Only a week or so old here and on CPAP room air and NG tube.

I'm going to wait a bit, but I still want to try the cloth diapers. Hubby and I try to tread lightly on the earth. However, with this time to think about the pros and cons, I think about all the water we are going to be using with all the extra laundry and diaper washing. Which leaves me with the dilemma of which is more important? Water conservation or reducing landfill waste? I'm thinking perhaps a combination of both? What do you think?

Oh, and if you haven't checked out CK's brainchild yet, click on Green Is Her New Blog. See you there!
Friday, February 20, 2009

There's No Place Like Home...and Other Randomness


Little One, totally flaked out from a walk outside!

Baby Bro is one busy guy. He's a university student and he is in charge of media at his university (newspaper, radio, TV, convocation, etc). He also works at a restaurant to earn some extra dinero.

He loves coming to the Island to get some well-deserved R&R...and to visit us, of course! ;) When he's here he gets to do things he can't do in the city...
1. Get some reeeeeeeeally good sleep!!! It must be all the fresh air!
2. Eat home-cooked meals every day! Little Bro tells us what he wants for dinner and his requests are honoured. His menu always includes Shepherd's Pie, Chinese won tons and lasagna.
3. Hang out with his familia. Ma and Pa are always so excited when Baby Bro is here!
4. Go fishing! The boys (Baby Bro, Pa and my cousins and uncle) can spend the entire day out on the lake!

Baby Bro, his girlfriend and Pa went ice fishing this time. It was Baby Bro's first time ice fishing.
Can you tell that they were just a little bit excited to be out there? It helped that the hut they were in was insulated and heated. They even made hot chocolate and coffee on the wood stove in there!


Now for the random stuff...
Baby Bro and his GF (we LOVE that girl!!!) spent the week up on the Island. There was no shortage of baby spoilers here! Can you feel the luv?
Seems like just yesterday that I was changing my Baby Bro's diapers! Now he's taking care of my Little One!

Lola ("Grandma" in tagalog) and the baby.

A family photo
Remember I said that I've never seen so much pink in my life??? She even matches her diaper bag! Pink and brown!
To most people, Little One still looks teeny tiny, but I'm always amazed at how much she's grown and how fast she's growing! At birth she was 34 cm long and now she is 47.5 cm long!


She has started to give us more sleep at night and the crying isn't constant like it was last week. I think you guys were right. It must have been due to her getting her shot.

I still look tired though!

A Surprise in the Mail!!!
JetBaby sent these over for Little One. THANK YOU, JetBaby! xoxo
She remembered my love for the big hair bands back in the day! Little One is going to be one rockin' farm girl! The John Deere outfits because Little One's Daddy is a farmer :)
You must, must, MUST check out JetBaby if you are in the Oakville area! I know I can't wait to head over there next time we're in Toronto! JetBaby has "cool clothes for half-pint hipsters"! I can't wait to head over and get Little One a Bob Marley onesie! I cannot get over all the cool items JetBaby has in stock! It'll blow you away! Even Hubby is impressed! He loves the John Deere section!
Finally, some photos of the other grandkids! Here's my mom and my beautiful nieces in K-town. Congrats, Middle Bro and Lele! Twin A and Twin B are absolutely precious!Of course, who can forget about that adorable, sweet, smart, funny, charming little nephew of mine! What a good big brother he is to the twins! I love this photo of him giving his baby sister (Twin B) a kiss! Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!Once I get to know the twins and their personalities emerge, hopefully I'll find nicknames for them (for the blog) that are fitting, I don't really like calling them "Twin A" and "Twin B".

Okay, just one more of my super cute nephew!
Monday, February 16, 2009

HELP ME!!!


SHE WON'T STOP CRYING!!!
I think I spoke too soon when I boasted to everyone about how lucky we are with Little One being such a good baby and being so low-maintenance! Ummm...ever since she had her RSV shot on Friday, she's been Little Miss Cranky Pants! The girl has found her voice...and boy, can she ever wail!

Nothing seems to appease her. She fusses and fights and gives you that "Poor Me" look. It breaks my heart to see the tears and the lower lip quiver thing that she does.

The only thing that seems to settle her is for me to carry her ALL THE TIME!!! Either that or this:



Yes, Little One is very selective in her musical preferences. She likes listening to The Skye Boat Song (among other of her favourites). This version is faster than how she's used to hearing it though.

Any tips for this tired mama? How do you calm a fussy baby? I'm hoping to get my sweet little baby back! Little Miss Cranky Pants is adorable, but she just exhausts herself with all the crying :( I fear I will never ever sleep again. *sigh*
Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sweets for My Sweets


Now that's one very tired looking Mommy and Daddy! Little One continues to do what she's supposed to do. Eat. Sleep. Poop. Play and coo for a bit and then eat, sleep, poop all over again. Though I keep saying that I'm tired, I really have nothing to complain about. She is a very good girl and wakes when she's supposed to (when she's hungry or needs a diaper change). I guess I'm just not used to waking up every three hours. I don't know about any of you breastfeeding moms out there, but I'm always so thirsty and tired after breastfeeding Little One!
She is a cutie though. I think we're going to have to keep her! :)

Now, some sweets for all of you sweet friends and family who have been so supportive throughout the crazy pregnancy and spontaneous birth of Little One.

As you know, I never really had time to watch TV before, but now when I'm breastfeeding I have the Food Network. You know, for all those amazing dishes that I don't have the time or energy to make right now :) I love hosting dinner parties, so I'm trying to stock pile a bunch of new recipes to serve our friends and family (when I'm eventually awake enough to have guests over again)!

Since it's Valentine's Day, we need some chocolate recipes. What's Valentine's Day without chocolate?!?!

I saw this on Giada at Home. It reminds me of Champorado (tsamporado), a Filipino dessert my grandparents always used to make.

Chocolate Rice Pudding:
Ingredients
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup Arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the milk, rice, sugar, and orange zest. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the bean to the saucepan. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and the mixture thickens, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the vanilla bean. Stir the cocoa powder and orange liqueur into the mixture. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spoon the rice pudding into serving bowls. Cover and refrigerate for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and up to 1 day ahead.

I didn't follow Giada's recipe, but would like to give it a whirl someday. I didn't have vanilla bean or Arborio rice on hand. I also didn't want to use any liqueur in the recipe. I made my grandfather's champorado instead. The only difference was that I didn't have any sticky, short grain dessert rice and ended up using yesterday's leftover rice from supper. It wasn't quite the same because the texture wasn't right. Oh well. I also tried to be fancy and I garnished each dessert cup with a chocolate truffle.

Now for more chocolate...

Canine Cologne sent me these a while ago and we're only now getting into them. The chile spiced dried mango was an interesting combination of sweet, tart and spicy...all in one bite! The thought of spicy and chocolate never really seemed a combination that I'd go for. I was introduced to "spicy chocolate" when my ESL students were doing class presentations and one of the Mexican students brought in some chili chocolate and another (he was a chef in Mexico City) made Mole (a chocolate chili sauce in Mexican cuisine) for the class to try.

The spiced mango kind of grew on me. I like sweet, sour, tangy combinations. It was a bit too spicy for Hubby's liking though.

Hubby preferred the dark chocolate Chipotle hazelnuts. I have to admit that I LOVED them too. Thanks, Canine! The crunchy hazelnuts, covered in dark chocolate and cocoa powder were bite sized bursts of heaven. The Chipotle wasn't too hot. Just the right amount of heat to add to the sweetness of the chocolate. Who would have ever thought that a combination like that could work so well?
Little One watched Food TV with us as we sampled the goodies Canine sent us.
video
Haha! A video of Little One (not doing much except looking cute). Forgive my squeaky voice. I really sound like such a goofball!
Some more goodies for Little One. Hubby's youngest sister came up to the Island for the weekend and brought this for Little One's room. You know, the room that isn't finished yet because of all the renovations being done in our house!!! Anyway, I absolutely love it! What a great idea to put her belongings in! I love all the details...right down to the porcelain door knob!
This next gem is from Ms. Mamma. I was going to post this MONTHS ago! Ms. Mamma brightened up my hospital stay with a phone call and this doggy for Little One. It was delivered to my hospital room by Purolator (or was it UPS? I can't remember) and all I can remember is this delivery guy coming in with this HUGE box! I thought, "What on earth is THAT?!?!"

Then I opened up the box.
Thank you, Ms.Mamma for the totally mod puppy! The puppy is from the Me Too Collection by Magis. The Italian abstract doggy was the topic of conversation today. Hubby and his sister even tried the pup out. I promised not to post photos! Hmmm...they never said I couldn't post any photos on Facebook though. ;)
The instructions cracked me up.
YES.
NO!

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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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