Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Code Stella

Tonight we were had friends over to celebrate Jeff's Birthday, or as he preferred to think of it as celebrating the end of his time at OPG. Either way, there were hamburgers, potato salad, cupcakes and beer.

At one point I was chatting with a couple friends about how one of them was always tired and had the ability to sleep anywhere. Hands up if you're one of those people. Those people that can put your head down anywhere and snooze. If you've fallen asleep in lectures, movies, airplanes, coffeeshops. If you're friends think you have narcolepsy (or Narcosleepy as we called it in University). I am that person. Jeff is not.

My friend also fit into the same category as me, as those who can instantly go from asleep to awake. She worked in a high stress financial environment, me in my nursing work. I have been sound asleep on break, hear the code button go off and be on my feet, rubbing eyes, ready to man the med cart, take vitals or start recording in seconds. Cause that's what has to be done, your brain starts ticking as soon as you here the "code blue, 8A Alpha...". (On the other hand, I've heard the alarm go off for any other unit, and rolled over and gone back to sleep).

I've been trying to let Stella go back to sleep on her own when she wakes up in the middle of the night. She starts to peep, humming and talking to herself, taking little breaks and starting up again. Sometimes I don't even think about it, I hear her and my feet are instantly on the floor and I'm up. I check the time and try and wait it out. I put my head back on the pillow and feel like half an hour has gone by. Check the time again, it's been 12 minutes. Stella is my own little happy code.

Being a nurse and working shifts, you develop the ability to sleep anywhere at anytime, cause you take it when you can get it. When the switch is flipped, you're on your feet, ready to go. Cause you have to. Just like being a mom.

Stella doesn't have that gene yet.... here she is, waking up slow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Get Crackin'

In this family, at least one morning of the weekend, it's "Big Breakfast". Jeff worked the breakfast shift on weekends through high school so there's always something delicious to eat. He claims he invented "Pesto Eggs", the BBT (Bacon, basil and Tomato) and a number of other breakfast dishes. I can't complain. Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.

Jeff always makes me perfect eggs over easy.

I wouldn't even know what to call Stella's eggs.

Jeff used up the leftovers with some Huevos Rancheros.

I'm noticing more and more that this blog is about two things. Babies & Food. My two favourite things!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crafty Momma

Eight months into this mommy thing, my child has finally learned how to nap. She usually takes an hour nap in the morning then another couple hours in the afternoon. Naptime is awesome. But, it does leave me with extra time where I'm stuck in the house, and the urge to be productive is strong in this one. Some days I have to nap (like the days where we have an hour long 2am party), but most days, it's time to work on projects! I have way too many things on the go right now:
1. Strip paint and adhesive off walls and stairs in back
2. Knit sweater for Stella
3. Organize Stella's clothes
4. Print photos for guest room
5. Design attic space (paint, carpet etc)
6. what ever ridiculous baking experiment I've been working on
Lucky #7.... Sewing!

I'm completely addicted to sewing. My mom handed down her 25 year old sewing machine which still works like magic. I spend hours looking for new patterns and putting together ideas in my head. I fall asleep thinking about problems I have to solve with little pieces of clothes for Stella. I sort out my old clothes and think about what I could do with them.

My name is Kirsten, and I'm a sewaholic.

My first pillowcase dress, made to match Stella's Auntie's wedding.

My second pillowcare dress. I love this pattern, it's such a broad range of sizes. I made this one for our new little friend Lucy.

This was another one I made for Stella, unfortunately it'll only fit her for about a week. But I love it.

I love this wrap dress, I designed the pattern myself.

And what goes perfect with a short dress?

I wonder at what point, wearing ruffles on your bum is completely ridiculous.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Peppermint Patties

I have a thing for peppermint patties. I also have a thing for "pure" food. Food that you know exactly where it comes from and everything in it. Food that has a short list of ingrediants. As much as we try to stick to those rules, (no store bought salad dressing, no pre-prepared foods and most all natural foods) Jeff and I both have our weaknesses. Jeff's is kraft dinner, and it has been since he was a kid. Mine is sweets. I know when Stella gets old enough to understand "treats" I'm going to have to dramatically change my eating habits. To me though, there's no better treat than making something yourself and reaping/eating the rewards.

Recently a friend turned me on to the greatest food blog of all time, How Sweet It Is. Just like me she's addicted to endulging in the best of the best and then practicing what Jeff and I have always referred to as the "break even" workout schedule. When I found her recipe for peppermint patties, I fell in love. Hard.

This super easy recipe is amazing and might have won the new top cookie spot in our house. I can even imagine what they would tast like if you switched up the peppermint extract for orange. Yum.


2 cups powdered sugar
1.5 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
a drop of peppermint extract

1-2 cups of chocolate (I added paraffin to mine cause I find it helps the chocolate harden better).

Mix all the of the ingrediants together (except chocolate). Chill in the fridge for a bit, then roll into small balls and smoosh into patties. Put patties in the freezer for an hour. Melt chocolate over a double boiler and dip patties in. Keep in the fridge or freezer or they get mushy.

They are crazy delicious, I can't say it enough. If I could get off my heating pad I'd go get another. Carrying around 18 pounds all day is hard.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What a wonderful day for a picnic.

We've been feeling a bit couped up in the evenings because Miss Stella heads to bed around 730pm. There's an imaginary tether that connects us to the front porch and one of us has to be tied to it at all times. If only our baby monitor stretched as far as the Film Buff so we could go for a quick ice cream (Chocolate Peanut Butter for me and Pistachio for Jeff). Some nights I'll head out running while Jeff gives Stella her bedtime bottle and puts her down for the night. One of my favourite places to head, is down to the boardwalk which is filled with bikers, strollers and families. So last week, while out running, I created a master plan....

Yesterday afternoon when Jeff got home from work, Stella and I were all ready. We had our picnic packed and we were ready to roll. We had a whole meal of cheese, kolbasa, fresh bread, carrots and dip, blueberries, and raspberry cake for dessert. Stella had quinoa, carrots and turnips, of course she stole some of her favourite blueberries.

After the stinking hot weather we've been having it was amazing to sit in the grass and feel the breeze from the lake. Stella was amused by the people walking past and charmed everyone with her smile. When it got close to bedtime we packed everything up and took Stella home for bed. And that's how we escaped our front porch tether.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Good things

These are a few of my favorite things....

Picnics on the beach with my hubby and baby
chocolate peanut butter ice cream
little baby dresses
my mommy Friends
when Stella makes kissy noises
baking new things
blogs about knitting baking and babies
photos that turn out just right
talking about winning the lottary
planning home renos
making food for people I love
knowing that when I go back to work I'll still get to spend 3 days a week with Stella
books about ridiculous conspiracies and anything by Clive cussler.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Apple Raisin French Toast

Tomorrow 2 of my favourite people are coming over for brunch. Ali and Sarah were my roommates at Guelph. I knew Sarah in high school and met Ali in the first couple days. We all lived in the same dorm hallway (coincidentally, four years prior, Jeff lived in that same hallway, and was in the wedding party of the girl who lived in my room, who was my boss at the YMCA, fate much?). The next year we all moved in together in our teeny tiny house down by the river. Teeny tiny was putting it mildly; Ali’s room was smaller than Nelson Mandela’s cell). We’ve been through a darned lot, plenty of boyfriends (well, except Ali, who was lucky enough to find her soul mate in high school, though she had her moments of boyfriend related trauma), homes, calendars with ridiculously cute puppies, degrees, and weddings. We found careers and true loves and after 10 years of friendship we have a rotating brunch date every couple of months. Sometimes the men are invited, but there’s always plenty of food, catching up and gossip.

On the menu tomorrow is pea meal bacon courtesy of Jeff, yogurt and berries and the best part, apple raisin French toast strata. Strata has been our go to brunch dish for the last little bit, we’ve had basic ones, and fancy ones with lobster. This one reminds me of summer camp and applesauce raisin toast sandwiches after early morning swimming. I’ll let you know how it goes.

• 1 (1 pound) loaf cinnamon raisin bread, cubed ( I had already stolen a couple pieces as a snack….)
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, diced
• 1 cup diced peeled apples
• 8 eggs
• 2 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
• 6 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1/4 cup maple syrup

Cube the bread and throw half in a big casserole dish. Add the cream cheese in an even layer over the bread, and then the apple. You could also add extra raisins which I just realized I forgot to do. Then top with the rest of the bread. Mix the eggs, cream, butter and maple syrup and pour over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and push down to make sure all the bread is soaked. I put it in the fridge overnight and we’ll cook it up at 350 for 45 minutes.

Tooth and a Hair Cut... Two Cents!

So almost by accident, we discovered a little toother making it's way through Stella's bottem gum (I was holding her upside down on my lap after swimming in her pool drying her off).Jeff came home at that moment and we poked her tongue out of the way to get peek at the little chomper. Two days later we could feel an edge, but she still won't let us get close enough for a good look. But it all makes good sense; everytime I left the room this week she would scream murder. Which is completely unlike her, she's normally a very independant young lady. Anyway, 8 months old and our first tooth is almost there! For weeks I've been saying that I would clean up Stella's hair, her hair has been slowly, and scraggly growing into a little baby mullet. But I haven't been able to bring myself to do it. But with the heat this week, those crazy stray hairs have been giving her a little bit of a heat rash. So this morning out came the scissors and we sat her on her playmats for her first haircut. (Excuse my trailer trash appearance, that's a whole other blog entry).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Eight, eight, eight is great!

Happy 8 months Stella! It's been a busy month, here's just a few of the things we did.

To start we visited Auntie Alicia and Uncle Urgl (I'm really good at sayinghis last name) in Vancouver, went to visit the baby Belugas, ate sushi and saw the mountains. I patted Fletcher lots, met my long distance friend Lila (and Michelle and Tim)and I had my first time change!

When we got home it was really busy. Nanna and Poppy came back to Canada so me and Mommy went camping in Milton to visit them. Mom bought me these super mats so that I won't bump my head anymore, but I barely ever topple over when I'm sitting now! When they got back to Guelph I had to go and visit their house for the first time for a sleepover. Have baby, will travel!

For Father's Day I gave Daddy some special footprints and a cookbook. I can't wait for him to cook for me. He took me swimming at my Aunt Cheryl's and we had a BBQ.

Daddy got a new job this month, but he had lots of time off this month so we got to go to the park!

My friends Tiffany and Pheobe sent me this awesome hairband that I wore to lot's of parties! I got so many compliments.

My Auntie Erin and Uncle Brad babysat me for the first time when Mommy and Daddy went to a wedding. The next day we all went to a party to celebrate them getting married soon.

This weekend we celebrate 3 big things, my first Canada day, My Nanna and Poppy's 35th wedding anniversary, and them finally being home! Lot's of my family was there, I even got to meet Tom and Shirl, who were Mommy's neighbours when she was first born.

After Canada Day we went to visit my friend Henry for his special day. I stayed overnight at Henry's cottage with lot's of Daddy and Mommy's friends.

We had so much fun and now I'm 8 months old! I'm sitting by myself, playing with lot's of toys and I love standing holding Mommy and Daddy's hands. This month I graduated into the big people bath tub and started staying up later to have dinner with Mom & Dad. I love all kinds of food and even feed myself sometimes. Fruits are my favourites, but I love orange veggies too! I've even eaten some salmon this weekend. I laugh at everything, and love playing with my shape blocks, I can even twirl them around on my fingers. I'm sleeping from 8pm until 5 am when I wake up for a snack and head back to sleep for another couple hours. We've been swimming in my pool in the backyard almost every day!