• About
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • Archive for March, 2013

    Karin’s Kitchen


    2013 - 03.19

    David hates it when I say that I’m a bad cook. I guess I’m not really that bad, but I’m not confident in the kitchen. I like the idea of cooking, and when I’m actually doing it, I usually have a good time, but I find it difficult to get started and I loathe doing the dishes and cleaning up afterward. There are certain things that excite me and inspire me to do some cooking, but my motivation usually flags by the time I manage to get to a place where I can start cooking. It’s even more difficult now that Nadia is here, because I’m never sure how long she’ll be asleep.

    And it’s SO easy to just buy something that’s mostly pre-made.

    Here are some of the things that inspire me to start cooking.

    • Galloways Specialty Foods: I love this store so much. Six categories of chocolate, 46 kinds of flour, 32 kinds of salt…etc. It just goes on! Check out the herbs and spice section when you’re there.
    • Chef Michael Smith: We’ve talked about him before on the blog, but it’s worth mentioning again. I love his show Chef Michael’s Kitchen, and it makes things look super easy, with a lot of stuff we’ve already got on hand, or stuff we really should have on hand. :)
    • Gordon Ramsay: I’m not a fan of his “in your face” cooking shows, but I just watched the first episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course and really liked it. Also, bonus, Nadia fell asleep while I was watching. She’s been asleep for over an hour in her crib now…I think it was the accent. ;)
    • Baking: I tend to like baking more than I like cooking. I think part of it is that baking is a bit of a science, so measurements are necessary, which makes it more difficult (for me) to screw up. And if stuff does get screwed up, it’s not the main meal with expensive meat that has gone sideways. Another part is that baking is usually super appreciated because it’s a treat, while cooking sometimes is taken for granted (although I try never to take Dave’s cooking for granted, and he never has with mine…just a weird mental hangup I guess)
    • Stuff that’s really easy: Slow cookers are my best friend, as are things like bread machines because the instructions are usually “Put everything into cooker/machine. Turn on. Come back in X minutes/hours. Eat.” Bonus: usually there’s no extra dishes.
    • Wine: just like when I’m cleaning, I find cooking a lot more interesting after a glass of wine. Sadly, something I couldn’t indulge in for nine months (although Nadia was definitely worth it!), and now I have to strategize a best time to have alcohol because I’m nursing.
    • Other people: I went over to a friend’s place to make cookies a couple weeks ago and it was a blast! Maybe I need to get someone to come over and we can make a bunch of meals together and split the bill and split the meals. Kind of like one of those pre-made meal places, but WAY cheaper.
    • Baby food: Nadia is way too young to have solids, but I’m really excited at the idea of making great food for her beyond the over processed, ridiculously expensive baby food that is sold in grocery stores. Baby applesauce makes me SO ANGRY. Seriously? A dollar for a jar the size of my thumb that will mostly get smeared on walls and my shirt? At Safeway this week, apples are selling for 4 lbs for $5. That will make a helluvalot of applesauce, plus raw apples for me to eat with peanut butter, and even some apple crumble for Dave. Mmm…crumble… Maybe it wouldn’t all be for Dave.
    • Saving money: Cooking is so much cheaper than eating out, or even buying the prepped stuff at the grocery store. Saving money is good.
    • Health: So much sodium and fat and preservatives and chemicals and other stuff that we shouldn’t eat too much of in food that we don’t make ourselves. Also, not knowing where food comes from and having it shipped so far…kind of wrecking the planet a lot.

    With so many inspirations, you’d think that I’d be better at getting my butt into the kitchen and actually doing something there beyond making a bowl of cereal…maybe that will be my goal.  Ok, I’m putting it out there. I’m going to actually cook at least one meal a week. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


    2013 - 03.17

    I’m Scottish and Austrian, David is British, Welsh and Isle of Man-ish, which means that Nadia is from everywhere in the United Kingdom EXCEPT Ireland. Well, she’s in her green diaper cover and green shirt today, I’ll drink some beer, and maybe eat something pepperminty.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

    Month 2 Letter


    2013 - 03.15

    Dear Nadia,

    Happy 2 month-iversary! You’ve gotten a lot bigger since you were born and you’re starting to move out of the baby blob stage and becoming more interactive. This month, you’ve been smiling like crazy, cooing and gurgling and maybe even laughing a bit. You love snuggling with both Dad and me, but you’re becoming more independent as well. You love lying in your bassinet and staring at the bear mobile, even when it ran out of batteries for a few days. You will also go to sleep on your own in your crib or in the bassinet.

    One of your favourite things to do is to watch DVDs. I don’t mean on the TV though…we have a bookcase full of DVDs and you will stare at the colourful covers of them for hours. I’m pretty sure your favourite is the six seasons of Lost that we bought but haven’t watched yet.

    You hated tummy time at the beginning of this month, and sometimes you still aren’t too fond of it, but other times you love it. At first, you would only lie on your tummy on the floor for 30 seconds to a minute, but in the last little while, you will be happy for up to seven minutes! You love being on your back on the floor, and will hang out for a long time, especially if you get to be warmed up by the heater. You like to stare at the monkey that our friend Jeff brought you, and you’re starting to figure out how to chew on Sophie the Giraffe, a gift from my cousin Kristy and your cousin KJ.

    We’ve started almost totally cloth diapering you now and will only put you in disposables when we go out and it would be easier than cloth. I love seeing you with your colourful diaper covers, especially the printed ones. You’ve got one with ladybugs, one with rockets and two with frogs!

    I can’t believe how much we lucked out with you. You’re such an easy going kid who goes with the flow almost all the time. You’re happy to nurse, eat from a bottle, use a soother or suck on your fists and you’ll go back and forth between all of those. I haven’t had to change anything that I eat because you don’t seem to be sensitive to any of it. You’ll sleep if it’s loud or quiet, whether you’re on the couch, in your crib, on the floor, in our bed or in the bassinet. I’m pretty sure you even dozed off in the change table a few times! You love car rides (unless you’re hungry or wet, and then you will definitely let us know!) and being in your stroller, although you hate being in the car seat and not moving. You don’t seem to mind whether we put you in cloth or disposable diapers, and have only had a tiny bit of diaper rash that cleared up right away. You still aren’t a huge fan of baths, and when you want out, you want out NOW!

    You and I started watching Doctor Who (2006) and I had to stop watching one of the episodes until you went down for a nap because every time you heard the Dalek’s voice, you would start to cry. I wonder if I’d better avoid watching some of the older Doctor Who…I think there’s a pretty large Dalek storyline. :) I guess you’re not quite old enough to go behind the sofa yet. :)

    This month, you got sick for the first time. I’m sorry…I gave it to you, and I’m not sure where I got it because I’ve never washed my hands as often as I ever have in my entire life since you were born. We’re really lucky that Dad didn’t get it too because he took extra care of us for a week while we recuperated. It was just a minor cold, but we slept a lot. I got it a lot worse than you. I had a sore throat, cough, sneezing and a stuffy nose. As far as we could tell, you just had a stuffy nose and a bit of a cough when you couldn’t figure out how to breathe through your nose. We spritzed saline water up your nose a couple times a day and used a suction tube, and after a few times of that, you didn’t even cry, although you were not at all happy when we used the suction tubeto try and clear your nose out.

    Things you’ve learned this month:

    • how to find your fist.
    • that toys are cool.
    • that stuffed up noses suck, but sea water and a suction tube help. (pun intended)
    • that you can expand to fill any bed, no matter how much room there should be for Mum and Dad.
    • the best time to party is still between midnight and 5 am. (We really need to get your days and nights straightened out!)
    • how to charm the pants off random store employees, shoppers and coffee shop customers.
    • yoga is pretty fun, especially watching all the moms doing the movements.
    • lifting your head a bit during tummy time on the floor, and a lot if you’re on our chests.
    • shopping malls are a lot of fun, especially when Grandma and Great-Grandma are there.
    • you can get our attention by cooing and gurgling, not just yelling at us.
    • if you want to get out of the bassinet or crib and it looks like we might turn the mobile on for another couple minutes of sleep, give a big grin and we can’t resist you.

    To My Daughter: International Women’s Day


    2013 - 03.09

    Dear Nadia,

    Today isn’t a special “milestone” day for you, so this is kind of a bonus letter. You’re now 7 weeks and 3 days, or 52 days old. In a week, you’ll be two months old. Those numbers blow my mind. In some ways it feels like you’ve been  with us forever, and in other ways it’s like I breathed and suddenly you’ve grown out of your Sesame Street sleeper. (note to self: get new Sesame Street sleeper in age 3-6 months)

    But I actually wanted to talk about other women today, not just us (although I’ll definitely get back to us). Today is International Women’s Day and that’s really important on a lot of levels. It was only a few generations back that women had very, very few choices in our part of the world. Your Urli (my Oma, so your great grandmother) went to university as a girl, but that was very unusual at the time, and once she was married, she didn’t work. Your Oma (my mother) had a lot more choices of occupation, but it was a lot more difficult to branch out beyond a certain number of jobs. I had even more choices! I could be anything I wanted, although even today women are significantly under-represented in politics, high level management, science and mathematics jobs. I can’t wait to see what you decide you want to do for your career, and hopefully you will find it even easier to find your passion and do what you love. (Although your Dad has already decided that you’re going to be an astro-paleontologist and discover/study space dinosaurs. I’m ok with that…just make sure you pack a lunch. And don’t push that red button that says “Don’t Push”.)

    In the time it’s taken me to write the above, I’ve changed you, fed you and soothed some of the squawks that have come from your bassinet. I’m so lucky that I get to choose to stay home with you and be your mom. That’s something that has only been a choice for women for the last fifty years or so, and in many places, it’s still not a choice. I’ve chosen to nurse you and cloth diaper you, choices that weren’t available fifty years ago. That’s what is so amazing about this world…I don’t have to do what “everyone” does. Instead, we all get to figure out what works for us.

    Your Dad and I are trying really hard to keep you out of any society-inflicted, pre-determined destinies. Right now, that’s small things. We dress you in orange, pink, blue, green, yellow, red, purple, black, white…all the colours of the rainbow and then some. You own a pink tutu (although it doesn’t fit you yet), denim overalls, a rocket ship diaper cover, a dinosaur onsie and a bubble gum pink sleeper with a mouse in a hair bow on it. You also have a purple, sparkly headband with a giant purple daisy on it.

    When you get older, you’ll have the choice of different activities. If I get my way, you’ll be in martial arts, gymnastics, art and music classes and creative writing. (Not all at once though. That’s crazy.) Your Dad would probably be thrilled if you were in soccer and skating. We’ve decided you’re taking swimming lessons…sorry, but you don’t get a choice there. You’ll also have lots of toys, and you’ll get to tell us what you like and we’ll do our best to get that for you, whether it’s a dollhouse or a helmet and sword. (I would have written the same thing to you if you had been a boy.) Maybe you’ll decide that you love dance, soccer and building model rockets, and that’s fine too (as long as I can launch rockets with you, because seriously? Rockets are AWESOME.)

    I have to admit, I was a little bit worried in the hospital when your Dad announced that you were a girl. I still am, but am more confident now. I worry about body image issues, and your future partner(s). Your Dad and I joke about how you aren’t allowed to date until you get married, but we both know that’s unreasonable, just because you’ll probably wind up with his stubbornness and my sense of adventure. With any luck you’ll also inherit my complete inability to lie convincingly and we’ll be able to keep tabs on you for a little longer at least. I think I’m less worried about your future partner(s) than your Dad is, because I know that children model their relationships after what they see in their own home, and your Dad is a pretty awesome guy who loves both of us very much.

    Women in Canada have only been allowed to vote since 1918, less than 100 years from when you were born. That seems like an awfully long time in some ways, but it’s such a short time. So much has changed, even from when I was a baby and I can’t wait to see the world that you grow up in and how you are going to make it a better place. You’ve already made our corner of the world a better place, and I know your grandparents and other relatives and friends think so too.

    Love,

    Mum

    PS. I missed New Years this year, so I’m going to make a Women’s Day resolution. I resolve to be a role model of how I want you to be: independent, creative and healthy in body, mind and soul. Thank you for making me a better person.