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    Month 3 Letter


    2013 - 04.15

    Dear Nadia,
    Today is your 3 montheversary and we’re visiting Edmonton so you can meet some of your Oma’s family. Unfortunately I haven’t written a full letter to you for today because I don’t have a computer and my phone isn’t behaving itself properly. Also, it seems that your 3 month growth spurt is happening right on schedule, so the only time you weren’t nursing (nearly 4 hours today already!) or being a Screamy McScreamerson was when we were visiting family and friends…which means nobody except Oma and I believe that you could be such a grumpy pants.

    Currently you’re asleep in the playpen, but I desperately need to join you (in sleep, not the playpen. I’m pretty sure I exceed its weight rating.) so I’m afraid your proper letter will be a bit late.

    Love you lots, even when you’re fussy,
    Mum

    Edmonton 2013: Day 2 & 3


    2013 - 04.15

    Thursday April 11: Day 2

    Nadia and I slept in a bit, then visited with Oma and Mom upstairs. My Auntie B and cousins I and Z came over and we all visited for a while. I had seen all of them at thanksgiving when David and I went out to visit in October, and we all get along really well, so that was exciting. I and Z follow me on Twitter now, and we’ve been Facebook friends since October. Good thing they already don’t think of me as a good influence, haha. They played with Nadia and she gave them lots of smiles. :)

    Mom, Oma and I had KFC for dinner, and after dinner I got to see M, one of David and my close friends who had moved to Edmonton a few years back. She and her boyfriend D came over and we hung out for a while catching up on all things near and far.

    Nadia was asleep by 10 ish although she woke up for a couple feeds through the night. Surprising nobody, I didn’t sleep well that night, so it was almost as if she slept through the night, since I was awake anyway. Boo, yet again. :p

    Friday April 12: Day 3

    Super busy day. During the morning and afternoon, we mostly visited with Oma, although we also went grocery shopping I think. Mom and I show Nadia off shamelessly, as we almost always take the long route through the hallways so that Nadia can be admired and cooed over by as many residents as we can find. It’s a good thing she doesn’t understand all the compliments she’s getting or else she would be extremely conceited. :) She absolutely loves people and always gives out lots of smiles to everyone.

    Auntie B, and cousins I and Z came over again, as did my Uncle P and Auntie A, and my Uncle R and Auntie L plus cousin G. It was the first time in MANY years that all my Mom’s siblings were together, plus a ton of cousins, from four different cities (I’m counting Mom and I as from Vancouver, even though that’s not totally accurate). All twelve of us were in Oma’s apartment chatting until we all went out for dinner at Ric’s Grill. By the name, it sounds like it should be a greasy spoon or a burger joint but it’s a very VERY nice restaurant.  We were joined by my cousin Z and her husband and 2 year old daughter.

    Nadia is a very calm and happy baby. Even when she cries, it’s usually fairly quiet and brief, and ALWAYS has a reason, which is usually quickly remedied, which makes the next bit extremely bizarre. At two points in the evening at the restaurant, Nadia went from a full sleep to a terrified shriek for absolutely no reason that I could tell, which then dissolved into hysterical sobbing. :( My best guess is that she was hungry, hot, had a gas pain, had a nightmare or some combination of those. Both times, I scooted out of the restaurant as quickly as I could, hoping that I could walk her out of her discomfort by getting her into fresh air. I mouthed apologies as I walked between tables to get to the door…I was pretty sure some of the people there had gotten babysitters in order to get away from crying children and I felt badly that they were being interrupted.

    There was a lovely man at one of the tables near us who came up to me at the hostess station and told me there was no need to apologize for Nadia because that’s just what babies do. He said she was “cute as a button” and had done very well for a long while. I was so happy to hear that…I really needed it, and I almost cried. So, thank you, lovely Edmonton man. :)

    All 15 of us went back to Oma’s again for dessert and socializing, (after a quick return to the restaurant to collect my purse which I’d forgotten in the attempts to calm Nadia) then Oma, Mom and I collapsed when everyone left. Luckily Nadia was tired too, crashing around midnight and sleeping until 0930 with a quick breakfast around 0600.

    Of course, I didn’t sleep that night…except I did!!!! Yayyyyyyy!!!!

    Edmonton 2013: Days 0 & 1


    2013 - 04.14

    so this might be kind of boring to anyone who isn’t me, or David, or family members. :)

     

    Day 0: Tuesday, April 9

    David and I spent the day together while Nadia was at Grandma and Grandpa’s (David’s parents) so I could pack and do any last minute supply runs if needed without being distracted by the cuteness of the infant and they could get a baby fix before we left. :) We all had dinner over there as well, then David drove Nadia, me and our epic pile of luggage to my parents’ house so she and I could spend the night, thus eliminating a twenty minute morning drive before our flight.

     

    Nadia had been reverting back to her previous 4 am bedtimes for the week prior, so I had no idea how she would do with A) an early bedtime and B) a strange crib (although with the same kind of mattress). I was super impressed though! She was asleep by around 1215 and stayed completely out until we woke her up around 730. I didn’t sleep very well… Had some problems getting asleep and then staying asleep. Boo.

     

    Day 1: Wednesday, April 10

    The adults were up around 700 to start getting ready. I woke Nadia up around 0730 so she could be changed and fed before we went to the airport. She wasn’t super pleased by that plan, as normally we feed and change her, then cuddle while she sleeps another couple hours. Being stuffed into her car seat instead was a Grievous Outrage and she let us know with some fussing. Once we were in the car and moving, she was fine. I rode in the back with her so I got to watch her watching the scenery go by. She was fascinated by the cars and actually stayed awake for twenty minutes of the ride to the airport. I’d always just assumed she fell asleep pretty much instantly when the car started moving.

     

    The actual flight was really easy once we got all of our luggage (including a stroller and carseat) checked in. We just hung around the waiting areas, watching as school tour groups came around. We had a massive amount of carry on luggage too: two carry ons, a diaper bag, my purse and Nadia, which made going through security a bit of a juggling act.

     

    Just in case Nadia was a fussy-pants, Mom had bought 20 individually sealed packs of ear plugs for our fellow passengers, with a smiley face sticker on each of them. :) Luckily, they weren’t at all necessary. Nadia was happy for pretty much the whole flight, looking out the window and sleeping in my arms. The only time she cried a bit was on the descent. I had to hold her up and looking over my shoulder for safety reasons, which isn’t her favourite position, she’d spat out her soother, so her ears were probably bothering her and it was super warm in the cabin. A trifecta of unhappiness. :(

     

    We picked up our rental car and came to my Oma’s residence. A few years ago, she decided that she wanted to move into a slightly more assisted living home and she and her children picked it out together. I’ve been here three times now and have been incredibly impressed each time. It’s a gorgeous facility with loads of social space and feels very welcoming. It really feels like an upscale condo development rather than an old folks home. Even better, Oma has friends from years ago who live here too.

     

    Mom is staying with Oma in the den of her apartment while Nadia and I stay in one of the two guest suites. Again, it’s a beautiful room with a few kitchen appliances (toaster, fridge/freezer, microwave, kettle, coffee maker). Nadia is sleeping in a play yard we borrowed from my Auntie Barb and I’ve got a queen sized bed with about a dozen decorative pillows that have all landed on the floor and remained there for the last few days.

     

    We stopped in at the suite before going to see Oma so that I could change and feed Nadia, and also put her into a new outfit. The sleeper she was in for the flight had a tiny hole in the toe in Vancouver, but it was nearly big enough for her entire foot to escape by the time we landed in Edmonton. :/

     

    Oma and some of the ladies on her floor like to visit outside the elevators before lunch, and we managed to time it perfectly so that she was there when the doors opened. I got Mom to take a video of Nadia’s first meeting with her Urli (ur-grosmutter aka great grandmother) and it’s really beautiful. :)  I’ve been taking tons of video (thanks Grandma and Grandpa!) so hopefully we won’t run out of space before we come back.

     

    Except for a quick trip to the grocery store, the four of us visited for the whole afternoon and Mom cooked dinner (basa with orange? I can’t remember now…). Nadia was incredibly charming (of course) and I really enjoyed being with my Oma again. She’s got such great stories and I love chatting with her.

     

    That night Nadia was asleep by midnight and slept through until 0700, had breakfast and slept again until around 1030. I didn’t sleep well (again! Boo!)

     

    I’ll try to write another two days tomorrow so I’m caught up by the time I get home, haha.

     

    Love to everyone in BC.

    Cooking


    2013 - 04.06

    A few weeks ago, I started a challenge that I would start cooking more meals from scratch. So, how am I doing? Not too badly, but not as well as I’d like.

    We borrowed a bread machine from David’s parents and I’ve made three loaves of basic white bread, and David has made one. The first three loaves we made were pretty tasty, but very dense, and barely rose. I’ve been making detailed-ish notes so that I can see what the problems might be. It seems that the dry yeast we had been using was the problem, as the bread I made last night was much lighter in texture (less like a cake) and rose a lot more. I used yeast that needed to be refrigerated that I got from my mother in law and slightly warmer water (the recipe calls for room temperature water, but we have a fairly chilly house). One or both of those things seemed to work…since I’m not practicing strict control over variables, I’ll just keep doing both, at least until I run out of refrigerated yeast. (Note to self, and David…we’re essentially out of white flour. Costco run this weekend?)

    David and I made a trip to Galloways, one of my favourite places, where I took pictures of things that inspired me so that I could check out recipes and how to use them before the ingredients were staring at me from my kitchen counter. Something that has always caught my eye, whether I’m at Costco, Safeway or Galloways, is dried bean mixtures. They’re cheap and I’ve really liked most pea/ bean/ barley/ legume soups I’ve had. I finally bought some instead of just checking it out, since the recipe was on the back and seemed fairly Karin-proof (1/2 c bean mixture, 2 liters of liquid, simmer together for 90 minutes.) We keep a variety of Better Than Bouillon on hand in the fridge, so I made up 2 L of chicken broth and simmered the beans as instructed. Not exactly from scratch, but I’m taking baby steps. :)

    Overall, it was pretty tasty, especially with the bread I’d made. It was even better the day after, although I had to dilute the broth a bit because it concentrated during simmering (I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to cover it, and figured it would be easier to add water later. I figure it cost about 30 cents to make the whole pot of soup, and I’d definitely make it again, but with some fresh vegetables and some herbs next time.

    I also made brownies, but those were from a mix. They were absolutely delicious though. :D