Archive for April, 2011

April 29, 2011

Just Another Royal Wedding Post

Along with a bajillion others across the world today I was pretty excited to see what Katie would be wearing.

I guess we are on the same wavelength because she chose a fantastic Alexander McQueen dress by Sarah Burton.

courtesy of people.com

She looked terrific – tasteful with just enough interesting detail to keep it original and unique. Love the simple bouquet.

Check out these other great outfits:

courtesy of usmagazine.com

courtesy of usmagazine.com

courtesy of usmagazine.com

courtesy usmagazine.com

For all the Royal Wedding haters out there – a little fairy tale and fantasy never hurt anyone ūüėČ As a Brit expat I have a little more of the royal fever in me than the norm and this wedding was thoroughly satisfying – Congrats to Will & Babykins!

April 28, 2011

Stuffed Eggplants

Whaddya do with leftover mashed taters? Well, you can make potato pancakes (mmm my mother-in-law used to make the best ones ever!!!) Or you can stuff something.
Halve 1 eggplant and scoop out innards. Cut them into cubes.
Dice one onion and brown with the eggplant innards, some salt, pepper, paprika.
Add some crispy bacon pieces and the leftover mash.
Add some grated cheese. Put mixture into eggplant shellsm
Top with breadcrumbs mixed w cheese and pop in oven at 375 for an hour or whenever they get crispy and golden on top.
We ate ours with some roasted chicken.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

April 26, 2011

My Royal Wedding Outfit

April 26, 2011

Berry Good Streusal Squares

berry good. haha.

Felt like this gloomy weather was getting me down!

Time for some comfort food…and nothing says “wrap me in a blankie” like oatmeal.

1 1/2 cup oats (minute or reg, doesnt matter)

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sug

3/4 cup melted butter

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/3 cup raspberry jam

Mix butter, sugar, oats and flour in large bowl.  Press into bottom of ungreased baking pan (save 1 cup of this mixture for topping).  Bake at 350 for 13-15 min or til light golden brown.

Mix blueberries w. jam and 1 tblsp of flour. Spread over oatmeal crust. Crumble some of the oatmeal mixture on top. Bake for another 20/22 min or til golden brown.

Cool on rack and cut.

Sit back with a cuppa, put yo feet up and watch the rain.

April 25, 2011

6+ Months Ago…

I was sitting in my underwear on our couch lamenting the passing of each day sans baby *Note:  as clothing became too restrictive for my humongoid belly, undies became my home-uniform*.

To call me impatient is an understatement. ¬† Most everything I do, I do quickly. ¬†I’m a speed reader (can easily polish off a book in a couple of hours), I eat like I’m being timed in Man vs. Food, and I am probably a bit too brisk with the dishes (Hubby will let you know in no uncertain terms how many times he’s found a dish in the rack with some suspect looking smudges on it).

With this in mind, imagine me waiting for Baby H to arrive.  His due date was Oct. 11 or thereabouts.  In my mind, he was coming end of September.  I was convinced I was having an anniversary baby (Ours is Sept. 21.) As each day (and hour, and minute) ticked by with no sign of imminent labour, my patience wore exceedingly thin.

Every night when Hubby got back from work it was a game of “I think I feel a contraction!” …only to be met (after 20+ such exclamations) with barely a nod.

As the due date came and went, emotions ran amok. ¬†I started to get super weepy watching TLC’s ‘A Baby Story’ and yet couldn’t tear myself away from my daily routine. ¬†I just felt like I was done already and wanted to meet the little person kicking up a storm in my belly. ¬†Every night I laid awake thinking about when it would happen. ¬†I would toss and turn (okay fine, roll a bit from side to side) thinking I was feeling it finally happen.

We went in to see my OB on our due date and after doing a sizing ultrasound I almost passed out when I saw the weight they predicted Р10lbs 12 oz.  Hubby laughed and said there was absolutely no way our child would be that big and that there had to be a mistake.  Anyways, we scheduled a C section for the next day (What if we waited and he grew *gasp* even bigger?!)

The eve of the birth we decided we would go for our ‘Last Nice Meal’ as a baby-less couple. ¬†As I barely squeezed myself into the booth we talked about how excited we were but how our lives were going to change forever in the next 24 hours. ¬†We wondered what he would look like, what his personality would be like, how we would cope as new parents. ¬†It was a great way to spend our evening before the birth.

The day of the birth was a complex cocktail of emotions for both of us. ¬†We were so excited but also nervous. ¬†I was determined to give a natural birth a go despite the potential size of baby. ¬†After 12 hours of labour we ended up having a C section…

*a flurry of indescribable feelings and graphic details later…*

The best part of my life was born.

Here we are 6 months later ūüôā Was just thinkin about how amazing its been and, despite my usual tendency to rush things, how I am trying to take every day slowly and ‘cherish’ each moment. ¬†I guess you could say Baby H has taught me a couple of things and this is one of the big lessons – Don’t rush and take your time ‘cos things will happen when they happen ūüôā

on baby: argyle vest 'Childrens Place' on mama: floral dress 'Forever 21'

April 21, 2011

Adaptation of Ah Poh’s Yam Mein

Quick & tasty

I found this delish looking recipe on a fab gluten-free cooking blog¬†¬†¬†As I’m constantly on the lookout for yummy dinners that are quick to whip up, this one was a winner.

I adapted based on what I had available in my pantry:

Cook chow mein in boiling water. Drain in sieve with cold water.

Brown 1 lb lean ground pork in deep pan/wok with oil and chopped garlic.

Throw noodles into the mix and add in some chopped green onions.  Add in salt/pepper/oyster sauce/soy sauce.  Stir fry another few minutes.

Served with bok choy and some garlic chili sauce. *smacking lips* MMMM.

April 20, 2011

Mama Might Need Autotune

Off we go to sing our hearts out

To kickstart our spring activities, I initially enrolled in a Mommy & Baby fitness class. ¬† After speaking with a girlfriend of mine who had taken the class, my apprehension at spraining something¬†better judgement¬†made me cancel. ¬†She described one of the exercises – ‘The Circle of life’ whereupon one takes their babe in their arms, holding them straight out across their chest and moves them in a circle repeatedly. ¬†I tried this with Baby H and…let’s just say the ‘Circle of life’ became a crazy shaking octagon. ¬†Clearly this class was made for superstrong women with smaller babies ūüėČ

Since I get most of my fitness from daily play with Baby H, I wasn’t really heartbroken about cancelling. ¬†The goal is more for him to have some fun social time with other babies as opposed to me getting my sweat on and so my search for fun activities continued.

Which led us to baby music classes.  We have our daily afternoon sing/dance party sessions at home anyways so may as well do it with other babies around.

Today was our first class and boy did he love it! ¬†Between the singing, the musical instruments, the dancing and the parachute at the end – he was havin’ a great ole time. ¬†As for me, I actually didn’t mind the singing as much as I thought I would. I mean, we sing at home all the time and I know¬†my voice sucks so I am fine with the public knowing too. ¬†However, as some of the other mums warbled along in perfect pitch I felt I had to make up for my meagre singing skills by just being loud and singing with gusto. I think we pulled it off and H’s cackling laughter made me feel pretty darn good about my efforts.

It’s Earth week so the songs were all about the sun, rain, earth etc.

A great time had by all. ¬†Loved that the group wasn’t too big too so he had a lot of time to play around with the other babies.

Oh yes…it was also my first time being mistaken for the nanny but I’m sure it won’t be the last ūüėČ

image courtesy of rainbowsongs.com

April 20, 2011

Baked Salmon Din

A staple in our weekly dinner rotation.

1 large salmon filet (wild is yummier) or 2 smaller filets -we enjoy skin left on

Place salmon skin down in baking dish lined with foil.

Top salmon with lemon juice, rub with grainy mustard, plop tons of sliced fresh ginger and chopped green onions on it.

Little bit of salt. You can add some parsley/dill here if you want.

Drizzle with some good olive oil.

Bake at 375 for between 20-45 minutes depending on thickness of your filets.

Served this week with wilted spinach, roasted red pepper and sweet potato fries. (other nice options are brown rice, roasted zucchini or eggplant, bean salad)

Voila – you have your daily dose of omega 3.

April 18, 2011

Hair Crisis Update: Is balayage the answer?!

Alright, alright…so one of my very first posts was a cry for help re. my mommy-do.

Despite getting major votes for shaving half my head I never did end up committing to that look. ¬†I’m somewhat fickle when it comes to things like that and by the time the votes came in I was already over the pseudo-punk style (tho I give huge props to those that can pull it off).

So now what?! ¬†My rat’s nest of a head has been growing and growing and…like a weed…growing some more.

My latest hair obsession has been some balayage action. ¬†Similar (but vastly cooler) than the look sported in early 2000’s (the noughties as some call em) of bleached or darkened ends/highlights, this style requires probably a few hours in the chair combined with complete and utter faith in your stylist.

image courtesy of styleweekly.com

image courtesy of styleweekly.com

image courtesy of styleweekly.com

So what do we think, people?! ¬†Help me out here…Is this worth getting a sitter for a few hours?! ¬†I figure when I tie the hair up (as I inevitably will end up doing most days) there will be some interesting colouration going on. ¬†And when I actually deign to leave it down, I may end up looking as cute as one of the above ladies at least in the hair department ūüėČ ¬†AND most importantly…no need to fret about root touchups!

All I can say is thank gawd the messy ballerina bun is back in style cos that’s been my mainstay since Baby H came along ūüôā

April 18, 2011

The Boogyman Can Kiss My A$$

Just as bedtime had become (somewhat) predictable, something went bump in the night. Or more accurately, something made Baby H scream frantically after being asleep for almost 2 hours last night.

Hearing the abnormal cry made my and Hubby’s hearts race. Dashing into his room we found him arching his back, eyes still shut, screaming and panicked. ¬†Not a normal, “I woke myself up and I’m grumpy” or “I got me some gas” cry – a gutwrenching and bloodcurdling cacophony so alarming I was sweating and panicking myself.

I picked him up and tried to comfort him but found him to be inconsolable. He kept peeking his eyes open and staring wildly around, arching his back, eyes glazed and not really seeing us.  It took about 40 minutes of hugging, breastfeeding, comforting, speaking to Grandma and Granddad on speakerphone, and lots of cuddles with daddy to get the poor little guy settled enough to go back to bed.

We had stripped him down, ensured he seemed physically fine, took his temperature.  We changed his diaper and fed him.  But his poor little body was still shaking with sobs until he finally settled.

I went online because I remember reading about night terrors in babies and toddlers but I thought it happened when they were older.

What are they? ¬†Night terrors are different from nightmares – they occur in the earlier third of the night as opposed to the last third which is when nightmares happen. ¬†The occur when a baby/child is in non-REM sleep to about 5% of children. ¬†They will flail, toss and turn, cry and appear otherwise completely freaked out. ¬†They can last anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour. ¬†They say the baby doesn’t remember it afterwards, whereas with nightmares the child will wake up and remember what frightened him/her.

What to do? ¬†Obvs my first instinct was to pick him up and comfort him. Apparently the best thing to do is just keep an eye and ensure the child doesn’t hurt themselves since waking or startling them can freak them out even more. Experts (?) say that the child isn’t aware of your presence which would explain when Baby H seemed not to care that we were hugging him and comforting him. ¬†The child should go back to sleep after the episode is over. ¬†This is hard for me – I think I’ll probably still react the same way I did last night – too hard to watch my child spazzing out and scared and not do anything!

How to prevent them?¬†¬†Ensure babe is getting enough sleep throughout the day. ¬†Extend naps, try to make bedtime earlier, try to make wakeup later. ¬†Make sure your bedtime routine is calming…(Ours involves some playtime with daddy who he doesn’t usually get to see during the day so we may have to tone the excitement down a bit). ¬†Overstimulation and overtiredness can lead to night terrors.

I’m generally known to be a calm person and there is little that can unnerve me but I have to say I was completely thrown by last night’s episode. ¬†I felt powerless and frightened. ¬†It may seem trivial to some, but seeing your babe so scared is a terrifying experience. ¬†However, praise be to the internet gods for allowing me to find some great tips and some explanations for what was happening. ¬†Hopefully this post helps somebody out there too to know it is ‘normal’ and that you’re not alone!

I feel much more prepared to face the boogyman tonight…he can get ready to feel my mama-wrath ūüôā

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