Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CrockPot Indian Curry

The Mommy Project: CrockPot Indian Curry

CrockPot Indian Curry.

I'm so proud of myself: I used my crock pot again! And, I have A Year of Crockpotting to thank for that. This lady, Stephanie, made herself a resolution to use her crock pot everyday for the entire year - and she has actually stuck to it! That is amazing, I say. I'm sure my efforts would have fizzled out somewhere around day 3. I should also thank Shan at Tales from the Fairy Blogmother for letting me know about this ultra-cool blog through one of her Spreading some Linky Love posts. So, if you have a crock pot down in your laundry room collecting dust (like mine was) then be sure to check out this blog and get inspired (btw...Stephanie is famous now, too, and has appeared on Rachel Ray's t.v. show. I didn't see it, but maybe you've caught her on there already).

I decided to make the CrockPot Indian Curry (I'm a sucker for anything with the words "Indian" or "Curry" in it) and since the recipe was taken right off her blog, and I really, really, think you should go check it out...just follow THIS link for the ingredients list and recipe details. {cool. that saved me some typing}.

Now, you'll notice that she said she only used 4 to 6 chicken thighs and this dinner served her family, some guests, and she had enough for left-overs. This I had to wonder about. Was it a typo? Did she mean she used 4-6 chicken legs instead of thighs? Nope. They just don't eat very much meat and she told me that 1/2 to 1 chicken thigh each was enough for each of them. [insert shocked face here]. Not in this house. I don't know about you folks...but Dave could definitely eat 6 chicken thighs by himself - easy. I gave him 4 (as you can see in the photo) and I gave the girls 1 each and I just stuck to eating the veggies and beans. There was still tons of room in the crock pot though so, personally, I would suggest throwing in a whole whack more of the thighs. There are leftovers - but none of it has any meat in it (so Dave won't be eating any of the leftovers).

Also, did you know that garbanzo beans are also known as chickpeas? I think I knew that, but I wrote the recipe down as is and Dave came home empty handed on that front. He could not find "garbanzo" beans in our Canadian grocery store. I had a foggy notion that they may be a.k.a. chickpeas so I did a google search "garbanzo beans also known as" and found out that, yep, they're chickpeas. Too bad, too, because I like chickpeas but I didn't have any in the cupboard. I did have white kidney beans, so I threw those in instead. They were good - but I'm not sure a pregnant girl whose digestive system has already slowed to a turtle's pace really needs to consume a lotta' beans. TMI? sorry.

Anyway, the girls both gave it 10 fingers and 10 toes up and Dave said it was "good" about three times as he polished off his plate and cleaned-up the girls' left-overs, too (Maddie liked everything but the meat...I think she is going to become veggie). I loved the sauce and you just can't go wrong when you shove some sweet potato in anything, but I was feeling completely exhausted by this point in the day and was too tired to really enjoy it. I asked if I could just go lay down on the couch for awhile mid-way through dinner. I think I'll enjoy the leftovers for lunch today.

Thank-you CrockPot Lady.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Today was a very, very, very, exciting day.

Today was my first ultrasound for little Baby K.

I was so nervous beforehand because I haven't had the opportunity to hear the heartbeat, yet. I know that the chances of anything bad happening decrease drastically after you hear that heartbeat. So, when the sonographer first started scanning around on my belly I had my head cranked trying to see her screen. There was the baby! Such an excited moment. It all becomes so much more real once you actually get to see the baby on that little monitor. I could see the head, and the body and even some arms and legs, fingers and toes - but I couldn't see that flickering heartbeat. I had to ask her: "Is the baby's heart beating? I can't see it". She quickly said, "Oh, yes. See - there it is". She moved the wand a bit and then I could see it - clear as day - pumping away. What a huge relief! She said, "158" (that was the heart rate).

The baby was very comfy c0zy and laid pretty still for a lot of the scan. The lady asked me to cough (so I did). Then she asked me to cough, again. I said, "Are we trying to get the baby to move?" Yep. And, the second cough did it. She said, "Oh, that woke the baby up!" and you could see the little one moving all over the place. Then, the cutest thing...hiccups! I could see the baby hiccuping clear as day.

I think they've really improved the equipment because I could see everything so well (the picture is about the same as always, but the image on the screen was really good). Once the tests and measurements were done the lady went to call Dave into the room. "Well, is it one or more than one?" he asked. Just one, honey! Just seems like my belly is getting bigger, faster, this time around, but maybe that's more from the late night ice cream than from the baby (side note: I've ordered two preggo-girl work-out DVD's and shall be starting my preggo-girl fitness routine as soon as I get them. I got one yoga one, and one general work-out one).

The lady who did the ultrasound this time around was so nice, too. Believe it or not, I've had some real witches in the past. Which, to this day, still shocks me. How can you be rude and miserable to a pregnant lady who is coming in to see her baby for the first time? It's unbelievable. I got a real ordeal once about getting a photo and the woman was just BRUTAL. I'll never forget that. I didn't mention it, but apparently Dave hasn't forgotten either. He even mentioned how nice this lady was. Super friendly and happy and just really nice. She showed lots of views of the baby and explained what everything was and gave us a nice chance to see. It was just amazing. Then she gave us our photo.

Meet Little Baby K!

(I know I promised a post about my new toy and that will come soon...hopefully tomorrow...but for now...nothing tops this). What a fan-freaking-tastic day.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Almost Done, Bun.

I'm almost done my course!

Today is the last Friday I have off work for working on my Landscape Design work.
I just got my mark back for my last assignment: 98%
My teacher wrote in the comments, "Really nice work!".


I'm such a geek. That makes me entirely too happy.

This last assignment, though, is worth 25% of our total mark and it's had my stomach flipping for days because it actually seems to be a lot easier than anything else we've had to do. It's just a finalization of an earlier project: adding in actually figures for trees and shrubs (instead of just using representational circles), and hatching in walkways, and noting elevational differences...that sort of thing. It shouldn't be too bad. But, that's what scares me.

Why is it worth 25%?!

Ah well...
I just have to do my best and then I am free for the rest of the summer.

And I'll enjoy it too...because I'll have my latest toy to play with this afternoon.

I'll show you a pic. of that tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

(it would be easier to work if my little bun-bun wasn't coming over and scratching on my legs, butting me with her nose, and generally scaring the **** out of me every few minutes.)

"Sorry, Chloe. Mommy has to do her homework right now".

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The BIG Project.

Well, now that life has settled down a bit and become less busy (and Shan has added me to her Blogroll) I can take a second to share with y'all the results of the ginormous project that Shan (a.k.a. The Fairy BlogMother) and I decided to do for our daughters' wonderful kindergarten teacher. Our girls had their teacher for both junior and senior kindergarten and she was just fabulous. She was so good with the kids and they learned *so* much while they were with her that it just amazes me. She is definitely a fantastic teacher and we were very lucky that our girls got to be in her class (and Jamie will be in her J.K. class this fall!! Maya is following closely behind). So, we just didn't want the end to come without doing something special for her. I suggested a scrapbook project which Shan felt would be a great idea.

Shan got the ball rolling by sending a letter into the school for each and every child's parent: explaining what the project was all about (we would ask the students a bunch of questions about their teacher, and what it was like to be in her class, and include their answers along with their pictures in the scrapbook), and sending in the list of questions. We needed the parents to go through the questions with their kids and send in their child's picture. Unfortunately, we didn't get very many responses at all. Several weeks later, I sent in another letter- this time with a deadline (yep, I was forced into another throw-down, folks) and this time we managed to get quite a lot of responses and tons of pics from several great parents (thanks to all those parents for their help with the project!!). Shan and I figured if we could get at least 1/2 the class participating then it would be worthwhile. I think that out of a class of about 20 kids we got 14 responses (including our own two girls). Honestly, I was a little disappointed that not every parent participated because it would have made the gift for their teacher so much more special and a wonderful way for her to remember *all* her students...but, as it was she LOVED it.

Shan, being the great writer of the two of us, did the lovely opening letter for the book to thank their teacher for being...well...for being her! And, me, being the, ummm, the one who knew absolutely nothing about digital scrapbooking...well, I did the layout. Well, I do know how to use my photoshop and I do know how to shop on-line so those parts weren't hard. But, figuring out how to use all the "digital elements" was definitely a bit of a challenge for me. Every single element on those pages was laid down individually. The pages were all put together individually. Everything was done individually! It took for-ever. I would lay down a page and "rip it" then lay down another page to get the two-toned page effects. Then I would lay down the photo frames and then put the photos "into them" so that they have that cool, curvy, kinda' looks like the pictures are raised off the page a bit effect. Then I placed all the individual strips of paper, or whatever I decided to use, to put the kids' answers on. Placed staples, and paper clips, and brads, and drop shadows...and other little "details". Each page took over an hour to do. Then I printed them off onto 8.5' x 11' photo paper and trimmed them down to fit into the 8"x8" scrapbook. But, when you consider the amount of work their teacher did for our kids...on her own time...even above and beyond the in-class was nothing. She even put together scrapbooks for each of our kids so that we could have something to remember their first years of school. And, she provided us all with dvd photoshows, too (although, I still haven't been able to see mine because it won't play on my stupid computer). I heard she spent over 200 hours, at home, doing these things for us. Yeah. Pretty incredible.

So...a BIG THANKS to their teacher. I am SO lucky that she was my girl's teacher and I am SO happy that she was very tickled by the scrapbook we made for her.

Also, thanks to Shan for all her help and support with this project.

Now I've got two more years to come up with an idea for the next one.

Introduction page just explains that this book is from her "Class of 2020" (the year they will all graduate from highschool) and that the questions are all together in the back of the book. I called it "20 Questions for the Class of 2020". I've blocked out the teacher's name and the faces of the kids who aren't my own or who are not already featured in their own blogs. ;-)

This first page includes the "Thank-you" letter written by Shan and this super cute picture of my Jamie James with her new teacher...coming this fall!!

Shan's cute little Abby with her long locks, and her new short 'do as featured on grad. day!

I only asked the parents to include one picture of their child. When I was putting together the book I realized you really need more than one picture to make things a bit more interesting. Plus, all my cool photo frames were for two pictures. Luckily, I took lots of pictures at their little graduation ceremony so I was able to include a lot of photos from that. Plus, since their teacher was running the ceremony...she probably wouldn't have had any pictures from it to remember it I think that worked out pretty well.

I included a pic. of Maddie's "Hippo" on the last page since he became almost like a little mascot for the class since Maddie brought him to school almost every day for two years. Maddie's teacher even mentioned "Hip" in the graduation ceremony. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Christmas in July. Saturday I came home from work to find our new pool.
[Unfortunately, it's been too cold out ever since Dave bought it for me to get to use it...but he and the kids (along with their brand new life jackets and floating boat) went out yesterday. Crazy polar bears.]

Anyway...yesterday I came home from work to find this:

Now, this may not mean anything to you. It's just a picture of a bed, right? Wrong. This is my brand new, super-duper, comfortable...reminds me of Jamaica...bed that Dave picked up yesterday. Sorry the picture doesn't really do it justice because, you see, as soon as I saw it I hopped up into it (it's really high off the ground) and fell asleep! I took this picture just now, this morning, after just quickly trying to tidy it up a bit. Dave got all the new sheets, and bed skirt, and duvet cover and everything...and put it all on himself! Ahhhhh....what a great sleep I just had.

Our old bed was just that. O-L-D. And, it was cheap when it was purchased so you can just imagine how (incredibly not) comfy cozy that was. Not to mention it was a double. A double! That is basically a kids bed.

Ummm...yes...that is the old head-board just kinda' propped up behind the new bed. We'll have to pick a new one out together. Or, maybe we could just make something kinda' cool and country-ish. Whatever, I don't care. I love, love, love my new bed.

Is it time for a nap yet?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Honey Bunny

So now you all know the big news of the new addition we are expecting to our family. That baby is due on February 8th. That makes me just over 10 weeks along right now, but my belly is already getting big. Seriously. When I was pregnant with Maddie no one knew I was pregnant until I was about 7 months along. At 8 months I had people saying, "I wasn't sure if you were pregnant or not, but then I noticed your belly button". Yeah. My belly button almost grew bigger than my whole belly! My boss actually asked one of my co-workers several months into the pregnancy, "Is she really pregnant??". LOL. But, I don't think I'll have that problem this time around. Let's see if I can take a quick "self-portrait" a la Widney Woman of my tummy for you to see...

See. It is definitely already out there. I go for my first ultrasound on the 28th. Let's all hope we're not having twins. We were out test driving potential new vehicles on Monday (yes, my wagon has definitely seen better days and needs to go to wagon heaven soon) and Dave and I both really loved the Honda CR-V we took out. She's a `bute! Then it dawned on me..."Dave - if we have twins all the kids won't even fit in here!". So, we had to delay buying her right there and then (as we wanted to) until I go for my ultrasound. Our other choice is another big lug of a pick-up truck which is a great right-off for the business, but not so great for just booting it around town to pick up groceries and stuff. Parking is a bit of a challenge. But, anyway...

My real point of this post was to tell you about the new addition to our family that just arrived on Monday.

Meet Chloe!

Chloe was adopted from an organization called "Rabbit Rescue". She was one of hundreds of rabbits and bunnies that were saved from the horrible conditions they were being kept in at a meat processing business in Barrie, Ontario. The cruelty case is currently ongoing so I don't have a lot of details but when you consider the fact that rabbits aren't even protected under the "Humane Slaughter Act" (which means they must be rendered unconscious before they are killed) in the U.S. or Canada, and that these poor animals were "just" being raised for meat (so who really cares how they were treated)'ve got to know the conditions must have been pretty shocking.
I am very grateful to Rabbit Rescue for saving all these bunnies and for letting me adopt little Chloe who, as it turns out, is one of the cutest, gentlest, funniest little bunnies you'd ever want to meet. She has made herself right at home here and is even coming right over to my girls for pets and snuggles (then she's hopping off to play again). For how her life started she had been treated by's quite amazing how sweet she had remained.

If you would like more information on the "Humane Slaughter Act" and to sign a petition to fight for *some* rights for these lovely little animals then please go here. As for me...I've just bought two new vegetarian/vegan cookbooks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008