Friday, September 26, 2008

Let Her Eat Cake!

So someone is mean to your baby...
what is a Mommy to do?

Bake her a cake, that's what!

Yesterday was Jamie's day off (she goes full days - 2 days one week, three days the next week) and after her rough time on the bus ride home the day before, I decided to spend the whole day just smothering her with Mommy love. We spent a lot of time doing her favourite thing in the whole wide world now - school work, and we sang a lot of songs (she taught me all the ones she is learning in school. It's amazing how much she remembers already), we went for a little walk together, and we baked a cake. Mommy really kinda' wanted pie (the baby bump has been requesting pumpkin pie for awhile now and I've yet to deliver on that one), but Jamie wanted cake.

I think she is going to be a chef when she grows up. She loves cooking and baking. Whenever Dave or I are at the stove she always comes running in asking if she can help.

Jamie also wanted to pretend it was her birthday so when it came time for dessert I put a little candle on top of the cake and let her make a wish and blow it out (wonder if she wished for dragon to come carry that mean boy away to a dungeon somewhere).

We let Maddie have a turn at the pretend birthday, too, and ended up with a couple of rounds of "Happy Birthday" on a day when it was no one's birthday.

Jamie is still looking forward to going back to school, but she has also requested that her Daddy go in to talk to the principal and that Mommy write a note to her teacher. She wrote her own note to the teacher today which consisted of a picture of her sitting on the bus with tears running down her face and the boy sitting beside her with a big smile on his face.

{OH! I almost forgot to mention...when Dave got Maddie off the bus yesterday he tried to see which kid it was that was mean to Jamie. He saw one boy sitting near the area they were sitting in, but he looked right out the window at Dave and "seemed like a nice kid". Then he looked into the sit ahead and the kid in that seat saw Dave looking and ducked down into his chair and then laid down flat across the bench hiding! I think it's a safe bet that was probably him.}

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chicken & Mushrooms in Pastry with Pesto-Glazed Veggies

It's What's Cooking Wednesday time, again. Good thing...gets my butt in gear and forces me (usually) to start posting again. I don't know...I think sometimes I get bored listening to myself blog.

So, here we have another lovely dinner brought to you by that wiz. of the "Dinner Fix", Sandi Richard. This recipe comes from her latest book (and I own them all except for, "Getting Ya Through the Summer" which I borrowed from the library and found it didn't have very many vegetarian/flexitarian substitutions, which all her books to follow have had lots of). The grammar and run-on sentences are just incredible so far aren't they?


here is what you need to make Chicken & Mushrooms in Pastry with Pesto-Glazed Veggies ....

  1. 2 Tbsp butter
  2. 10 mushrooms
  3. 2 Tbsp flour
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  6. 2 cups cooked roaster chicken (from the deli)
  7. 1 cup frozen peas
  8. 1 pkg of 6 frozen puff pastry patty shells (300 g), ex. Tenderflake
  9. cooking spray
  10. 1 red bell pepper
  11. 1 yellow bell pepper
  12. 2 medium zucchini
  13. 1 Tbsp basil pesto


  1. Melt butter in a med. stove-top pot on low heat. Wash and slice mushrooms, adding to pot as you cut. Stir and remove from heat.
  2. Gradually whisk flour into pot until combined. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and milk. Return to heat and simmer on low. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and spice.
  3. Remove meat from chicken and cut into cubes. Add to sauce. Fold in peas.
  4. (meanwhile....) Place pastry shells on a cookie sheet and bake in preheated 400F oven. Set timer for 20 minutes.
  5. Spray a large nonstick fry pan with cooking spray and heat at medium. Rinse peppers and zucchini and cut into large chunks, adding to pan as you cut. Dab with pesto and toss until tender.
  6. When timer rings for pastry, remove from oven. Remove top center disk using a fork and set aside. Gently lift out the soft pastry from the inside of the shell and discard, leaving the bottom intact.
  7. When you are ready to serve, place a shell on each plate and fill with sauce. Put a pastry disk on top of the sauce. Serve alongside veggies.


Nice and easy to prepare. I just love this idea of using roaster chickens to make something else. I mean, they are about 8 bucks and they are already cooked! It's great. And, Dave hacked this one up so the yuck factor was taken out of the cooking for me. Everything looked very pretty and it came together very quickly. And...most importantly...yep, it tasted really good. Dave gave it 7.5 out of 10 and said he'd eat it every couple of weeks. That is "steady" rotation around here and rates the "Good Enough to Eat" seal of approval. The girls also liked it, but would have preferred the veggies sans the basil pesto: a little too fancy-smancy for them.

{oh and, yes, Dave got his knickers in a twist when he saw me adding peas to the pot. He said, "Well, now you've just ruined it". I knew he would be a baby about the peas so I was trying to just sneak them in there. After dinner I asked if he would have liked it better without the peas and he said, "Actually, I didn't even noticed them. It was fine". It's hard to convice someone who ate a lot of canned peas as a child that fresh or frozen peas are not the same thing. But, he is coming along} ;-)

For more ideas on what to make for dinner (or desert! or for a snack!) please head on over to the Fairy Blogmother's site right HERE (and you can check out both Shan and Mike's award winning creations - although...Mike had to cheat to beat know...whatever...) ;-)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Don't Name Your Chickens Before They Hatch.

Ok. Well, I was all excited to post about my second ultrasound (which was on Wednesday) but the whole thing was just, well, a bit of a let down. Now, I am pregnant and as far as I know the baby is don't get me wrong...I'm completely grateful for all of that. Completely. But, still, just this ultrasound appointment - it...sucked.

My first one was at the hospital where I work. They have the greatest equipment there, the best of everything, and the lady who did my ultrasound was super nice. I think I mentioned in my first ultrasound post about what a great experience it was. Near the end of the visit she called Dave in and showed us everything in the scan - the baby's head, and arms, and feet and all of that type of stuff and she was just such a nice, cheerful, happy, kind of girl. It was so great. She also gave us a really, really, nice ultrasound picture which was so nice and clear and it was big, too. It was about 8"x10". Now, here is the part I didn't tell you about that first ultrasound appointment...

While we were there she asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby. Dave and I both said, "YES!". She asked me if I had any opinions. I said, "I think it's a boy" and she said, "Well, I think you are right" and then she showed us a view of the baby, between the two legs, and there was definitely something sticking up in the middle. Of course, this was only at 12 weeks and many people think you simply cannot tell at that age as things just haven't differentiated enough, yet. So, she said, "Now, I would keep all my receipts if you are going to go out and buy a bunch of blue stuff....but I am quite certain it is a boy".

We were thrilled! Just because we already have two girls and I think it would be so super cool and great to have a "Little Davey". I would love to go shopping for little flannel shirts, and little work boots. So cute. Of course, Maddie and Jamie are super cute, too, and another girl would be just great, too. As long as the baby is healthy, right? That is all anyone can hope for. But, all the same, we were pretty excited.

So, at my ultrasound on Wednesday I was getting so pumped up about finding out for sure. I knew by 20 weeks there would be no mistaking things. But, when I walked in for my appointment, I just immediately didn't have a good feeling. My doctor's office booked me in somewhere else (for some unknown reason!) for this one. It was just a little clinic place with relatively crappy, old, equipment and a lady who didn't like to crack a smile, talk, or answer you when you asked a question. I couldn't make out hardly anything on the screen whereas the first time Dave and I both thought it was like looking at a 3-D scan - it was so clear it was amazing. This time I kept thinking, "What the hell is she looking at?" I had no clue. I mean, every once in a while she would move the paddle-thingy and I would see a spinal cord or an arm or a leg or something, but that was about it. And, she had me in there for an hour. Why did it take so long?

Then she asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby. "YES!" But, then Dave made the mistake of saying "the other ultrasound lady said it was a boy". At that, this ultrasound lady's face dropped. She said, "Oh". Then she asked if we already had children. "Yes. Two girls". She said, "Oh" (as if she was thinking, "Uh-uh. I better not tell them...") and she said, "Well, I can't really see any testicles. Sometimes they haven't dropped, yet, but - yaahh - no--I can't see any testicles". She didn't say she could definitely see girl parts, she just said she couldn't see boy parts. And then she printed off my (HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE) ultrasound photo, wiped off my belly, and that was that.

So, now...we don't know what to think. I felt so let down. Not that it might be a girl, just that I still don't know and, I think, partially because (as you know) I felt so sure it was a boy. We had the name picked out already, I had looked in wallpaper stores for decorating ideas for the nursery, I had this whole personality and life created for this little kiddo and now I was, I think (?), finding out he didn't exist. It was a strange, strange, almost kind of a mourning kind of a feeling.

The afternoon after the ultrasound I just came home and sat here doing nothing for two hours. I just felt so weird. Dave came home early, too, because he couldn't even finish work. We were both just in this weird funk. He brought up a picture of Jamie when she was a baby (soooo cute) and said, " really doesn't matter. When the baby comes out we'll just be so happy and love it no matter what". Of course, that's absolutely true - but I just feel like I've lost my little "T" and I feel like he was supposed to be here. That's all.

Ahhh...I don't think I can explain it. :-/

Then there was the crappy ultrasound photo to top it all off. I mean, is this not the worst ultrasound photo you have *ever* seen? I mean, seriously. The worst. I am going to let my doctor know at my appointment Monday that the lab they sent me to sucked and if I do have any other ultrasounds...they will not take place there. Believe me.

{Instant Update: We've decided to go for the 3-D ultrasound in about 6 more weeks. Then we will know for sure and I can start getting attached to the right baby - whether he is a he, or she is a she}.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Linguini and Asparagus.

While I sit here waiting for the chimney sweep to arrive, and for the hours to pass by so that I can get to my ultrasound appointment at 1 o'clock, I thought I'd go ahead and share with you this yummy recipe for Creamy Pesto Shrimp with Linguini and Asparagus.

This is a recipe from my latest Sandi Richard's book (which was just released on September 2 - and I bought immediately off of Chapters without even so much as having looked in it first), "Dinner Survival". {Oh, my Chimney Sweep just arrived. No black top hat, though. wth??}.

Here is your Ingredients List:

  1. 1 Tbsp butter
  2. 1 Tbsp evoo
  3. 2 Tbsp flour
  4. 2 cups milk
  5. 1/2 tsp pepper
  6. 375 g linguini pasta (one box)
  7. 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, light
  8. 1/4 cup basil pesto
  9. 450 g (or 1 lb) large shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
  10. 20 asparagus spears (450 g or 1 lb)
  11. water (sorry)
  12. 1 tsp butter
  13. pinch of salt
  14. hot chili flakes (optional)

Here are your Directions (given in "real time" as Sandi does, which I love):

  1. Fill a large stove-top pot with water and bring to boil.
  2. Heat butter and evoo in a large nonstick fry pan at med.-low. Remove from heat and whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Return to med.-low heat. Season with pepper. Heat through while whisking. Reduce heat to simmer white sauce.
  3. Place pasta in boiling water. Set timer for 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk cheese into white sauce until well combined. Blend in pesto. Fold shrimp into sauce and heat through.
  5. Snap off bottom nodes of asparagus and discard. Rinse in colander or steamer basket. Place a small amount of water in the bottom of a stove-top pot and bring to a full boil with the asparagus in the basket above. Cover and set timer for 4 minutes. When timer rings, drain water and toss in pot with butter and salt.
  6. When timer rings for pasta...rinse pasta in colander and return to pot, no heat.
  7. Serve shrimp and sauce over linguini.


Dave and I both really, really, enjoyed this dish and I'm not even a big shrimp fan. In fact, I think this is the first time I've ever been able to eat a "shrimp" dinner. It's just one of those (unfortunately, many) foods that grosses me out. But, every once in awhile I start to feel pretty guilty about cooking yet another chicken dinner, so this was great.

Not only that, but we had a little surprise guest over that night. Maddie's friend from school popped by while I was in the kitchen whipping up dinner. We called her Dad to see if she could stay for dinner: "Sure, we have plenty - no problem at all". So cool. It was a moment. I felt like Martha Stewart: ever ready for dinner guests, with lots of food and even a clean house. Now, mind you, this only happened because all the stars were properly aligned and my moon was in the 7th house, or something like that, and it will probably never happen again, but I was lovin' it.

As for the kids, well...mine ate the food and liked it, but were anxious to get down from the table to go play. Our guest, who "loves shrimp...and cheese...just not that white kind of cheese" didn't eat too much. But, that was okay...they still all had fun and I, I, was Martha Stewart for one shining moment.

And that is What's Cooking Wednesday {and my Chimney Sweep just left}. For more WCW ideas please check out The Fairy BlogMother's site right HERE. She couldn't bother her a** to participate this week, but at least the rest of us have.

{Just Kidding, Shan! Mwahh!} ;-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Knock, Knock? Who is there???!

It's almost time!!!

Tomorrow I go in for my second ultrasound. I am so excited about this, I can't tell you! I know I'm having a boy...I know it, I know it.

I've probably already told you my scientific reasoning behind this conclusion, but in case I have not here it is (if I have, forgive me...I have baby brain). You see...when I was pregnant with Maddie and Jamie I could still drink (my ever-beloved) coffee. Now, I know you aren't ~supposed~ to drink a lot of coffee when you are pregnant so I would hold myself to one cup per day. That is "HOLD" myself to one cup per day; I could have easily kept going. This time around, I just can't drink the stuff. In my head - I really, really, really, want one but my taste buds, or my stomach, or this baby, or ~something~ then tells me, "Nah. You know what? You don't really want to drink this. It tastes like swill". And I just can't drink it. For a certifiably addicted to coffee-gal like myself this has been extremely hard (especially now that the weather is turning colder. And if Tim's brings out those "Roll up the Rim to Win" cups again, well, I just don't know what I'll do).

But you know what I can drink? Coke. And lots of it (but, I'm holding myself back on this, too: caffeine. I know, I know). It's strange, because I was never a big Coke fan before. I could definitely take or leave the stuff and I usually left it because it always kind of tasted like super sugary/syrupy/crap to me before. You know who loves Coke? Davey. He will drink, like, 4 or 5 cans of the stuff a day. Easy. He is always saying that he needs to cut back on how much Coke he drinks but does he? No. He is addicted. He loves his Coke. He hates coffee. Hates it. Will not drink it. Not ever. No way. No how. But, he loves his Coke.

Hmmmm. I think I have a little Davey cooking inside of me. EEEeeeee. I'm so excited!!

When I was pregnant with Maddie I knew I was having a girl. I had no reason to know that. I just did. It was like a fact. Like there was just no question about it. That kind of "knew it". When I was pregnant with Jamie, things seemed a bit different. She was kicking me more and seemed more active. So, that was kind of throwing me off. I wasn't as positive that time around, but right before we went in to have her Dave asked me, "So, what's it gonna' be - Boy or Girl?" and I said, "It's a girl".

Will my maternal instincts be 3 for 3?

We'll see!!!

Stay tuned!!!

I will be back here with a brand new ultrasound photo tomorrow and the answer to the poll question at the side of my blog there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

{Did I mention I was excited?}

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Better Butter Chicken.

You know how I don't like to bother sharing a recipe unless it's really, really, good - right? Well, get out your pens and paper people...this one is a keeper.

Thanks to those wacky Canadian gals over at Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry (I can't just say that, I have to sing it...but you won't know what the heck I'm talking about unless you've seen their show. That's okay. Never mind. Anyway!)...I am bringing you this super yummy recipe for Better Butter Chicken!
"Why is it 'Better'", you ask? Well, as Janet and Greta explain, "It's the star of India! A real jewel. A gem of a recipe. Our healthier rendition of this popular ethnic dish doesn't use gobs of butter and tons of heavy cream, so you can save those precious calories for dessert". But, I say, "Dessert?! Who has room for dessert after you've stuffed yourself with this? It is Sooooo good!"


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger root
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 whole cooked rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat cut up (big-ish bite sized chunks)
  • 1/3 cup light cream
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

  • Hot, cooked basmati rice.


  1. Melt butter in a deep, 10- inch skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring often, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add ginger root, chili powder, turmeric, and cinnamon. Cook 1 more minute. Add undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Add cut-up chicken, cream, and sour cream. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve over hot basmati rice.

Makes 5 servings.

Per serving: 293 cal, 11.4 g total fat, 5 g sat. fat, 33 g protein, 15 g carbs, 2.9 g fiber, 105 mg cholesterol, 483 mg sodium.

Verdicts: Well, you already know I love, love, loved it! Dave also thought it was really, really, good and despite my giving him a HUGE plateful (at which point I said, "Oh, I really gave you a ton there. Don't feel like you have to eat it all"), he DID eat it all. And the girls? Two thumbs up from both of them...and I really love that they are enjoying foods with flavour and not just sticking to bland, blah, stuff. Good for them! :0)

For more ideas on what the heck you can cook for dinner...please check out the Fairy BlogMother's blog and the home of What's Cooking Wednesday!!

p.s. You can see from my picture that I didn't add cilantro. Well, Fortinos didn't have any. :-P Too bad, because I really LOVE cilantro (as does my bun, bun). Just imagine how good it would have been if I had some of that on top, too! :)

Wordless Wednesday - First Day.

This is my little baby's First Day of School! If you like, you can read all about it here!!!
For other "Wordless Wednesday" posts please check out 5 Minutes for Mom...right here.

{OH! And while you are here please be sure to vote in my little poll at the side there! I get my second ultrasound in 1 week and I'll be back on Wordless Wednesday then with the new pic., and the results of the burning question, "Is he a he, or is she a she???!!!"}


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First Day of School! First Day of School!

Well, as you can imagine, yesterday was a pretty exciting day around here. I mean, if you thought Jamie was excited to go for a practice run on the school bus then just imagine how excited she was to be doing the real thing! The time had come {I still can't believe it}. Jamie has had her FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

You'll have to bare with me: there was a lot of picture taking going on. And, this is the tip of the ice burg. She just looks so darn cute and happy in every photo it was hard to pick which ones to share on the blog!

We had her outfit all picked out the night before and her backpack was all set and ready to go. She got up super early and had a nice big breakfast. Then a shower. Despite getting up early we still found ourselves rushing at the last minute. Daddy was helping with her dress while Mommy was helping her on with her socks. Daddy was helping with her teeth while Mommy was blow-drying her hair. I said to her, "This is what it's like if you're a model. Everything is rush, rush, rush, and you've got a bunch of helpers getting you dressed and ready". She said, "I love being a model!"

We did it! Out the door in time!

After a couple of minutes at the bus stop the other parents began to notice Jamie's backpack. "OH! Is Jamie starting school today?!"


Even Maddie was excited for, and proud of, her little baby sister.

After a couple more minutes of photo ops...we saw the big yellow bus turning the corner up ahead.

Bus! Bus!

It was finally time for Jamie to board the bus...for real...with her sister and all the rest of the big kids. This is something she has been waiting for, desperately, for the past 2 years. So hard to believe the moment was finally here.

As a now less-rookie Mom, I have learned to ask my "first day of school kid" to get on the bus last. This allows for clearer photo shots, and usually a better opportunity for a turn and a smile once the "first day of school kid" has made it up those big, big, stairs.

With that...she was off. Time for Dad to go to work and Mom to head back home, all alone, to do the official "house-wife" kinda' stuff? NO WAY. We ran to the truck and raced the bus to the school. Way more first day of school photo ops to be had once she arrives!

Her (wonderful, super-great, lovely, special, one-of-a-kind) teacher met all the little kiddos at the bus to help them off. I was so glad to see this because the night before I couldn't sleep with visions of Jamie, all happy and full of smiles, falling down those big steps under the weight of her huge backpack. {Ya...I am a ridiculously huge worrier.}

But...nothing to worry about! All was great and Jamie was still all smiles as she headed to her classroom.

She knew exactly where her cubby was and went right to work unpacking her backpack and putting on her "indoor shoes".

Time for a couple more photos.

And a pic. with Daddy.

As for me...I didn't stop to think about how I was feeling until we were driving away from the school. But, I had a huge smile on my face, too. I was just so happy and excited for Jamie it was impossible to be sad. She told me the night before she was going to miss eyes, my hair, my hands, my smile, my braces, my belly, my feet, my eyelashes...etc., etc., etc.! It was so cute. I told her I was going to miss her and all her parts, too. It was definitely great to see her again once she got back home and it was so fun to hear all about her big day. I think we'll both be just fine.

Love you Jamie James!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Maddie Mae: First Grader.

So my little baby, my first born daughter, my little now, officially, a grade 1 student. I really can't even believe it. Gawd. It seems like yesterday I was bringing her home from the hospital in her little car seat (that seemed just huge for her at the time). It seems like just yesterday that she was my little tiny baby that I took for huge walks all over our old neighbourhood - all bundled up because it was minus 20 degrees outside (I believed she absolutely HAD to have a big long walk, every day, no matter what). It seems like just yesterday that she was yelling out from her crib in the middle of the night, "I want my Nib-bow-leeeettt!" ("Niblet" = Soother). It seems like just yesterday that we noticed her first tooth poking through her gums as we took her to a cabin up north. All of those things, everything, they all seem like they just happened yesterday.

But, no, she is actually 5 years old now. Maddie Mae: First Grader. The years have flown by. Sometimes I just want to hold her and squeeze her so tight that time just stops for a bit. Pretty soon she won't even want anything to do with us anymore. Dave laughs that he is looking forward to that time. I'm not! I like that she wants to be with us. I like that she wants us to go sit beside her to watch a show. I like that she still wants her snuggles in the morning. It won't be long before I look back on all of that and think that seems like it was just yesterday, too.

Ouch. My head is starting to hurt from writing this. I was just saying to my friend, Shan, how this year has been so much easier than last year. I didn't even get the least bit choked up at the bus-stop. It just seemed like a continuation of kindergarten. But, it isn't. It isn't a's a "moving on"...just like time...and, now, as this all hits me it's starting to get just as hard all over again!

I love you so much Maddie. I'm so proud of you and...

I kind of wish I could drive over to your school, pick you up, and bring you back home right now.