Thursday 20 December 2007

yes lisa, there is a santa claus

I'm sooooooooooo excited!!! Daddy and I are leaving food out for Santa and his reindeer. I made a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk for Santa, and Daddy cut some carrots for the reindeer. Mommy put some water in a big plastic bowl for them as well. We left everything by the fireplace, and I'm watching all my Christmas shows on TV: Charlie Brown, Grinch, Frosty, Rudolph, the one with the mice that have to fix the big clock, and Daddy will watch "A Christmas Carol" later on. The television station reports Santa sightings in between shows, and tells us where Santa has been spotted. He's just been spotted over Barrie, which means he's not very far away! Aaaahhhhh I've got to get to bed! But I'm not sleepy at all.

I lie in bed, squeezing my eyes shut and hoping for sleep because Santa won't come if I'm awake. What was that?? I just heard a noise on the roof! Gottosleep...gottosleep...gottosleep... I toss and turn, and it's now 1:00 in the morning and I'm still wide, wide awake. Christmas is taking forever to come and I'm never, ever going to be able to fall asleep. But then the next thing I know, my clock says it's 5:00 and that means it's morning, and THAT means I can get out of bed!

I run downstairs and my heart thuds with excitement as I see my stocking full of presents. Santa took a bite out of my sandwich, and I pick it up to examine it closely. I'm in awe because those are Santa's actual teeth marks in the bread. The carrots have also been nibbled, and the water's all gone. I squeeze, and shake, and sniff, and attempt to peer through the wrapping paper of my gifts. I can't open them yet because Mommy and Daddy are still in bed. I cannot believe that Santa uses the same wrapping paper as we do! That's so cool - he must go to the same store as my Mom.

The only things on television are The Hilarious House of Frightenstein and Tales of the Wizard of Oz which aren't my favourites, but I watch them anyway to pass the time. Forever and ever later, my Mom and Dad wake up and Christmas Day begins.

May your Christmas be magical and may you be just as excited on Christmas morning as we all were years ago.

Wishing you much love and peace,
Lisa, Paul, Jack, Mia, and Jasper xx

Watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Wednesday 19 December 2007

6 months

Originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin
Mimi Pixie Stix Bunny Princess Poopy Pants is 6 months old today. By now, I expected to be finished breastfeeding, but I'm not. I thought she'd be in her own room by now, but she's not. I was sure she'd be established on solid foods at six months, but she still thinks they're fun toys to gum. She has only just started wearing 3-6 month clothes, which means the adorable 6-9 month Christmas clothes I bought for her way back when are far too big. She coos and aahhhs instead of the bababadadadamamama noises Jack made at this age. She has huge blue eyes (hair colour TBD.) Ever since (and including) her arrival, she surprises me in millions of wonderful, beautiful ways.

And that's all I'm going to say because she's in my lap right now, and I'd much rather be cuddling and adoring her than typing.

I love you so, so much. Happy 6 months, my precious baby girl. xxx

Friday 14 December 2007

must be a slow day in montreal

Apparently this made the front page of the Montreal Gazette newspaper today:
The much-maligned Facebook "is" is no more.

Those two little letters have long been the bane of Facebook users, who have, until now, been forced to issue their "status updates" using a mandatory "is" - i.e., "Basem Boshra is (insert mood or activity or non sequitur here)."

In fact, the "is" has led to some of the more awkward sentences you're likely to read. For example, instead of writing, say, "Basem Boshra wants ice cream" - which I often do - I'd have to go with something like "Basem Boshra is wanting ice cream." From a status-update perspective, this was both a creative and grammatical straitjacket. [source]

I admit, I was happy to see the demise of "is", but is it front page news?

Thursday 13 December 2007


Banana!, originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin.

...and the banana made it into the mouth and down the throat! Wooooooo! This was our third experience with food (I'm not feeding her every day at the moment) and Mia seemed to enjoy it. I still think that she's at the "Oooh that's an interesting looking toy. GAH! It comes apart in my mouth!!" stage, though. But still, fun!

Wednesday 12 December 2007


Originally uploaded by Lisa Durbin
Hey, look! I baked! I dunno what "authenic" Stollen is supposed to taste like, but I love it. It's soft, moist with fruit, with just a hint of almondy marzipan. It reminds me of a panettone in that it's a fruited bread, but the marzipan and alcohol give it more depth.

As for keeping it for two weeks, it's not a necessity but supposedly it does improve its flavour (a bit like some fruitcakes), and I wanted to make something ahead of the Christmas chaos. The recommendation is to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and tin foil, and store it somewhere cool. Mine are currently sitting in the garage. I think I might stash one loaf in the freezer and bring it along to our family 'do (i.e. transport it frozen), just to see how it differs.

I had a slice once it had cooled, and it was absolutely gorgeous. I loathe fruitcake and Paul can't stand marzipan, but we both loved this bread. I'm so relieved!

i should have just bought a christmas pudding from m&s

So, to overcome my fear of baking and breadmaking, I'm making loaves of Stollen today. There are actually many versions out there you can do in a bread machine, but I thought I'd do it the old fashioned way. This may end up being a terrible idea; bread and I don't get along very well unless it involves slicing and slathering with butter. Another tricky bit is the fact that I've never eaten Stollen in my life, so I have no idea what it should taste like. Cripes, what the hell have I gotten myself into? Anyhoo, in honour of my lovely German sister-in-law (who is hosting our family Christmas again this year), I decided to make Stollen. Since it needs to sit for a good couple of weeks and I can bring it with me, I thought it would be a good one to try.

I'm following this recipe from the fabulous A Spoonful of Sugar blog, with a few small changes. And I do honestly mean small changes; I hate it when you read a recipe review and the reviewer has changed the original beyond recognition. How are you supposed to know if the recipe is any good or not based on that? is notorious for this sort of thing: "I made this chilli recipe and my whole family loved it! I would definitely make it again! I made a few changes. Instead of using kidney beans I used tinned corn, and instead of tomatoes, I added a couple of cans of mushroom soup. I thought it was a bit spicy, so I adjusted the seasoning a bit. I omitted the chilli powder and substituted it with 4 cups of Bisquick. Yum!"

I really did make minor changes and attempted to stay true to the original where possible. I can't get my hands on fresh yeast around here so I used dried and I didn't make my own marzipan. I know, I know - it's easy to make and tastes a million times better, but the little lazy imp that sits on my shoulder (the left one, if you're curious) told me to buy the prepackaged marzipan. "Go on", he said. "It's got a pretty label and doesn't say 'Tesco Value' on it. It's probably good quality stuff. Go on!" The only other change was the addition of a teaspoon of cinnamon, partially because I came across a few Stollen recipes that call for it, but mostly because I love cinnamon in fruited breads.

So far, so good. I'm on the first rise and the dough smells delicious already. I shall get back to you in about 2 1/2 hours when it's done rising and baking. In the meantime, enjoy this amusing video that starts out funny, but frankly gets a bit creepy the longer it goes on:

Sunday 9 December 2007

Is this food or packing material?

As I was saying, Mia has been introduced to the world of solid food via the interesting (this is your cue to say: "Oh off she goes on that mad hippy nonsense again") concept of Baby Led Weaning. I first learned about it when Jack was a baby (thanks to LisaS, who is another mad hippy) but for reasons that I can no longer remember, only made a half ass attempt at it.

The idea is to let babies feed themselves - no spoon feeding, no purees. "Oh my good lord, but your baby will choke!" you may cry. Well look, it's not like I'm giving Mia a turkey drumstick to gnaw on this Christmas. Although come to think of it, Paul's Uncle Mike recently told me that he gave drumsticks to both kids when they were babies, and they turned out just fine. All joking aside, I freely admit that it did make my heart jump when Mia gagged and sputtered a bit when she tried the rice cakes. We are so accustomed to the idea that babies get purees, that it's very difficult for our brains to accept anything else. Anyway, the idea is to let babies feed themselves...safely. For example, instead of spoon feeding Mia carrot puree, I will give her cooked carrot sticks that are still mushy enough to be safe to eat, but in a form that allows her to feed it to herself.

I think it's easiest to understand if I put it in terms of more "conventional" weaning. At 4 months, you offer purees because babies cannot physically ingest anything else. At 5 months, you introduce lumpier foods, and at 6 months, you start with finger foods. Since Baby Led Weaning is done at 6 months onwards, we're simply skipping the two former stages.

Why am I doing this? Do I want to spend mealtimes sticking a spoon in my baby's face with no hands free, or would I rather sit back, stuff my own face, and be entertained watching my baby attempting to pick up slices of avocado? I rest my case. Okay seriously, I'm doing this because I've always been an advocate of letting kids play with and explore food. I'm still that way with Jack. I think it's important to let kids be in control of what goes in their mouths. Except if it happens to be a clump of dirt, dog toy, or something unidentifiable from the garden, obviously.

So far, Mia's not actually eaten anything, but I've only given her food twice this week. I first gave her slices of avocado (too slippery) followed by rice cakes (easier to pick up, but anything that went in came right back out again), and cooked carrot sticks (interesting to lick, but again, anything that went in came back out again.) She doesn't have to get any food in her belly - breast milk gives her all the nutrition and calories she needs for now - so this is all for fun and practice.

And I am in no rush to get her established on solids. I am enjoying the relatively inoffensive nappies while I can.

Thursday 6 December 2007

Mia's first food

At 24 weeks, Mia had her first taste of solid food yesterday - avocadoes (too slippery to get from hand to mouth) and rice cakes (made it into the mouth, then came right back out again.) I'll blog more about this later, but in summary, I don't think she's quite ready for solids yet. I'll still give her food to "play" with, though. Coming up next: boiled carrot sticks. Oooooh. Aaaaaah.

Tuesday 4 December 2007

Why you won't get a picture in your card this year

Seriously, I took around 30 photos in an attempt to get a cute picture to stick in the Christmas cards this year. Mia was either crying or looking thoroughly unimpressed in every one. I briefly considered Photoshopping a smiling Mia face on to the body of miserable Mia, but that would require both time and the ability to avoid making her look like Frankenbaby.


I'm thinking the trip to see Santa and get a photo may need to be limited to child #1 only.

Sunday 2 December 2007

spot the difference #2

Jack at 4 months, exactly:

Mia at 5 1/2 months:

I looked at Jack's "red book" (the Official Book of Baby Things given to all babies for healthcare workers to record immunisations, weight, etc.) and at 3 months he weighed 13 lbs. At 5 months, Mia weighed just over 12 lbs. She's such a wee peanut.