Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I just finished putting Owen's name in for daycare. He will be enrolled this coming November, but there are very few places in St. Catharines who will accept 12 month old infants. I was advised to put him on the waiting list now if I want even a chance of getting into the daycare of my choice. But if we get in I'll be so pumped.

Daycare is so far off, right now I'm trying to help Owen learn and grow. It's pretty incredible to watch him change. He's a very active baby moving his arms and legs like crazy when he's on the floor with his toys. He get's this look of determination as he moves - as if he's got to prove to you how hard he can exercise!

Here he is at 8 am shaking a tail feather bright and early (happens every morning). He presses his lips together and stares in your eyes and goes to town. So I look at him and encourage him to work it on out. It seems as though he is the most active baby compared to all the other babies in his yoga & other classes. I'm banking on having Owen grow up to be a very active boy whom I'll be chasing around once he's crawling & walking. Good thing I'm in great shape!

He also loves music! He catches a grove when we sing to him and smiles like crazy. I started searching my brain and came up with a bunch of songs from my childhood and all the lyrics snapped right back. His absolute favourite song right now is "The Grand Ole' Duke of York" since I'll wiggle my fingers from his head to his toes at the appropriate times. It's been very cool to watch in mere days his full recognition of the songs and how happy it makes him to hear them. These songs even pull him right out of a fussy time!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

11th year anniversary

I wanted to post about my husband Nuno.

This photo was taken a couple weekends ago making dinner and it cracks me up. I can't help but love Nuno's domestic prowess
! I can count on him to make dinner, change poopie diapers (can you believe some husbands don't!), and snow throw not only our driveway, but all our elderly neighbours while he's at it.

Right now Nuno and I can say we've been together 11 years. I can't believe what started as a great friendship in college playing video games and drinking at the bar turned into a family and life together. I'm so happy our lives together have brought us to where we are today with our loving family.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

got it!

I'm so happy we finally captured Owen's smile on camera!

He's full of smiles these days. The intentional kind - the ones we can bring out in him by cuddling, singing and playing with him. We are greeted every morning with big smiles from Owen. It is impossible to have a bad day when you wake up to this sweet face smiling at you. It's incredible.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

healthy food choices

I wanted to link to a couple different pieces of information regarding food safety and sustainability. I think these are important for everyone I know to use these links as guidance for eating healthy.

The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen - this link details which produce absorb the most pesticides.
Full List of Produce - please use this list and avoid items at the top, especially if you are pregnant!
Sustainable Fish Guide - this link is a guide on which fish to purchase to maintain ocean sustainability.

I've made it my new years resolution to keep these things in mind when shopping. I know, eating local and organic is difficult. It requires special trips out of your way and to make food decisions based on the season. It can be more expensive as well. But believe it or not, if we have a cultural shift where more and more of our grocery shopping demands local and organic we can change the industry! Wouldn't that be cool if we had the power change things?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

growin' owen

In a couple days Owen will be 2 months old and, boy, is he ever growing. Yesterday Katie said she can't go two days without seeing Owen because she might miss something. I assured her there wasn't a chance of that happening. Well, no more than an hour after that telephone conversation Owen started to respond to tickles and cute voices by smiling, laughing and cooing. His face lights up and his toothless smile is heart melting! His voice is absolutely adorable. He is stringing what sound like words in baby language (mostly vowel sounds like "ahoo") and he hasn't stopped since last night. He's noticing all the mobiles and toys around him and is cuddling with toys now.

Here he is today snuggling his doggy blanket.

I think this major development was brought on by his play gym. He loves playing in this little gym he got for Christmas. This bee toy sounds every time he bats at it. It has really encouraged him to move. He can spend up to 20 minutes playing in here and moving his arms and legs.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

swedish meatballs

As morbid as this may sound, Swedish Meatballs is my 'Day I Die' last meal. I've been using this recipe for over a year now and it's one of my favourite winter dinners. This meal is the sole reason I could never become vegetarian. I think it's the combination of meats that makes these meatballs so soft and delicious.

Swedish Meatballs
1 lb ground beef chuck
1 lb ground pork
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & Pepper
1/4 tsp allspice

3 tbsp butter

1/3 cup all purpose flour

3 cups reduced sodium beef broth

Cooked egg noodles, chopped parsley for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 475. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup milk, eggs, garlic, 1 tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and allspice. Mix until just combined.

2. Using a rounded 1 tbsp measure for reach, form mixture into meatballs. Place onto two rimmed baking sheets; bake until golden brown and cooked through. 10 - 12 minutes, rotating half way through. At this point you can freeze the meatballs once they come to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high. Add flour; cook, whisking for 1 minute (do not let darken). Gradually whisk in remaining cup of milk and add broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer until sauce has thickened slightly (2 - 3 minutes).
4. Serve over egg noodles and garnish with parsley.

I also love how many meals you can get out of this one recipe. We keep them in the freezer and then whip up the sauce the night we make the meal.

creepy parent lurking device

The video monitor!! I just set this up and it worked great as I was drying my hair this morning.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

chocolate chip banana bread

I think I may have a bit of a sugar addiction right now. I allowed myself any and all indulgences (especially Christmas baking) during the holiday season. It was great, but I kind of forgot just how crappy too much sugar can make you feel. I found myself getting cranky and moody. So I'm weaning myself off the baked goods - but not completely. This 'light' recipe is filling the void as I detox. I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I added some chocolate chips!

Lighter Banana Bread
recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
makes 12 servings
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp butter, softened
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 4)
3 tbsp skim milk
3 tbsp light sour cream or vanilla yogurt
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Combine sugar and butter in a bowl; beat at medium speed until well blended. Add banana, milk, sour cream, egg whites and vanilla. Beat well and set aside.
3. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Stir well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, beating until blended.
4. Pour batter into pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire racks. For best flavour, wrap in tin foil and let sit overnight.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas 2009

Wow, finding time to blog is getting more and more difficult. Owen is spending quite a lot more time awake now (and having difficulty napping). I have lots to update so I might just have cluster updates when I can spare a moment at the computer.

Thanks for the supportive comments, some in person and others online. I'm not sure I can put to words just how good it made me feel. It certainly brightened my mood. It was a rough few weeks but I'm pleased to share that at our final trip to the lactation nurse between Christmas & New Years gave us the thumbs up! Our little guy is packing it on at a steady pace and is now 10 pounds. This means no more pumping after every feeding, not needing to feed every 3 hours and we can now attempt to start having Owen sleep through the night. Life with baby has become so much more manageable!

Loads of people were quite surprised with our decision to travel over the holidays. I've heard so many times, "Everyone will come to see the baby." That's just not the case with some of our family. We spent 2 days in Sarnia visiting Great grandma and Great grandpa for the first time and all our aunts, uncles and cousins. I have the best extended family - hands down - they are the best group of people. I wish we were living closer so we could spend more time.

My family did this when I was born - the Four Generations shot! Owen must think this type of photo is lame-o since he stuck his milky tongue out for this pic.

The little guy was showered with gifts, thank goodness he won't remember how many or we'd have a spoiled Owen on our hands. We needed to have my parents truck many gifts back to Niagara with them just because our trunk was so full.

We then moved onto Brampton for Christmas and Owen's cousin, Paige's baptism.

We are choosing to raise Owen with no religious affiliation. We feel this decision is for the best since we both no longer feel aligned with our Roman Catholic upbringing. But that doesn't mean we don't support and appreciate the values of all others around us.

Unfortunately, Owen became quite gassy while in Brampton which was very stressful. After limited sleep, loads of driving and a mother-in-law that just would not quit, we went home early.

The holidays were something way beyond any other Christmas I've celebrated before. Having our baby with us to celebrate was the most special experience.