November 2008

Life30 Nov 2008 06:35 pm

On Friday, Leah and I got to hang out with some friends and can applesauce. We had a good time peeling, cooking and canning the applesauce while trying to keep our kids happy and fed with a few diaper changes for good measure. Both kids were great as we switched them from highchair to exersaucer to bouncy chair, all of which were in the kitchen, whenever they got bored or fussy.

We canned two batches, one with cinnamon in big jars and another batch with just the apples on their own in small jars for our kiddies to use throughout the year. When they starting popping and sealing I was so relieved. After so much work and having never canned applesauce before, I was happy with the fruits of our labour. We were pretty busy so no pictures to document this event. I found out you can can almost any fruit or vegetable. Next year we can add so much more to our canning repertoire.

On a completely different note, at least one of our Christmas plants knows what to do this season.

I started Christmas baking at my mom’s house with my sister. Now nanamino bars, chocolate macaroons and sugar cookies are continually calling my name from the freezer, and yes they taste marvelous frozen as well. The sugar cookies even taste good despite the icing and sprinkles. My sister was thinking of starting a business custom making and decorating sugar cookies. Pick from one of the designs below.

At least we had fun and some pretty good laughs. If you look closely, we are not racist and include men of all types including those missing a leg or blind. However, we still apparently have some tolerance to work on in the area of gender equality.

Leah’s first bathtub wasn’t doing the trick anymore as it is a formed tub, which was perfect when she was first born but now it is way too crowded. So I bought her a plain white one, just like I had when I was a baby. I felt bad using a whole tub full of water just for her and I wasn’t keen on continuing to have a bath myself with her every time she needed one. The new white one has been working great. She wasn’t much of a splasher so I thought I would give my back a break and give her a bath on the kitchen counter, which is precisely when she became a splasher. Her next bath was on the kitchen floor so she wouldn’t get me so wet and she didn’t splash at all. At least her first bath prompted her daddy to do an impromptu wash of the kitchen floor.


No, that is not a tie-dye shirt.

Life27 Nov 2008 04:08 pm

Leah has been learning all about Newton’s law of gravity as well as the child’s law of persistence and how it relates to a parental figure’s patience. She has discovered how to through her toys off of the high chair and wait until someone picks them up and gives them back. The patience hasn’t been tried too much but the bibs have a new home as she kept throwing them on the floor and making me look like a horrible housekeeper…. because you know that is what is ultimately important. Her bath toys have a suction cup so they stay put so we attached that to her tray and can attach toys onto the string so they will entertain her a bit longer…because you also know I never leave Leah in the highchair to amuse herself so I can get a few things done around the house.


She can roll over from back to front but she still hasn’t figured out that she has to move her arm. She ends up on her stomach but her arm is stuck under her body. You know she is tired when you put her in the crib and she rolls over like seen below during one of her many short naps today.


We learned a few weeks ago that I have some allergies that should restrict us to only five plants in the house. My husband’s heart sank as he loves plants and at times our living room can look like a mini nursery. Okay, not that bad and there are definitely worse things to love. This love combined with our thriftiness (we are really not that hard off) and our determination has kept some of our poinsettias alive from last Christmas. Why throw out a perfectly good plant just because it resembles a certain season? Some of them died as I pushed for beauty (which meant plants on the windowsill over top of the heater) as oppose to practicality (by the door where it is colder, which they like).

Well, as Christmas is rolling around and I see poinsettias in the store that are nice and red I have noticed one of mine is a nice dark green and the other green with a touch of unhealthy yellow with both of them having no signs of red whatsoever. After a few pointers from my mom, I am now babysitting the plants trying to trick them into changing color by making the days shorter for them. They are banished into the bathroom in the early afternoon in darkness till I remember to take them out and put them on my bedroom windowsill for their daily light fix.

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I can get so excited over my creations. I am really just like a kid. I guess that is why I loved teaching young kids because I had genuine enthusiasm that I could share while they were busy creating, building, playing, exploring and learning. I could get excited right along with them. I have been busy creating in preparation for Christmas, which this year has involved taking lots of pictures. I will explain fully later but here are a few for your viewing pleasure.

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Now I am off to banish those plants into darkness….

Life23 Nov 2008 10:56 am

I have been avoiding shopping and errands like the plague as of late. Well maybe not that bad, but everything takes twice as long when you are hauling out a car seat or a child just to run into the store for a quick purchase. I like to walk to get my errands done but some things are just not that close to our home.

So on Friday I took the plunge and went to the bank to pick up cheques before proceeding to Home Depot for a new drain plug. Little side note here; when ours broke unexpectedly I felt ripped off to find out it was actually plastic painted with metallic paint… and the new one I got seems to slowly leak but only when you are looking away, like when you are putting dishes away and get distracted from staring at it for five minutes.

Another side note from our experience at Home Depot is our cool close parking spot. I always thought these signs were a little ridiculous. Handicapped I fully understood. People with these signs clearly have a hard time walking (which you can’t really help in Home Depot) but pregnant women or parents. But now I fully understand. I think some could use some clarification such as parents with small children rather than just parents.


I also didn’t understand why shopping carts would be left in the middle of the parking lot… how rude. Now I understand. So to unload your groceries, you put your child/ren in their car seats buckled in to keep them safe and out of trouble. Now you have a whole new dilemma. Do you return your cart leaving your children alone in the car or do you unbuckle them just to return the cart (not as easy as it seems) or do you just leave your cart next to your vehicle and drive out? I am now for parent parking next to where they keep the carts as oppose to closer to the store.

Leah and I ventured over Surrey and Langley before having lunch with my sister in law. We had a good time visiting and then went to visit my mom at work and complete some Christmas shopping there. So exciting to feel like you are getting so much done. I also got to sample some of their new creations they are trying. My mom’s boss even brought Leah an exersaucer down into the kitchen so she could watch the action while I shopped and walked around. Pretty nice!

Life18 Nov 2008 05:37 pm

While I was out running on Sunday morning, Morgan spent some quality time with Leah. I had breastfed her and took out some mashed banana from the freezer to mix with some rice cereal for Morgan to feed her. While, I guess Morgan was too busy playing with her and tried to feed her a late breakfast. Apparently she just could not keep her eyes open.

I have made all of Leah’s baby food so far except for the rice cereal, which you can make yourself but it sounds pretty intense. I attempted to make her oatmeal thinking, how hard can it be. I ground up the oats in the blender and followed the package directions and taste tested it. It was still a little lumpy and tasted horrible. I never have cared for oatmeal, except in chocolate chip oatmeal cookies so I went for a second opinion. Morgan thought it tasted fine and thankfully, ate what I was going to freeze for Leah. I couldn’t even force myself to eat it…. I guess that is what brown sugar is for.

I thought I would try to make some peas for her as well. Not recommended unless you are truly hard core and have lots of patience, or you know some special technique that I don’t. I forgot about the outer peel of the pea, not sure how I forgot but found out it does not mush up into a nice consistency like all the other food I was preparing. I froze them in ice cube trays, transferred them into ziploc bags and she can try them out at 8 or 9 months. Yes, I am a true Dutch, thrifty woman.

Life17 Nov 2008 06:28 pm

Try to fit all of those in a story. Reminds me of grade five when we had to use all of our spelling words in a story. We all had some pretty crazy stories as we were ten year olds trying to make a coherent one page story with twenty totally random, unrelated words. Anyways, this post came first and the title after.

My mom wanted to make every Monday Grandma Day, where she would come out and visit Leah and I. We visit mostly on weekends because her work keeps her pretty busy. I do find it very ironic that she got the idea of picking one day to visit from her boss who visits her grandson once a week. Anyways, we really do enjoying visiting, whether or not it is a Monday. Sometimes if I am in Langley, I pop into her work to say hello and see what is new. She works at Krause Berry Farms, which supported my college fund heavily during quite a few summers I worked there. It is transformed in a coffee shop for Christmas and is full of unique gifts and trinkets. There is always something new every time I visit. The owners are visionaries and always seem to have something creative they are adding to the farm experience.

Speaking of Christmas, my grandparents own a Christmas tree farm in Langley, which I am sure Morgan will be working/volunteering/earning us a free tree at this year. It is a true rustic farm where you go out in the dirty field to pick a tree and yell for someone to come with a chainsaw when you have picked the right one. I made a cool website for the farm this year with lots of help from Morgan and Go check it out at

Back to the beginning of my story, my mom came out today and helped me with two bags of apples I got from one of my friends from the mommy gang. She brought over a fabulous peeler and corer which made it so fast peel, core and slice the apples before putting them in small bags to freeze for apple sauce and crisp during the winter. Leah loved to watch as we turned the handle on the peeler.

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Leah also received her six month shots today with no tears. I am such a proud mom. Since Daddy will be home late as he is going to play some basketball at church after work and since I worked hard on freezing apples and since Leah didn’t cry during her shots, is it okay if I eat the apple crisp I made for dinner tonight?

Life16 Nov 2008 10:06 pm

Here is Leah, all excited for her first flight. She grabbed a quick bite to eat while waiting for the plane. She even got her own seat on the way over. Leah did great on the plane both ways as long as she had her soother on ascent and descent and sleeping mostly in between. We had great service, allowing us to take the stroller right to the plane door and making sure we were well taken care of. Don’t worry, we held Leah in the special brace position for take off and landing. I thought the flight attendant was just being extra nice when we boarded, asking about Leah and admiring her until I figured out she was actually talking to us to make sure we understood all the special procedures when you have an infant onboard. I have always loved babies and children so I figure everyone else does as well.

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We had lots of time to relax as you can see.
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Isn’t this the cutest little house? The prairies have a beauty of all their own. When my Dad drove our family through the prairies when I was nine, he told us all to take a good look as that would be the first and last time he would drive through them. He has kept his word. This is on our trip from Calgary to Edmonton.

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I have fallen in love with taking pictures of Leah. Is that possible? We also saw some snow. I was so excited. Sure, I wouldn’t be either if I saw the white stuff nine months of the year but it sure does make everything look beautiful.

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Back in Edmonton we took a tour of the Legislature buildings. If you want a tour, just look below and you will know who to ask. It is an amazing building that took five years to build starting in 1906. On the grounds, there are two huge wading pools with lots of seating all around which is packed in the summer. In winter, they flood them for outdoor skating. So cool!

The tour was really interesting, with random neat facts about Alberta and the building. On one the upper floors, a gentleman was changing a light bulb and was very concerned when he heard what sounded like a waterfall above him. People were called in to take apart the ceiling in this area to look for leaks but the sound continued even though everything was bone dry. When they called in an acoustics engineer (I think that is what they are called anyways), they figured out the true source. In the middle of the building, there is a fountain that was put in to commemorate the queen’s visit. When the noise from the fountain echoes off the marble and the sphere at the top of the entrance, the noise bounces off the sphere and onto this particular spot. If the sphere at the top of the building was totally spherical, the noise would reflect back onto the fountain but it is slightly off. They have a gold spot on the floor to mark the spot you can stand on and hear the water. It is very weird to hear water rushing onto your head but no water is there.

Here is a few history lessons for you. Alberta is named after Caroline Louise Alberta who was the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. Her husband was the fourth Governor General and was in charge of naming some of the new regions. When he saw the amazing beauty of the land, he chose to name it after his wife, who Lake Louise is named after as well. Unfortunately, she was in a bad carriage accident and refused to travel in a carriage so she never was able to see the land that was named in her honor. She did travel on train and was able to see the Rockies in all their beauty.

After each premier’s time in office, he gets to commission a self portrait of himself choosing the painter, size and frame that will be posted in the legislature after his time in office. With every third premier, Alberta has always switched political parties except when they voted in Conservatives for their new premier this year. There are so many Conservatives in the House of Commons, some of them have to sit on the opposition side.

Okay, I will stop there but I love learning about our history. I figure I should brush up on my facts about British Columbia as I know way more about Alberta.

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Life13 Nov 2008 10:48 am

The day before we left Edmonton, I was pretty busy making sure everything was packed and all my errands that needed to be done were. The mommy gang was supposed to get together in the afternoon and we had Bible study that night as well. When our get together was canceled due to sickness, we invited everyone over here for a good time of catching up.

When Leah and I were walking back from our errands, I noticed a nice spot in front of a senior’s home right on one of the busiest streets to take some pics. The leaves were dry and still had colour and a few gentlemen with their walkers paused to watch the shenanigans. I am still working on my photography skills and am super proud when I get a good shot. Here is a few from what I got:
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Leah sure is growing up fast. She does not like the reclining position in her car seat anymore and definitely prefers sitting up to lying on her back or stomach. This is how she sat for our mile long walk back home, which I think wouldn’t be very comfortable as your legs are raised up slightly. I guess this is what you do for a more expansive view than just your mother’s face.

Leah now has a tooth! You can any see it if you try really hard but you can feel it. We were eating out and I was engaged in conversation when Morgan leaned over and told me there was something he forgot to tell me. Leah had pulled his finger into her mouth and clamped down and he felt something hard. I rudely interrupted and exclaimed that my child now has a tooth! She wasn’t even fussy about it.

Life10 Nov 2008 08:37 am

We are in Edmonton again after a super short overnight trip to Calgary. We first stayed at with our friends in Edmonton for a night. After a great flight with Leah sleeping most of the way, we got picked up and went out to a Vietnamese restaurant. Going on recommendation from our friend, as I have never tried Vietnamese before, I discovered it is amazing. I will have to look up some recipes and see if I too can make a great vermicelli bowl. I mean, how hard can it be? Actually, I do have faith that my creation will be edible but they set a very high standard.

In Calgary we stayed with some friends Morgan met in the army. They are the only people I have met so far that have any ‘dirt’ on Morgan, or at least are willing to share anyways. Nothing too bad or anything, more funny and embarrassing. We went with them to visit more friends in Calgary and enjoy a delicious homemade meal of yams, potatoes and pork tenderloin along with a great salad.

We have been enjoying such great cooking this trip compliments of our great hosts I secretly hope they aren’t horribly disappointed if they ever stay with us. Sure, I have some cooking skills but nothing like fresh buns or biscuits alongside every gourmet dinner. We are also enjoying the weather here. It is nice and sunny with temperatures between 0-10 degrees. Don’t quote me on the degrees, but it sure has been nice.

Now that we are on holidays, Morgan seems to have taken hold of the camera. At home, I like to take pictures a lot of what we do. I really started that when Leah came along and now take some pics especially for the blog. As we were driving to the airport Morgan asked for the camera and he has been taking pictures ever since.

I don’t know what is in store for the next day or two before we head back to the rain, but it sure is great getting to spend all day with Morgan, Leah and our friends. Leah has been so good and so spoiled. I might have to do some retraining when we get back home. Sorry, no pictures today, but I will definitely upload some of them when we get home. I am looking forward to seeing them, hoping they will be good.

Life04 Nov 2008 08:51 pm

We are off to Edmonton on Friday morning where we might be able to build a snowman. The temperatures are around zero degrees. I have been wanting to get a cute picture of Leah in the leaves which doesn’t look like it is going to happen this year. I wasn’t sure if she would sit up long enough and smile on her own. At least she would have some leaves as cushioning but putting her in the snow would just be wrong, even if it would be cute.

We are going to visit some friends in Edmonton and venture to Calgary for a day or two to visit a little bit more. I figure I should start packing soon or at least start a list. I am afraid to see how much stuff we will be bringing for a five day trip. Is it rude to say only one of you can come and greet us at the airport unless you bring a pick up truck or van?

Leah has been eating a lot more solids at breakfast and dinner and seems to be enjoying them now. She doesn’t grab at my spoon anymore which is nice. I had to give her another spoon just for her to hold when we started so she wouldn’t grab the spoon I was trying to feed her with. I think she understands the process now. Mommy needs to be able to move the spoon to feed me. As you can see below, her appetite is doing well for a variety of foods.

Christmas is less than two months away! I do strictly follow the rule of no decorating or Christmas songs before December 1st. Once December hits, go crazy but until then… hold your reindeer. At Bible study last Thursday they already had some decorations up. Wow! First people I have met that have even beat the stores. I am looking forward to it more this year. I think it will be more special now that we have Leah, though she obviously won’t understand it. I guess I will have to do the mommy thing and pick out a cute picture of her to send in all of our Christmas cards. I am looking forward to making our Christmas cards. I have found some time to get back into card making and I am loving it.

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Life02 Nov 2008 07:48 am

Our spunky, happy, social Leah has been not so spunky, happy or social unless she on her own or with mommy (daddy is okay too, for the most part). We were at my cousin’s baby shower yesterday afternoon and my mom and aunts wanted to hold her but she has quickly learned to differentiate between people and display her unhappiness. I knew this stage would come, as I have seen many kids do the same thing but I was secretly hoping my spunky, happy, social daughter would be different somehow… you know… the perfect child. Really Leah isn’t that bad, she will stay with other people if she can’t see me and yesterday her naps were a little off.

Her grandpa will be thrilled to know I actually let his granddaughter, whose eating repertoire includes rice cereal, sweet potato, carrot and banana, have access to some chocolate. Smarties are a good start to the chocolate world I figure. My sister had this cute idea to hold down the helium balloons with smarties and they were great to keep Leah occupied for a few minutes while I helped put up balloons.

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One last funny note: We were out and about with my mom on Wednesday morning and I needed to feed Leah before my appointment. In the diaper bag there were no receiving blankets to help me be discreet so I picked the next best thing… one of her cloth diapers. They look like a plain, white receiving blanket, though I have never seen a plain white receiving blanket. I figured no one my age or younger would know the difference and anyone who would (mothers much older than me), would understand. Don’t worry, it was clean.