overcast morning

Adam and I went out to False Harbour this morning (that's the Cape Forchu lighthouse in the background) to take some pictures on this very overcast morning. We got there, gathered up our stuff, and waddled (Adam walked, I waddled very clumsily) across the beach to the spot he had in mind for taking some pictures. "Nooooooooooooo..." said Adam. He opened up the little door on the side of his camera, and there was no memory card in the slot. So I took this picture with my camera, we came back home, I stayed here while Adam went back. He just got back from his solo trip and said that as soon as he got there, it started raining!
I forget the name of this plant (pregnant brain acting up again) but I thought it was very cute how each little cabbage-y cluster was full of water.

33 & 34 week belly pics

Here's baby G at 34 weeks, somewhat obscured by belly-ness. Adam's out taking pictures (after a false start when he forgot his memory card... heh heh, forgot his memory card) so I thought I'd take one in baby G's room. If you look closely, you can see the first little stretch marks I have. I can't see them unless I'm looking in the mirror, which is kind of funny.
And here we are last weekend, at 33 weeks. Mother-in-law took this as Adam was assembling the hammock for me, which I spent the afternoon lying in. It was lovely! This weekend's a bit gloomier on the weather front, but pretty mild.


34 weeks

34 weeks pregnant tomorrow! Baby G is about 4.7 lbs and about 18 inches tall. I had a regular clinic check-up today, and baby G and I are fine as kind. (The first time I heard that expression, I thought it was very strange. Now I use it all the time.) The baby had a very wiggly morning, and the heart rate was between 130 and 140. The doctor said he wasn't sure what position baby G is in (it's apparently really difficult to tell the difference between baby heads and bums when poking and prodding) but I'm pretty sure baby G is upright, as s/he was for the ultrasound. Movements feel the same as they did before the u/s, and that little round bump sliding back and forth (my students think it's pretty cool to feel the baby's head) was the head then. So that's my humble opinion. I'm a bit puffier this week and haven't been able to wear my rings the past couple of days, but it comes and goes so I'm not consistently uncomfortable. On the whole, not much to complain about! Baby G moves around a lot, which is always comforting. Only 6 weeks to go... I keep saying it, but I just can't wait to meet this baby!


kitchen garden

Way back before we bought the house...
And here's what Adam worked on all afternoon - a veggie patch! I am so in love, it isn't even funny. (I meant with the veg patch, but Adam too.) I included a picture of what the back door area of our house looked like just before we bought it... a bit different! We cut the cedar trees this winter, which has made the kitchen much warmer and brighter (this is on the south side of the house). It's also freed up more clothesline space and made it easier to access the cellar. And given us the perfect spot for a close-to-the-kitchen sunny veggie patch! Following Marjorie Willison's advice, I planted onions, garlic and sugar snaps today after work. Most of the other things we'll be planting (including carrots, beets, lettuce, and leeks) have to wait a little while longer. We put some weed rug over top, just to keep neighbourhood kitties out while the soil is freshly turned. I can't wait for the grass to fill in and all of the flowers to take over to make it a thousand times cozier!


cookie tale of woe and baby G's accoutrements

These are some lemon sandwich cookies I made yesterday, from an Everyday Food recipe. They have a hint of lemon in the cookie part, and a lemony cream cheese filling (which I would add a bit of lemon juice to, for more lemon-y ness.) The recipe is in the latest issue, so it isn't on the website yet, but I'll share it because it's so yummy. But not before I share the tale of woe which accompanied the making of said cookies.

I have (ahem, had) a great stand mixer which was given to us as a wedding gift. (Nope, not the divine Kitchen Aid stand mixer of my dreams, but a lovely mixer which hummed along merrily and did its job very well.) I was talking to mother-in-law as I was mixing the filling for the cookies, adding the icing sugar to the cream cheese (I'm not blaming MIL, just setting the scene). I took my hand off of the spatula I was using to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl in order to turn the mixer off, and in the 1/4 second interim, the spatula got sucked in between the mixing beaters, which promptly halted all mixer movement. The spatula (a silicone one from the dollar store) fared magnificently, and looks no worse for the wear after careful extraction by MIL and me. I bent the blades on the beaters back into place, so they ended up looking okay, but when I went to try the mixer (how much damage could have been done in that 1/4 of a second? I thought) it made not the merry humming of its former life, but a very sad and irritating high pitched grinding kind of squeal. Sigh. I don't have a little hand mixer, either, since I used the one we had to mix (carcinogenic) grout last summer for the tiles under our wood stove and threw it away afterward. People have mixed with spoons for ages, so I guess I can manage. But blast, I'm just annoyed that my inattention destroyed the mixer. Blast. Okay, enough lamenting... on to the recipe!

Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Makes 3 dozen
Total time: 2h15

½ cup butter, room temperature
1 c icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
½ tsp salt
2 c flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Creamy lemon filling (recipe below)

1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat
butter, icing sugar, lemon zest and salt until combined. With mixer on
low, add flour (dough will be stiff); finish mixing with wooden spoon.

2. Turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper; pat into a
disk about ½ inch thick. Wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour (and
up to 3 days).

3. Preheat oven to 350. Unwrap dough, place on a lightly floured piece of parchment or wax
paper. With lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough about 1/8 inch
thick (if dough cracks, let it warm up slightly.)

4. Cut out cookies with 1 ½ inch round cutter. Place 1 inch apart on
two baking sheets and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until barely beginning
to brown, 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

5. Form sandwiches. Place about 1 tsp creamy lemon filling between two
cookies, sugar side out. Squeeze gently.

Creamy Lemon Filling

4 oz bar cream cheese, room temperature (1/2 block)
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 to 1 ½ c icing sugar
(I would add a little bit of lemon juice next time)

In small bowl, mix cream cheese and zest until smooth. Gradually add 1
c icing sugar, mixing until smooth. Mix in remaining sugar as
necessary to create a firm but spreadable filling.
I found this teeny tiny bathrobe at Frenchy's a few weeks ago! TOO cute for wrapping little one up after bath time.
I found this little hat (if we don't have a girl, it's going to someone who does) today at Frenchy's.
And here is the most recent addition to baby G's room! MIL brought the dresser and change top with her when she came for the weekend. We found an extra cover for the change top at Frenchy's this afternoon, too, so that was very cool. Along with some other baby goodies! Thanks, Nanny! And the picture of the sunflower on the wall is one of Adam's, and one of my favourites.

happy earth day

Yay, it's Earth Day! I, of course, think that every day should be celebrated as Earth Day (seeing as how we all manage to live because of this beautiful planet and have taken horrible advantage of it and need to focus on ways we can do better). So I won't bother to write a bunch, but feel free to check out my posts including green-ness ideas, tips, recipes, etc or my post from Earth Day 2006. Enjoy the day!


look waaaaaay up...

What's that beaming ball of light in the sky? Hang on a sec, I'll think of it... oh yeah, it's called the SUN! Yipeeeeeeee!
The crocuses appear happy to see the sun as well.
Remember how I said that we have lily of the valley coming up everywhere in our yard? Here are some of them. There's at least double and probably triple this many popping up. I'll try to remember to take some more pictures when they're in bloom.


odds & ends

A few years ago, we were given some cuttings from a friend's goldfish plant which have grown nicely. I just noticed yesterday that there are impending blooms all over it, yipeee! It's the cheeriest little plant, and I love it. Thanks, blog-reading plant-cutting giver!
I bought a spring-y wreath last week to take the place of a red wintry one on one of our doors, and it makes me feel like an Easter bunny every time I walk by it. (I'm not sure how to explain that... it makes me think of pussy willows and easter eggs and puts a spring in my step, I guess. Strange, I know.)
And these are some of the tulips from Saturday's shower - they're opening beautifully!

baby bits

A different sort of belly pic -what I see when I look down. And if I lean waaaaay over...
There are my feet.
I was looking at the Burt's Bees site today, and reading some more about their products, philosophy, etc. I've always liked their products, and I knew that I wanted to use some of their Baby Bee stuff with baby G, and now I like Burt's Bees more than ever! (Hint, hint, to my sister who has US connections for cheaper Burt's Bees goodies - I can pay you back for some!) The only down side is the price - the stuff is definitely more expensive than regular store brand stuff. But I am seriously concerned about the safety of many ingredients used in common personal care products, and it's tricky to make certain items (liquid baby wash is one of them). This is a buttermilk soap, which is lovely, and they also make a no spill shampoo bar which you can use on little one's whole body.
Last night I washed all of the beautiful new clothes, receiving blankets, and other textile-y goodies which we were given at the shower. These weren't quite dry when they came out of the dryer, so I hung them on the crib. So cute!


baby G's room

It's not entirely set up and ready yet, and the pictures aren't the greatest, but here's baby G's room! Curtains from Frenchy's, of course, as is the cable knit blanket under the lamb. I thought it was the best that a couple of people who were at the shower yesterday incorporated Frenchy's into their gifts with some other very sweet blankets, one of which is in the wicker hamper which I also love! The liner can come right out and be tossed in the wash. Fabulous. Baby G's dresser will be arriving with his / her Nanny this weekend, so I'll post a few more pictures when the room is complete. Well, I guess it won't be really complete until baby G is in it, but you know what I mean.

today in the garden

Adam and I spent the morning out in the garden, and it was splendid, if a little chilly. My big project was to thin out the raspberry patch, which was surprisingly easy (especially since they're thornless raspberries). It looks a thousand times better, and it should also help their productivity along - Marjorie Willison says that a dog should be able to run through an appropriately thinned patch. My question is, how big is the dog?
The snowdrops are still out, and the first ones that appeared are starting to look a little bit worse for the wear. The Lily of the Valley leaves are popping up EVERYWHERE, and I can't wait for them to bloom. I love to bring a few indoors to enjoy.
And this alien-looking growth (it reminds me of a crustaceous claw or something) is a peony sprout! I kind of forget over the winter how exciting it is to see things grow. I transplanted another peony plant last summer (it was lost amidst the aforementioned raspberries) and I'm not sure how it will fare - apparently they don't like to be moved and protest by not blooming for a few seasons. We'll see, I guess! The next project which should be done very soon is to dig up the rhubarb clump (which is quite a monster) and separate it for replanting. Last year the stalks were really skinny and anaemic looking, and Marjorie says it's from overcrowding if the plants have been in the same place for several years (which these have been). So I might have to go knocking on doors this spring to get my rhubarb fix if ours doesn't produce! I can't imagine not being able to make Roxanne's Rhubarb Custard Pie. I'll post the recipe when I have rhubarb and make it. It's amazing.

Oh, and the reason I keep mentioning Marjorie of Maritime Noon fame? Adam bought me an early anniversary gift which I've been coveting - a copy of her latest book (formerly called something or other almanac) The East Coast Gardener from Nimbus! It has already been tremendously useful, and we only started 'digging in' (tee-hee) to it last night!

32 weeks

32 weeks, and bigger by the minute! I can't believe how fast this is all going by. I'm really in the home stretch now! Baby G is very active, which I LOVE, despite the occasional kick to the diaphragm which sets me off on an instant coughing and sputtering fit, trying to get my breath back. It doesn't happen often, but it always surprises me when it does. Baby is packing on the fat now, getting ready for life outside of the cushy womb, and weighs about 1.7 pounds and is approximately 17 inches tall.


the shower

I know it's a bit fuzzy, but you can still read the 'Best Whishes' on the cake which my mom ordered from the Superstore. (I guess it also looks a bit like 'Best Whiskers to You and Baby G'.) Perhaps their cake-writing employees should have spelling guides for common cake phrases? I thought this was hilarious!
The decorating committee (thanks, Annie and Christine!) did a lovely job and included my favourite flowers, bringing not one but two pots of tulips to brighten things up.
And we (Adam, baby G and I) were thoroughly spoiled with lots of beautiful gifts, including these ADORABLE slipper/shoe thingies from Ingrid! (By the way, Ingrid - Adam LOVES the CD, too!) So a giant thank you to everyone for coming and celebrating baby G, and to the organizers for all of your thoughtfulness and effort. Hope you enjoy the soap!

PS - To a certain blog reader (I just learned today from a certain relative of yours that you've been reading along) who was at the prenatal clinic the other day - I'm so sorry I didn't even see you or say hello! I can sometimes (OK, often) be completely oblivious to what's going on around me. Adam said when we were in with the Dr. that he saw you guys on our way out of the waiting room. Congratulations, and I hope you have a lovely pregnancy!



It was a busy day for appointments! I saw the optometrist first thing this morning, had a regular clinic check up later in the morning, and a follow-up ultrasound this afternoon.

My clinic appointment was good - I got to meet another one of the doctors, and he was really nice. It was very relaxed and I was very comfortable asking questions, so that was good. The baby's heart rate was 140, and the doctor said that I'm measuring a bit large, but not hugely so. My blood pressure and everything are still fine, which is nice. He couldn't tell which position the baby was in by prodding around, and said that we would see from this afternoon's ultrasound about the position and exact measurements. So...

I then had a follow-up ultrasound this afternoon to check baby G's status, and s/he is still reclining comfortably in there, in no namable position. Not breech, not oblique, not transverse or any of the other named positions. The ultrasound technician was really nice and kind enough to answer my questions, but it was a little disappointing because Adam wasn't allowed in, and there were no pictures this time. Those 'bonuses' are only for the standard 20 week ultrasound. The baby's big enough now that any pictures would only be of one baby G part at a time, and it mostly looked like blobs on the screen - I saw a nice round head shaped blob! I'm not sure if the clinic will want another u/s closer to the birth... I'm assuming they will let me know at my next appointment.

Keep on growing, little one!


Baby G's floor


And after!
Wow, I LOVE it! It's the first of two coats on the floor. The other coat will be applied tomorrow, and then we just wait 2 days for it to cure before putting anything on it. We'll hopefully have time to assemble the crib and get the baby's stuff in there before the shower on Saturday. Have I mentioned what an excellent job Adam's done on the room? Photography's not his only talent, although he enjoys it infinitely more than sanding, crackfilling, and painting.

While Adam was working away at the floor this morning, I was doing some spring cleaning. It feels so good to really clean things thoroughly and get rid of unwanted stuff. For me, this included cleaning an umbrella tree plant leaf by leaf and rearranging it with some stakes so it grows in a more cooperative fashion, more up than outward. It's one of those things that once you've done it, you wonder why on earth you didn't do it sooner. And those coarse little catgrass sprouts from the other day? Check out how fast they've grown! Very springy.

While we were working away inside, there were some guys working away outside, cutting down and carting away a very old, extremely large and dangerously rotten tree. I'm kind of sad that it's gone, seeing as how it took a good hundred years or so to get as large as it was, and it was a home for some birds (who hadn't really moved in yet this year). At the same time, half of it was literally crumbling away and we didn't want the next big storm to bring it down, crushing a person, our shed, or anything else. The guys did a great job (only a few branches on our quince tree were broken) and cleaned up really well afterward. Some tulips and crocuses around the base of the tree were trampled, but I think they'll still grow, since they had only started their first little leaves. Adam's going to build a little firewood shelter back there by the shed this summer, which will free up other lawn space and give us room for hanging out with Baby G in the fresh air!


Happy Easter, or... Merry Christmas?

We had snow last night. Good grief. It's bright and sunny now, though, so it should melt pretty quickly, and I'm glad we didn't get as much as other parts of the Maritimes. Not exactly a weather-friendly morning for an Easter egg hunt in the yard.
But Adam did hide eggs for me to find in the house! It was fun. :)
And these are the finished favours for the shower next weekend. I think they're pretty darn cute! Also, we picked up the baby's crib and mattress yesterday, so they'll be assembled as soon as the baby's room is ready to house them, hopefully in the next couple of days. Happy Easter!


31 weeks

31 weeks pregnant! The baby seems to be nicely lined up mid-belly, head down and back anterior, and I'm getting lots of pressure on my bottom right ribs when baby squirms around (which is pretty much all the time). So, what is baby up to in there? Moving his/her head back and forth, and plumping up by growing a layer of fat under his / her skin. Baby weighs about 3.3 pounds and is about 16 inches tall. Every day I'm more and more excited to meet this little one face to face! Will s/he have a full head of hair (I kind of hope so!) or a nose like mine? Not too many more weeks until we find out!


post 251

I thought I would post yet again, to share some more of the day's photos and tidbits. (And I couldn't get this to un-underline, for some reason.)

I planted some cat grass a few days ago for a fun centrepiece and it's started to sprout. They're the toughest, coarsest little sprouts ever.
These two terrific windows were given to us by some wonderful friends. After cleaning them up and painting the frames, they're going to be hung on a wall (which one is yet to be decided). I love them!
A picture of the sliced soap which was made this morning, all lined up to dry a bit before wrapping takes place.
And finally, I used cranberries instead of blueberries in the blueberry muffin recipe I posted a few days ago, and made a simple lemon glaze (icing sugar and lemon juice) for on top. The result: YUM! I keep going on about the recipe, but it's just so good I can't help but go on about it. One more great thing is that it makes exactly enough for 12 regular-sized muffins - you don't have to use one cup from another pan, which I always find annoying. I should mention that they're made with Speerville Mills Whole White Flour (I'm still not sure exactly what whole white flour is, but it's a bit darker than regular unbleached white, so I'm assuming some of the wheat's goodness is left intact.)

camomile soap

I made a batch of soap this morning for shower favours for next weekend's baby shower. (If you'll be attending, you can act surprised when the time comes.) This is a hot process soap, cooked in the crockpot and blended with a stick blender. I won't include all of the steps here, but if someone asks me for them, they just might appear. It's tricky to take pictures as you go when you're making a batch by yourself, since a lot of steps need to be done in quick succession, but I managed to snap a few. Here they are, and the recipe is below.I didn't take any pictures of the assembly of ingredients, but here's the soap, cooking away in the crockpot. I know it's kind of blurred because of steam on the lid, but after the lye mixture is added to the oils, the whole globulous mess is opaque and looks like the whitish part in the middle. As it cooks, it turns to a kind of translucent gold, which you can see it's starting to do at the bottom edge. When it's all changed, it's ready to have essential oils and other goodies added, then put into molds.
For this batch, I added some dried camomile for looks. I don't usually add any colour, as I really like the natural colour of the soap.
After the soap is in the molds and cooling, as the crockpot is being filled with water for washing, you can tell how it's going to lather. Not bad at all, considering I didn't have any coconut oil in the recipe, which makes for a very nice lather. I substituted a combination of olive and palm oils.
Here's one giant bar (which will be sliced into many smaller bars) just after it was put into the mold, still that gold translucent colour. As it cools, it turns back to opaque, as seen below.
Here's a little bar of the finished and cooled soap! I added a 'Gingersnap' oil blend for fragrance, and it smells very mildly YUMMY!

Here's the recipe (which I made up because I didn't have all of the oils called for in the original recipe):

Hot Process Soap
30 oz palm oil
15 oz olive oil
16 oz safflower oil
3 oz sweet almond/jojoba oil (I had a little left of each, so I combined them for the 3 oz total)
24 oz water
9 oz lye

It took the soap one hour and fifteen minutes to cook - quite a bit longer than some other recipes we've tried (we being a friend and I - I now have all of the soap making stuff at my house, and this is the first batch I've ever made by myself, I think!) It's so nice to know exactly what's in the soap that you're using to wash with. And I can pronounce all of the ingredients, which is usually a good thing!

etsy bird

Adam bought me this beautiful hand-blown glass bird for my birthday from matthewstewart's Etsy shop. It's so spring-y and inquisitive looking and bright - it makes me smile whenever I look at it.