Important words.

Probably one of the most reassuring things I have read in a baby book since getting pregnant:

“But too many parents don’t seem to understand this. They fear that if they’re not keeping up with the latest books and theories on parenting, and applying them to their children immediately, they’re negligent somehow. They’re not.
So we want to make a point up front, because if we’re about to give you more than a hundred pages of parenting ” advice,” we want to make sure that you understand that, should you not follow our advice, it would not imply you are a “bad” parent. Because chances are, as long as you are a thoughtful parent with positive intentions, your child is going to be just fine.”

From The Newborn Sleep Book, by Dr. Lewis Jassey and Dr. Johnathan Jassey.

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Home cooking – Success and Fail

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Since we’ve been eating at home more, I’ve been trying expand my repertoire of dishes that I can make. While I enjoy cooking, and am generally good at it, I’ve found that my imagination for food doesn’t always keep up with the rotation.
So last week I tried my hand making Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff. Boy, it turned out so good!
I followed the recipe found at Chef in Training, with a few small changes.
First, I was out of Worchestershire sauce, and wasn’t about to run over to the grocery store to get some. So I did not add any in.
And second, I actually cooked it about 2 hours longer, on high at the end. This is due to my slow cooker not always cooking things thoroughly, and the beef had not cooked through at the 7 hour mark.
I may have added a tiny bit more sour cream and half and half, but not enough to make a huge difference.

The end product you can see above – it was so tasty me and my husband both had seconds!
I had LOTS of sauce left over, however, and so next time I will probably half the recipe. As it is, its more than enough for 4 people, easily.

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Husbands hands, making dinner

The other night my husband made dinner – we share cooking, so this is not unusual. He’s usually pretty good at this, although he’s less eager to experiment, so he generally sticks to what he knows well.

However.

He had found a video online of a monkey bread type dish, and was very eager to try it. I am not about to dissuade him from trying new things.

Basically it was dough, stuffed with meat and cheese, and baked in a bundt pan.
When we were picking up ingredients for it, during our bi-weekly grocery trip, they were out of the Pillsbury Biscuits (The kind that come in a can and you bake yourself). So we settled on using the hotdog wrapper dough instead.
This may have been a mistake.
As well, the store where we were picking up our supplies, didn’t have a proper deli, so we used pre-packaged deli meats. Also a mistake.
And, while I love havarti cheese, and even more love havarti with jalapeƱo bits in it – this was the wrong choice for this dish.
The end dish, while tasty, had the wrong texture (wrong dough), was very salty (prepackaged deli meats are always too salty), and not… cheesey enough.
It had so much potential. Next time we’ll be sure to pick out the right type of dough, shop somewhere with a proper deli, so we can get meat that’s less salty, and we’ll use mozzarella instead, so we can get the gooey, stringy cheesey-ness that was missing.

What’s your best cooking achievement? Your biggest flop?

In with a bang. And tea.

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They say the first day of the New Year, is an indication of how the rest of your year will be.

Well. January 1st was pretty relaxing. Until I went to do dishes. And realized there was water pouring onto the floor, from the cupboard below the sink.

Lots of it.

The pipes connecting one side of the sink to the drain, had broken.

I was supposed to have tea with some fellow geeks the next day, so only having half a sink was going to be… difficult. To say the least.

But, instead of melting down and crying pregnancy tears, I decided one important thing.

At least this happened before baby showed up.

At least the dishwasher works without relying on the pipes that connect to the sink.

At least the water still runs, and we can still wash and bath.

Yes it will be expensive to fix – and money is tight – but I can be thankful that our entire house didn’t explode, and that my friends are sensible and gracious, and were just happy to come over and drink tea and talk about Mamahood and Geek things. They didn’t care our sink was broken.

Speaking of which, do you see the lovely spread up top? My friend Lisa, also pregnant, brought a tin of Christmas baking to fill it out. I made cucumber sandwiches (because, tea parties need cucumber sandwiches). And the lovely Tardis Teapot was given to me by my in-laws for Christmas. It works quite nicely… although I may crochet a tea-cozy for it, as we talked so long, that the tea was cold by the time I went back for more!

So, if the rest of the year is going to be anything like the first two, it will be this:

Love. Friendship. Laughter. Thankfulness. And that we will get through everything, no matter how difficult it might seem, because of those first 4 things.

The Incoming Stormageddon

In 1 day, I leave my job of 5.5 years, working at Toy Traders, a fantastic toy store in Langley, BC. Toy Traders lays claim to being the largest independent toy and collectible store in Canada. I’ve worked in the collectibles department the entire time I’ve been there, and loved it all.

“Why are you leaving?” I hear you ask. Well, the answer is simple.

In exactly 1 month, and 2 days, my due date for a little baby will be here. So I am starting maternity leave on January 1st.

I am generally a lazy person, so a full month before the due date is probably a good thing. It will give me time to:

Organize baby’s room. Currently baby’s room has been a catch-all for wrapping paper from the holidays, crafting stuff that I don’t currently have a home for, and miscellaneous items that haven’t found a home since we moved in 2 months ago. I’d rather keep their room as Their Room, not a just space that they can sleep in that also can store a bunch of other things, haha.

Prepare and wash all the cloth diapers and clothing we’ve been gathering in the last several months. One of my obsessions has been searching for the perfect cloth diapers for our baby’s bum. I’ve looked at pockets, pre-folds and flats, all-in-two’s, all-in-ones, and “hybrids”. I’ll write about it more later.

Organize the rest of the house. Take down Christmas decor, install baby-proofing, and organize our 3rd bedroom so we can actually access it. Our 3rd bedroom is actually the storage room for comics and books. It’s supposed to be a library, of sorts – although it ended up as a catch-all for so much stuff when we moved, that it’s currently packed with boxes.

And, of course, most importantly, play video games. Because I’m not sure how much time I will have to dedicate to doing so after the baby arrives in February. I’m currently finishing off the Trespasser expansion for Dragon Age: Inquisition. And also in the middle of a second play through with a character that is developing a relationship with Solas – and since there’s some certain links to him in the Trespasser expansion (maybe. I’m not done yet!), I want to see how it plays out differently if I romance him, instead of Cullen (who I chose in my first playthrough.).

If you’re a Mama, or Papa, what are some of the things you felt you had to get done before your first baby arrived?