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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Boredom and Bread

Husband sleeping, baby sleeping, book finished, nothing on T.V., computer boring, not tired enough to also sleep....what now? Bake bread! This was my thought process this afternoon. I ate this homemade bread at a friend's house in Calgary and I loved it and asked for the recipe. Now I make it all the time. It's healthy and delicious and here it is:
Mix together:
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup red river cereal
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp salt
Then add 2 cups boiling water
While that cools stir together in a small bowl:
Tbsp or 1 packet instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp of sugar
1/2 cup warm water
Once the first mixture is lukewarm you can add the yeast and water mixture and stir it all up.
Then add:
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

Knead or mix with a mixer until easy to handle (doesn't stick to your hands like crazy but you can poke it a bit and your finger comes out without strings of dough). If it seems to sticky add more flour and knead some more. Grease a bowl and put the dough in there, flip it once so both sides are buttered with the grease, then cover with a cloth and let rise in warm place for about 30-40 minutes or until about double in size. I pre-heat my oven to 200, turn it off and put the dough in.

Punch it down and divide it in 2, rolling between your hands into loaf shapes and put into loaf pans. Cover with cloth again to keep warmth in so they can rise while you warm up your oven to 350 (5-10 minutes)

Stick them in for 30-35 minutes so that when you take it out and knock on the bottom it sounds hollow. That's it!

If you want you can change it up by substituting molasses or honey for the brown sugar or a mix of those. You can also do less oats and more flour, omit the Red River Cereal, or vary the amounts of types of flour - more white vs whole wheat. The more white flour that is used the lighter the dough is and it rises faster and more. As long as the amount of dry ingredients stays about the same in the end. Although I find that with whole wheat flour less is needed than with white.

Have fun!


I overheard some comments from a few mothers the other day about “getting this baby/toddler stage over with”. Not those exact words but that idea. My first reaction was one of a little sadness for them. To wish away such a precious time is foreign to me, I haven’t had thoughts like that at all. I can honestly say that I’ve been able to cherish my time with Sierra these past nine and a half months. There are certainly days that I’m glad are over but I really enjoy watching Sierra grow into the person God created her to be.
Now, I am in no way suggesting that these mothers don't love or enjoy their children. I also realize that I only have one child who is not yet a year old so I am willing to be open to the fact that I might feel like that at some point too. I know as well that Trevor and I waited a long time (by choice) before staring our family while others may not have had that. In other words each situation is unique. My feelings on this stem, in part, from while I was working. I spent most of my days wishing time would pass by faster. Too many days went by without enjoyment. I also turned 30 last fall and although I'm not old I am getting older and it hit me how fast life is progressing. I don't want to waste any of it anymore.
Some of my Sierra delights:
She absolutely loves to walk with Trevor’s or my help (or whoever else is willing!). Her babble vocabulary is expanding, her taste for different foods is becoming more diverse, her smile melts our hearts daily, and her delight at seeing us when we’ve been away is priceless. Her hand-eye coordination is spectacular: the other day she grabbed a moving ant off the floor and yesterday she managed to pick up a hair!

Friday, March 28, 2008


On Sunday the computer died.
The previous Thursday Trevor had tried to download a T.V. show. Despite his caution and all our virus programs something snuck in. Pop-ups became a nuisance and when we were on line the window would close for no reason. So we upgraded our virus program and ran a scan. The first time it froze at the 'delete' part, the second time it masqueraded having been a success but then when the computer was turned refused to come up when we turned it back on!
Fortunately Trevor knows a guy who can fix such problems and was able to save our stuff and restore the computer. Yayyy!
I've had so much time these last four days, it's almost sad.
My darling Sierra has also been sick. The lesser appetite began late last week and the diarrhea on Sunday. Poor kid! I haven't had this many pooey messes since she was 2 months old! It's especially unpleasant to clean up while running errands! The little trooper has remained in generally good spirits (some crankiness for sure, but that's allowed) and she still wants to walk laps around our house a few times a day. The Health Link Nurse figures she caught a virus and we just have to let it run it's course, up to a week. I think she's close to the end; she ate more enthusiastically yesterday.
I'm such a mom, it has agonized me all week to have her ill.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cooking Spree

It.was exactly one month ago when I first relented and made my own baby food for Sierra. She likes the broccoli. The beans and eggplant aren't a favourite but I disguise them by mixing them with food she likes. All the fruit combo's are a hit and she loves the cereal (oats, barley and brown rice). The only bought food Sierra's been eating is the meat mixtures.
The last time I ventured to Superstore to stock up I was dismayed to see that their Organic baby food has gone up to $0.57 a jar. Sneaky marketing! Make the price nice and low and get babies addicted to the authentic tasting organic food and then raise the price hoping that mom's will continue to buy it. Not this mom! Since I refuse to buy the non-organic because it tastes like cardboard my only option is to make it.
Make it I did today:
1. Two ice-cube trays of cereal

2. (starting left) 1 large jar of peas, chicken and pasta
3. 2 small and 1 large jars of peas
4. 3 small jars of broccoli
5. 4 small jars of apple/banana (apple sauce I made last summer)
6. 1 large jar of apple/kiwi
7. 1 small jar of apple/banana/kiwi
8. 3 small and 1 large jars of blueberry/apple/banana
9. 2 not full jars of peas and chicken and a tiny bit of broccoli (I ran out of small jars by this point)

It took me almost 3 hours, and I ended up with a huge mess but this will last Sierra quite awhile and our pocket book will like it. I'm going to cook up some other meat, yams, and carrots soon too. I even had fun doing it - maybe it was the good sleep last night and the two cups of coffee this morning!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Joy

I had to put something cheery and cute on for a change. So here are some pictures of my sweetheart, Sierra.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Trevor did not get the job. I am crushed. I didn't think I was hoping for it that much until he got turned down.
I don't know what to say. It feels as if God dangled a treat in front of my eyes and then took it away. I guess it means I'm going back to work for sure (I'd allowed myself the luxury of planning summer without having to work full-time). I could provide you with a long list of my complaints of work and how awful I think it will be, but I won't. I am hopeful that full-time work won't be a necessity too long anyway. I can't believe how bad my attitude is towards this though; I hate how I feel.
I know we have a good life. Many mom's have to work much, much sooner after giving birth and for their whole lives. Many mom's also don't have loving husbands to help them parent and provide. Overall I am thankful for my time with Sierra and our situation.
I just want to wretch and moan and feel sorry for myself right now and NOT feel guilty about it. I shouldn't do that. I don't want to waste this lovely time being a grump.
I know I'll get over it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Half way...

I have successfully completed six of the twelve weeks in the Body for Life program. My progress to date:

Weight loss: 4-5 pounds
Inches lost: 1.5 each on waist and hips.

I have noticed a bit of change, as has Trevor, but I dont' think anyone else does. Nothing overly dramatic has occurred but I'm telling myself that's okay. I'm working on a lifestyle that's realistic and healthy. Hard core diets can work but often when people go off of them the results don't last. Hey, if I double my losses in the next six weeks I'll be happy.
I feel really good and my cheat day yesterday wasn't even as enjoyable as it has been. My taste palatte must be adapting. The hardest part for me is eating nutritional snacks. Protein bars are good but they get expensive. Protein shake smoothies are good but they take preparation. Vegetables.. well, they're just not satisfying. Almonds and a piece of fruit are great. Yogurt is good and so is cottage cheese mixed with cinnamon and Splenda. That's not a lot of variety so I'll have to go on a nutritious snack hunt.
On a side note: My friend Kindra blogs about a monthly dinner evening they have with friends where the food is authentic to a particular country. My mouth waters each time I read one of those posts and I think "diet schmiet!".

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Go. Go. Go.

Why or why do I toss and turn night after night in a fitful form of sleep? My brain refuses to shut off! Choir songs go round and round, scenarios of this and that replay themselves or get made up, legs and arms twitch and flail as if itching to still be moving. Day time my body is sluggish and slow and my mind is foggy, but both keep going constantly, almost as if I'm on autopilot. I believe this is because there is way too much going on right now and I haven't taken time to relax and unwind and collect myself. I'm going to have to remedy that soon or I'll go insane!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Making music has always reached my soul; it enables me to go to places otherwise unreachable. I have been blessed with musical abilities in playing the piano and flute, and singing. Although I don't excel in any one of these areas I feel that I am capable enough to be involved without embarrassment. I am extremely fortunate to be a part of a church that offers me opportunities to use my love of creating music. We have a fabulously talented worship pastor who is utilizing music within the church in ways not seen during my three plus years there. I find that the fulfilling part of music in this capacity is that the focus is not on ourselves, it is on God.
We had our first dress rehearsal of the church Easter production Thursday night. The production is forty minutes long and is a drama unfolding to continuous music. The only speaking is done by a narrator with the accompaniment consisting of the choir, orchestra and a few solos. I am a part of the orchestra. The production depicts the last three days of Christ's life; his crucifixion and then resurrection. For me the crucifixion scene is particularly powerful. The music turns harsher and has a foreboding sense. The choir acts as an angry crowd and yells "crucify him!" many times while "Jesus" is getting whipped.
I had shivers.
I can't put into words how I felt; I know I felt like crying. It really hit me that Jesus actually went through this- only it was much worse. He did that for us!
For me.
This is a case where music once again transported me to unique place.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Momma Tag

You've been tagged! If you read this blog, you are a mom, AND you have a blog of your own, this is a Momma Tag. Fill out these questions on your own blog - it's fun. Happy Blogging!
Typical time of wake-up: 8:30am but I don't pick Sierra up until around 9.
How long you have been a momma: 9 months
How old were you when you became a mom: 29 years old
Favorite Kids show: Not into that yet
Least Favorite Kids show: Not into that yet
Favorite chore: Laundry
Least favorite chore: Hand washing floors
Meal you cook most often: toast and eggs - it's a quick, easy, nutritious standby but not necessarily our favourite.
5 things that make you smile when you are being a mom:
1. The big smile I get first thing in the morning
2. Sierra's babble - mamamama is especially heart warming
3. Sierra's giggles when I tickle her or play peek-a-boo
4.Sierra's total enthrallment with new thing.
5. Her joy at seeing Granny and Grandpa
Favorite thing your husband does with your kids: cuddle with her in the evening before she goes to bed
Last time you went out with no kids: This past Saturday, our church choir (which we are in) sang in a fundraising concert for Compassion Canada and there was no child care so....
Favorite pastime/activity with kids: Going for long walks
1 thing you said you would never do when you were a mom: I don't think I ever said anything knowing that I'd probably end doing exactly that.
If you had an afternoon to yourself what would you do?: Take a long bath with a sappy novel and pamper myself.
1 thing you do that your mom did & now you do: I don't know
Favorite quality of your own mom: Her ability to listen and give amazing advice.
Favorite kids book: Too many, Whinnie the Pooh is good though.
Best advice for a new mom: Everyone will have their opinion on everything, take it for what's it's worth and then use what works for you.
Scariest or most heartbreaking moment as a mom: When Sierra cried mournfully off and on all day at about 8 months old. I didn't figure out what was wrong until the evening - the way her socks and shoes were on were cutting the circulation off her feet.
Most joyful moment as a mom: The first time Sierra got truely excited at seeing me.
Last time your child told you they love you: Ummm, Sierra lacks words at this point.
Last time you said I love you to your kid(s): Yesterday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Twist

Life is interesting. Last week I ranted about my stresses. I also lamented that there was really nothing I could do about any of it. Why was I worrying then? Deep down I knew it would all work out, but my head wasn't grasping it. Today I feel my mind catching up. Here's the scoop:
Monday afternoon Trevor got scheduled for an interview for a 3 month temporary teaching position, this will take place on the 17th. Then between 5:15 - 5:45p.m. the same day Trevor got called for six subbing jobs over this week and next. (Before that he had only one day booked for this week). Today ended up being his only free day this week...well the phone rang at 7:40a.m. for work! Also, on Monday and Tuesday, while he was at his favourite school (Lethbridge Christian) the kids kept asking him if was going to be the new grade six teacher next year???? There will be a position but nothing has been said about it yet. Then, no I'm not done yet, Trevor called me today and said that his boss from his job of last summer and fall desperately needs people so he can work there when he's not teaching!
I'm pretty sure God was sitting back with a smirk on his face last week and watching me stew down here. Then he decided to stir things up in one area and start proving my heart right - that everything would work out. He didn't just do a little bit he went all out. Now he's laughing. I'm laughing. It really is ridiculous how I worry and let things affect me so much. I know it's just human but I also know that God's in control.
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

Monday, March 10, 2008

Nine and Counting

9 Months old- crazy! Last year at this time you were but a wonder of strange sensations in my belly. Now you're an adorable, growing little girl. I love you Sierra!

Older vs Newer

When Trevor and I were equipping ourselves for having Sierra we bought a lot of stuff used due to lack of money. We saved HUGE and we were very proud of ourselves. One of the items we purchased was a Graco-brand travel system (stroller and car seat that also fits in the stroller). We were told it was four years old when we bought it and it looked in great condition. I was admittedly a little jealous of people who were able to get a brand new system but overall I really like this one, pictured on the left. It works fabulously. Sierra has outgrown the car seat but the stroller is still frequently used. We have since found out that car seats are only valid for seven years and it turns out that the manufacturer date on this one is May 2002. This means it expires next year already. Hmmmm. Keep the stroller and buy a new infant seat for baby number two when the time comes? Sell the system while it's still usable, buy a new stroller now and car seat later?

Here's what we did. We bought another Graco travel system (see picture on right). It was used for four months and is dated January 2007. Graco is known to be a top brand in baby strollers and car seats both in quality and price. Again, we saved a fair chunk of dough compared to the same set new. I was very excited. This stroller folds up more compactly and Sierra sits in it more comfortably. It steers easily and rides smoothly but....(here it comes...) it creaks (plastic on metal, make sense right?) and already has a squeak in the wheels! What the...? My other one does not do that and it has been through snow and water and I have taken this one out twice on dry sidewalks. Now I'm getting myself worked up. Breath. Grease the wheels and try it a few more times. It's a good brand, not cheap, and works well otherwise. It was a smart purchase. Right?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Conquering Sleepiness

What would the world do without caffeine? Probably sleep more, or else function horribly (if function at all). After a number of successive late nights and earlier mornings I was feeling about 60 years old after getting up today. I just couldn't get myself into a working state of consciousness. I managed to play with Sierra, out of necessity, which seemed to take enormous amounts of effort. I clock watched the entire time in anticipation of her nap. Of course the nap came an hour later than usual! I am not in the habit of kickstarting my day with caffeine. I don't really know why, I guess I don't wish to become dependant on it. I also have a sensativity to too much caffeine. Finally at noon I could take it no longer. I made coffee. Mmmmm.
As I savoured the first few sips of my rich brew I could feel it's magic take effect. It's warmth eased down to my stomach, through my legs and arms and finally my brain. With that warmth came the much needed alertness and motivation. Wow, what a difference, now I feel human. How pathetic - or is it?
What would the world do without caffeine?

Friday, March 7, 2008


"Stress: the worry experienced by a person in particular circumstances, or the state of anxiety caused by this."
Yup, that's me. I didn't realize it until I spent Wednesday night tossing and turning in bed, and then roaming the house during hours not meant to be consciously experienced. My sleeplessness was in part due to my infliction of horrific heartburn. Heartburn is not that unusual for me but when I do get it it goes away by 2am or so and has a legitimate reason for being there. I did not eat or drink anything bad Wednesday night and it refused to go away until close to 5am. My mind would also NOT shut off, which contributed to the aforesaid not sleeping. I even got up at 3am to read my magazine and eat some crackers in attempt to settle my stomach down. I NEVER get up in the middle of the night because I can't sleep.
Why stressed?
1. What a pain in the $#%^ to try and keep our house ridiculously clean and tidy and "show worthy" for selling with a baby and a husband around.
2. Selling our house. We never know if we'll have to disappear at inconvenient hours to allow for a showing.
3. Trevor not getting called to sub much during the last couple of weeks
4. Money; bill paying
5. My going back to work and other "work" choices.
6. Other life busyness that in itself is manageable but with everything else is another 50 pound weight.
"This too shall pass".

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tesing my resolve

Trevor decided to bake chocolate cookies. They look and smell amazing and my mouth is totally watering. I loooove freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, especially with a glass of cold milk. They are calling my name: "Carla, eat me. We are incridibly yummy..."

Then I look at the before pictures I've taken of myself in a bikini - and the cookies don't seem nearly as tempting anymore.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Poor Baby!

To quote a friend "I was a bad mommy today."

Sierra woke up her usually cheery self this morning, ate a good sized breakfast of cereal and formula and remained happy throughout our morning of errands. We returned home at around noon and tried putting her down for her nap. Nope, it was too close to lunch to worry about sleep so crying ensued. We offered her a delectable lunch of baby mush and she exhibited a healthy appetite. Once again we lay her down for her nap. She cried again.
"Hmmm, rather unusual."
I let her play for awhile then tried for sleep again with no success. I fed her another bottle which she greedily sucked back.
"Ahh, her little tummy wasn't full! Who can sleep on an empty stomach?"
I lay her down again, and again she cried. I left her because I didn't think anything could possibly be wrong. I had checked all the usual culprits and given her drugs, just in case, so she had to be fine. She carried on mournfully for an hour and then I couldn't take it anymore. By now it was time for her to eat again. While I was feeding her supper, she farted magnificently and pooped.
"That's it! Her tummy was hurting, all should be well now."

We had a 6:00 showing of our house and had to leave. So we went to vote. Sierra remained calm but not overly smiley, but then again she hadn't slept all day. When we came home we thought
"She sleep now for sure- likely for the night."

A half an hour later she was becoming quite distraught. I held her, she cried, I fed her another bottle, she ate and cried, I tried the old new-born tricks, she cried. She was also flapping her arms so I knew she was in pain. I was at my witts end; Sierra was not settling down and my concern for her was mounting. Finally I thought

"I'll try a warm bath, a nurse once said that can help ease tummy aches."

I got the water running and proceded to undress her. I unvelcroed her booties and pulled off her socks and she screamed even louder. It was then that I looked at her feet and they were swollen! Upon closer inspection I deducted that somehow the way her socks and booties were put on this morning had caused the circulation to be cut off to her feet all day! No wonder she was screaming.

Within minutes she was settled down and splashing in the tub and offering smiles. Phew! I feel absolutely awful (even though it wasn't me that dressed her), but who would've thought? The shocks and shoes weren't on her feet that tight, just on wierd. Poor baby! She is now sleeping contentedly in her father's arms on the couch!