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Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I made my first prime rib roast yesterday.
I was terrified during the entire process.

Around here an economical way to purchase beef is by ordering an entire side/half side (1/2 cow,/full cow) directly from a butcher. We wind up without an inch of space in our freezers but also some amazing meat that lasts us a long time. Since a cow naturally has all the cuts of meat we get some awesome options that I would never spend the money on by themselves i.e. prime rib roast.
I am generally scared of cooking roasts because they never turn out well. My mom has the same issue so as much as I enjoy roast we seldom eat it. I have no doubt there are two reasons that my roasts often taste like cardboard:
1. I've cheaped out on the cut.
2. I don't cook it properly.

Not wanting to ruin a prime rib and inviting friends to share in the roast (WHAT WAS I THINKING KNOWING MY TRACK RECORD!!!!????) I did not want to mess this up. My mom said she'd heard one good way to cook a roast was to sear a it for 15 minutes at 425 then slow cook it at a much lower temperature after that. I scoured the good ole' internet to corroborate her "hearings" and found this recipe. It does not say to sear it but I did anyway, and I only had regular salt so I used that in much less quantity.

"Here goes nothing!" I thought as I slid the roast into the oven around 2 o'clock. I fretted all afternoon while it cooked.

Well, to my delight it was a complete success! Trevor loves prime rib and will order it in restaurants whenever he gets the chance - and he thoroughly enjoyed my roast. It was cooked to about medium-rare in the middle and despite arguing unsuccessfully with a cranky, whiny, ready-to-be-sold-to-the-lowest-bidder two and half year old last night I too, savoured my supper. Oh, and our friends said they liked it too. Maybe they were just being polite. No, he had seconds, it couldn't have been bad if he had seconds.
As a result of this little adventure I won't be as scared to attempt cooking a roast again.

Friday, January 22, 2010


When Sierra was born I was totally open minded to the whole soother/pacifier thing. If she took it and it helped - then great! If she didn't want it than that was fine with me too, I wasn't going to push it.
Too make a long story short she ended up loving her soother, in fact she still does. I know that for babies sucking can be a good thing, not only to help calm them but to aide in digestion and passing gas etc. As for 2 1/2 year olds - I believe it is simply a habit.
I always had an excuse for not taking it away - we were moving, I was afraid she wouldn't nap, or sleep as long in the morning.
It's not like I let her have all day or anything, it was mostly for when she slept. Lately it was getting to the point where she would keep it for an hour or more after she woke up, an hour or more before bed, in the car, and negotiate having it longer when I tried to get her to put it away. Never in public though!
This past week I started what I'm sure will be a very gradual process of eliminating the soother. Before she leaves her room in the morning or after her nap in the afternoon her soother must be put away. So far I've received only minor objections. I have also only allowed her to get it no more than half and hour before she goes to sleep for her nap or at night. I will slowly move to an 'in her room only' rule and then maybe try convincing her to forgo it for naps and of course, eventually for good. My goal is for Sierra to be soother free no later than her third birthday.
The biggest thing with her will be to talk about it and get the idea into her head. She's the type of kid that needs a lot of time to process a change before it becomes real i.e. moving out of her crib, and getting a sibling. Sierra also really wants a bike so the idea is that when she gets a bike (planned for her third birthday) than the soother goes away because big girls who have bikes can't have soothers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Money - Shmoney!

I had a frustrating week last week with our finances.
This is not a bitch session about not having enough or anything (although more would definitely be welcomed!). We live a good life. We are no where near rich but we carefully yet comfortably make ends meet and occasionally splurge on stuff for ourselves.
Everything just came together - or rather didn't come together - to bring me to my wits end. I was ready to pull my hair out because no matter how well I figure and budget and plan lately it never seems to balance out. The especially infuriating part is that at least two 'incidents', so to speak, occurred that affected us financially and although, as with nearly everything, we were partly at fault, there was nothing we could do.

We had endless issues with our taxes from last year and the final straw was to learn that there was some filing error of a tax credit (a naive oops) that meant we had to pay the government back almost $800. I was ecstatic to learn this a mere month before Christmas and that it was due at the end of December. What choice had we? I suppose we could have not payed it and eventually ended up in prison for tax evasion or something but we opted just to pay it. The up side is that we will get the tax credit back and reapply it properly this year and end up with that money back in our pocket, but in the mean time....that money was long gone! There was much scrounging and digging and rearranging and the payment was sent off.
Then last week Trevor received word that an item he had sold on Ebay was payed for by a stolen credit card and he was put on the hook for that money. There are a bunch of steps Trevor is taking to attempt to qualify for Ebay's insurance so we may see that $200 back but at this point...more scrounging and digging and rearranging to settle the account it for now.
On top of that we are anxiously waiting on the return of two substantial deposits we had to make when building our house, one for architectural controls (oh we had trouble with the lady in charge of that - we were blowing a lot of steam over this but have finally won!) and one for landscaping. We were told that architectural and landscaping were lumped together when in fact that was not the case and we could have had the landscaping fee back ages ago.
More seething.
At least it is more-less on the way.
That money was planned for our basement development which is well under way, we could not wait with the baby quickly approaching. So all in all with everything,we are currently in debt and I don't like it. There's money for most of the things we're spending it on, it's just that where it needs to be when it needs to be isn't happening and it's stressing me out.

Like I said, it's not like we're broke or starving or anything remotely like that, it's just that I am such a planner and budgeter and when that gets interfered with look out! Having a baby soon to appear also compounds my anxiety.
I am really trying to look on the bright side and actually feel much better about things this week. Another recently discovered positive and stress reliever is that I qualified for more than I expected being on Canadian maternity leave. It will all work out in a couple of months, I know and I'll either be laughing at myself or stressing over some new money concern.
Such is life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


D-Day is just over 5 weeks away. I'm starting to freak out and wish it would never come one moment and then am so ready the next I'm beside myself with excitement.

Reasons I don't want this:
1. Labour/delivery. Really, need I say more?
2. Do I have the ability to deal with two kids? The thought of a newborn and a vivacious 2 1/2 year old is quite a frightening combination.
3. No sleep.
4. I truly love our family unit as is, why are we messing with it?

Reasons why I'm excited:
1. Sierra has enriched our lives so much and the moment she arrived we never looked back so I'm hoping the same with this baby.
2. Sierra has great potential to be a spoiled brat so a sibling will do her good!
3. I want my body back.

Overall it's all good. I had the same sentiments before Sierra came, it's just part of dealing with a life change.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

All Girl

When I was pregnant with Sierra and we didn't know her gender I was very conscious of keeping everything extremely gender neutral. 'Gender neutral' is a very remote concept with kids gear and therefore difficult to find, it's also a hard look to make interesting but I felt I did all right with her first bedroom.
After she was born I initially rebelled against the pink. No pink, no pink! Yeah right! With a girl there is pink. Oodles of pink. You would think no other colour existed for baby girls. It didn't take long for me to get into it too and now I love it for her. I might as well take it while I can because if we have a boy this time there definitely be no pink!
When it came time to decorate her room in our new house, pink just felt like the right colour for Sierra. She is quite a girly girl. (although she has a mean throwing arm for a 2 1/2 year old) I didn't want anyone who entered the room to feel like they were being swallowed by a giant puff of cotton candy so here's what I did:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Recap 2009

I took this from Leah: Enjoy!

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Many things related to completing the building of our new house. Learning to live with and shape the life of a two year old. (ye gads, poor child!) Starting running 5 km on a regular basis.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Huh? Resolutions? Okay, here's what I wrote last year:

1. Buy an old fashioned journal for writing in and use it for things like jotting down prayers - which I desire to do more of, cute things Sierra does and says that I'll otherwise never remember later, and any other tidbits of my mind that I feel need documenting; a private place for my thoughts and memories.

I don't think I really even began this - but perhaps a good thought for this year?

2. Get back into better health by deliberately exercising 3 times a week and drastically reducing my junk food/sugar intake, and continuing with my increased veggie consumption.

I did okay, the junk food/sugar avoidance is really difficult.

3. Tidy as I go so that my house does not end up looking like a pig-sty and require a massive top-to-bottom clean. (This is a once-we-move goal, it's a nearly impossible feat in our current abode)

This goal had it's days.

My resolutions for 2010: I prefer to call them goals, it's doesn't feel so bad when I don't meet them.
1. Survive birthing another child and living with all that accompanies that.
2. Finish decorating the main floor of our house - and I'll likely need all year for that.
3. Loose baby weight plus 10 pounds more and get back in shape. (doesn't everyone have some sort of "health" related goal every new year?)|
4. Try and increase blog exposure.
5. Come up with a wildly successful money making idea that will make us filthy rich.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not so much as close to me as to people I care about.

5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

A holiday that is a week or more in length with just our little family. I don't care if it's simple like camping or a trip to Maui (definitely the preferred option but I'll take what I get)

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 31 - we moved into our new house.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Making it through feeling like a single parent as Trevor worked tirelessly on our house and yard.

9. What was your biggest failure?

 There are many and I'm not sure I could label one the biggest.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?


11. What was the best thing you bought?

Good quality leather couches. The best with messy kid, husband, and yeah okay, me too.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Sierra on becoming potty trained.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Some of the people I work with.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Our house and yard.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Getting pregnant. Every step we finished on the house.

16. Compared to this time last year, you are:

- much rounder in girth
- living on less but more consistent money
- more rich in friendships

17. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Find innovative activities to do with Sierra. Record the various things she did or said that are cute.

18. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eat bad food.

19. How did you spend Christmas?

At my grandma's Christmas Eve and my parents Christmas Day.

20. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Here's a big slice of cheese for you: every day more and more withe my husband and daughter.

21. What was your favorite TV program?

Lost, I'll be sad that it's over.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


23. What was the best book you read?

I can't remember but I did read some really great books. Chalk it up to baby brain!

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Refer to answer 23.

25. What did you want and get?

Awesome red canisters for my kitchen.


A new house.

26. What did you want and not get?

A teaching job for Trevor. A massively winning lottery ticket. A holiday.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Refer to answer 23 on the memory thing.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I spent a great day with Sierra, who was then farmed off to my parents so Trevor and I could enjoy a round of golf followed by an excellent dinner out. I turned 32.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Good question. I have so much I'm not sure I would give anything that honour. More money seems like an obvious one but would it really do that for me?

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Not really a concept so much as giving a concerted effort to do my hair and makeup most days and dress reasonable nice...then I got pregnant and comfy became my motto!

31. What kept you sane?

Exercise. My parents help. My husband - he should be listed first.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

I hate politics and I'm embarrassed to admit I don't know much.

33. Who did you miss?

My friends who live afar.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I'm not giving that label to anyone but we got to know a number of awesome people this year.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

I continually relearn this one but that God is always taking care of us and providing for us, even when I'm ticked off at Him and avoid Him.