Thursday, 31 January 2013

Goodbye, Hello, and More Food

I continue to wait (oh so patiently) for my biopsy results. The weather is matching my mood - cloudy and grey. My body is craving comfort foods. And so I eat.

Coconut Sweet Potato Steel Cut Oats

In a large pot, combine:

4 cups milk
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tblsp dark brown sugar
1 can (398ml) coconut milk
1 cup sweet potato (diced small)

Heat over medium/high heat until steaming. Add 1 cup steel cut oats.

Heat to a boil and then simmer for 30 - 40 minutes until mixture is thick and no longer soupy.

I've been eating these oats all week. I've topped them with coconut and chopped walnuts, dried cranberries and chopped almonds, and just plain banana. So tasty. So filling. So exactly what I need right now.

In other news, I'm saying goodbye over on Style Lush and hello on Snugabell.

What are you up to this dreary Thursday?

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Dear Grady,

Today you are eighteen months old. Eighteen! Tomorrow you will be closer to two years old than one year old. I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around that.

You are so much fun, buds. You love to laugh and your whole face lights up when you make others laugh. You laugh right from the bottom of your belly and sometimes you actually shake from all the joy you're feeling.

You chat all day long. You have long babbling conversations with me, your dad, the dogs, whoever you can rope into listening, really. You do have some words. You say no (always with the no,) mama, daddy, doggy, Stella, boots, cheese, apple, bird, baby, cookie, what is this, and good boy, so clearly. Less clear is "noo noo" for noodle, "nanana" for banana, "hop hop hop" for bunny, "Muddy" for your cousin Maddy, and, uhh, "go doe" for goddamn. You can blame me for that one. Sorry. You refer to both of the dogs as "go doe Stella!" Also my fault.

You love to "cheers!" If you have your cup and anyone else in the room has a drink you lure them in with your incessant "cheers! Cheers! Cheers!" until they succumb and clink glasses with you.

You have been waving "ba byeeeee" for months but you recently added "hi!" to your repertoire. You love to greet people on the street with a cheerful "hi! Hi! Hi!" People can't help but be charmed by you, Grady. You can make the grouchiest person smile. I hope you possess this gift forever.

You are so polite. You say thank you in the cutest sing-songy way. You love to share. You're very sensitive to other people's moods and feelings. I was upset and crying recently and you threw your arms around me and stroked my cheek while saying, "oh buddy, ohhhhh buddy."

I love you so much, Gus Gus. I cannot accurately describe how much happiness you have brought to my life. Happy one and a half, buddy!


Thursday, 24 January 2013


I am so bad at this waiting game. They told me it would be one to two weeks before I got my results so I have no reason to be impatient (tomorrow will be one week since my biopsy) but impatient I am. I'm trying to keep busy but my crazy is out in full force.

Things I have done / am planning to do to keep myself off Dr. Google:

Over on Snugabell I'm talking about losing weight while breastfeeding.

On Style Lush I'm admitting my love for hipster music. What are you currently listening to? We just got this newfangled Sonos contraption that lets me listen to any music I want without having to buy the album (I live in Canada, the land void of Spotify and Pandora.)

On Food Lush I detailed my fruit leather experiment (it's possible I have too much time on my hands.)

I saw Les Miserables with a girlfriend (and oh, how glad was I that I didn't force Shawn to go with me? He would have capital-H Hated it so hard.) I know musicals aren't for everyone but I can't stop recommending this movie. It was so well done and beautiful and I audibly sobbed through half of it.

I gave in and watched the Season 2 finale of Sherlock (I was saving it for a special occasion because Season 3 doesn't start for approximately 37 years.) And then I rewatched it. I have so many thoughts, you guys. SO MANY. I won't talk about them here because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't watched the series yet (WHY HAVEN'T YOU WATCHED IT YET? IT'S SO GOOD. JENNIE) but I am totally down with discussing via email.

Cooked - and eaten - a lot of comfort food. Steel cut oats, hamburger soup, chicken curry, mac & cheese - if it's hot and tasty I've eaten it. I have probably gained five pounds already this week. I have big plans to bake an apple pie with cheddar cheese topping this weekend so next week doesn't look good for my January diet either. I cannot be arsed to watch my food intake this week. Or next week, apparently.

I'm taking Grady in for his 18-month checkup on Monday (how is my baby a year and a half already?) and I plan to subtly pressure my doctor into calling the hospital to check for my results if I don't hear anything tomorrow. I just need to know. One way or the other. This limbo is driving me nuts.

Comfort Poutine. I will not be shamed by this.

Saturday, 19 January 2013


It was the first thing I said when I met them. I'm terrified of needles. They were about to put multiple needles in my neck. We needed to be on the same page.

They were so kind to me. Reassuring and pleasant, they went about their task with quiet efficiency. They explained every step but refrained from doing so graphically. They patted my shoulder when I let out an involuntary cry at the first needle.

The entire procedure - all four needles - took under ten minutes. The anticipation was worse than the actual event (though the waiting for results is proving to be as much as a struggle as the anticipation.)

The good news is that we're on our way to figuring out what's wrong with my wonky thyroid. The bad news is that Dr. Google has scared the everloving crap out of me.

Now we wait. We should have some answers within two weeks. But for now, I'm stuck.

Monday, 14 January 2013

First World Problems and Feeling All the Feelings

I am in a foul mood. After a spectacularly bad weekend, I am throwing my hands up in the air and abandoning my attempts to smile my way out of my funk.

I will revel in my foul mood. I will pout and I will rant and I will think hateful thoughts (that will not be spoken as hateful words.) There will be tears.

I've participated in this trend recently, this "dismiss your problems because they're first world problems" trend and I'm beginning to realize that it's not working for me. I mean, to a certain extent it does. Sometimes I get a little too complainy about daily annoyance stuff and it's good to give myself a little reminder that I actually am really very lucky (Grady literally just peed on me as I wrote that. He fell asleep in my arms with a too-full diaper and there's been some sort of malfunction and now I am typing this with a sleeping child in my arms, covered in hot pee.)

Just because Shawn isn't out there picking up chicks and spending all of our money on hookers and blow doesn't mean that I can't be mad at him when he doesn't something assy. Just because Grady is healthy and happy doesn't mean that I can't be frustrated when he throws his entire lunch on the floor, or refuses to take off his boots until the smell emanating from his feet rivals that of a teenaged boy, or cries a heartbreaking cry when I try to pick him up because no one gives hugs quite like daddy (all things that happen multiple times a day, every day lately.) Just because Robin flew back to England to be with a man she loves (a man whom I've met and love for her) doesn't mean I have to be happy about her leaving.

I think that maybe by dismissing my first world problems, I've been giving myself permission to not feel all the feelings. Like, I shouldn't be sad that my best friend moved so far away because she's happy and in love, so I won't feel sad, I'll feel happy. Except that I am sad. I'm really sad.

I need to find the balance between feeling grateful for what I have and allowing myself to feel frustrated and sad and mad when those feelings arise. Because how I'm feeling today? This buildup of frustration and anger and sadness? It's not healthy. I don't want to feel like this. I am so blue. I don't feel even a little like myself.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Pumpkin Pancakes

It's Sunday and in our house a good Sunday starts with pancakes. Preferably pumpkin pancakes. I know - I know! - pumpkin has been shoved down our throats since day one of the holiday season but I won't fight my love. The Christmas decorations are down. The Christmas baking is almost gone. But I'm still hanging onto my pumpkin. I can't help it. I'm a Thanksgiving baby. Pumpkin is in my blood.

So! If you refuse to join ranks with the pumpkin haters, I think you'll enjoy these pancakes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling,) 2.5 cups of buttermilk, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons melted butter. You can use margarine if you want to but I don't know why you would.

In another large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined. You don't want to use your whisk or you'll end up with rubbery pancakes. A wooden spoon or a silicone spoontula does the trick nicely.

Heat your pancake frying surface (I use a non-stick electric grill heated to medium-high.) Scoop your pancake batter onto the grill (look, I'm not going to tell you how to live your life. Medallions? Ovals? Freeform? Teddy bears? Go where your heart guides you.)

At this point you can sprinkle chocolate chips on your pancakes. I'm not saying you should add chocolate chips, I'm just saying your life will never be the same if you do.

Cook your pancakes until bubbles form on the surface and begin to pop. The edges should look cooked and a little brown. Flip your pancakes and cook for another few minutes.

Enjoy! I like to spread a little butter on my pancakes (I'm a purist) but you can always go the maple syrup route. Or the peanut butter and bacon route if you're crazy (Shawn is crazy.)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


I want to donate blood at least four times.

I want to find out what's wrong with my wonky thyroid.

I want to continue on my yoga journey.

I want to run more.

I want to celebrate five years of marriage with Shawn.

I want to run.

I want to learn how to make croissants from scratch.

I want to bake a black forest cake for my dad's birthday.

I want to throw a BBQ for Shawn's 35th birthday.

I want to cut my hair off so I'm forced to find a hairstyle I like instead of defaulting to a ponytail every damn day.

I want to attend my first birth as a doula-in-training.

I want to take more pictures and learn to use my camera better.

I want to write more letters and do a better job at letting people know how important they are to me.

I want to learn how to crochet.

I want to figure out how to meal plan for our family instead of trying to adopt solutions that aren't quite right for us and then failing after a week.

I want to learn how to be better with money. I'm bad at money. I just am. I'm 30 years old. I should not use "I just am" as an excuse to continue to be bad with money.

I want to write more.

I want to take Grady swimming.

I want to clean my oven. At least once. I've never cleaned an oven before. It's shameful.

I want to laugh more, fret less, watch my tone, use positive words, admit my faults, allow myself to fail, eat as much chocolate as I please, and teach my kid to be kind.