Tuesday, 28 September 2010

So, what have you got for the baby?

It seems like I'm getting this question a lot - What have you got ready for the baby?  The truth is, not a whole lot.  We've been really resisting the urge to buy a whole bunch of stuff that we don't really need until we see what we end up bringing home from the hospital.  Also factoring in hand me downs and upcoming showers, and we knew that we could get by without spending a bunch up front.  It's funny, with my bridal shower, I had such a hard time dealing with the idea of people buying me presents, but I'm much more relaxed about the idea of a baby shower because it's for the kid, not me! 

In case you're interested, here's a breakdown of what we've got so far for when the kid gets here.

Here's the glider rocking chair I scored on Kijiji last week for $20.  Fender obviously enjoys it, and you can see why it's necessary for me to cover it with the blanket to try and avoid cat hair!
We're borrowing my mom's bassinet since the kid will only be using it for a few months - no sense in buying our own.  We'll be getting a crib for later on, but this should do us just fine for the start.
My friend Jackie gave me this high chair that she no longer needed - much appreciated!
These bottles were all freebies from a prenatal fair.  There's another one coming up soon in October, so I'm going to go back to get some more freebies!  I figure we don't need many bottles since I'm planning on nursing, but it's nice to have a few around - especially the nice glass ones!
My mom scored this pram on Kijiji also - it'll be great for taking the kid for a walk in the winter when it's still little.  Bassinet on wheels, coming your way!  I'm hoping to get a jogging stroller for later on, and I think I'm going to borrow my mom's stroller that's just a frame for the carseat to snap into for being out and about.
Here's my freebie car seat!  I won it at the prenatal fair (so worth going!).  It's a really nice car seat, I was super happy with it.  Still need to get it installed in my car (but I have to clean my car first!)
Here are the clothes that I've actually purchased for the kid so far.  Not a whole lot, just a few onesies and jammies to get us home.  I've been told my choices are "neutral, skewed to boy"
This one is my favourite - how could I resist?  And the best part...
...is the back!  I love how the guitar strap wraps around to the back - so cute.

Bin of freebies from the prenatal fair (seriously, check out prenatal fairs).  Lots of samples of wipes, creams, diapers, etc.
My grandma picked up this suit for the baby.  It's nice to have a teeny tiny hoodie to start out with, and Jagger loves that the logo looks like an old Winnipeg Jets logo.
Blankets and towels.  You can't have enough.  My mom has picked up some for me, I picked up some and I bought a bunch at my friend Jackie's yard sale.  Always good to have on hand!
Also from Jackie - baby snowsuit!  Her little girl wore it, and now her little guy won't fit in it by the time he would need it, so I'm very grateful to use it!
These are the other sleepers that I got at Jackie's yard sale.  Lots of little gender neutral onesies to get us through that first part.
I also scored a bathtub from another friend, Tricia's yard sale.  It's great to have friends who are finished having their babies right when I'm getting started!

So, all in all, I think I've only spent like like $50 on stuff for the kid and $20 for the glider.  I think I'm doing pretty good so far.

So, what am I missing?  I have some registries set up for my shower, but I'm much more interested in seeing what people come up with - I love those "I wish someone had gotten me one of these when I had my baby" kind of gifts - experience is a wonderful thing!

I would love to hear your suggestions on what you wish you'd had/found you couldn't live without!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Who wants to plan my days?

I've been a day planner person since high school.  I've always been a list person, so it's nice to have someplace to make lists for everyday.   All through high school and university, I lived and died by my planner.  I couldn't go anywhere without it.  Then, once I started working full time, I made the switch to having a day planner at work and just keeping track of things there as opposed to carrying one with me.  I've tried to adjust to using my Blackberry to keep track of things, but it's just not the same.

Now that I'm getting closer to being away from work for a year with the kid, I've realized that I'll need a day planner for home.  I've been putting a lot of thought into what I need for a planner, because there's nothing worse than having a planner that doesn't work for you, has spaces that are too small or just all around isn't right.

Here's what I'm looking for:

- Big spaces for each day - I want to start journalling my food again after the baby gets here, and I want to be able to have lots of space each day to keep track of my food and water intake.  I also want to be able to jot down things that the kid does and then later transfer them into a baby's first year calendar or something to that effect.  I also figure I'll need space for doctor's appointments and Early Years Centre events and stuff.
- Blank pages at the back - I definitely want a place for general note taking and list making to try and avoid post-it notes being stuck everywhere.
- Folders - I always like to have a couple of folders for bills to be paid and whatnot like that.
- Small enough to fit into a purse/diaper bag, but big enough that the spaces can be big enough for everything I want to write down.
- A coil spine so it can lay flat.
- Something pretty!

I've been checking out a few different things online, but it's hard to decide on something without really seeing it in person.  I've found a few on etsy that will do custom work, but I'm not sure if that's the way I want to go either.  I found an interesting one here that uses bubbles instead of a traditional layout, but I don't know if I want to get into something like that.

I like this one

But I think the day spaces are too small for everything I want...

I love this one...
But it's just a cover to hold a standard planner.

Or there's something like this that's a downloadable pdf file and then I can do some customization.  But is that too much work for what I ultimately want?

Am I overthinking this, as usual?  Should I just go to Staples and grab something, or should I wait until I find something ideal?  I swear, shopping for a day planner is just as hard as shopping for a bathing suit or new glasses.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

That's okay, I didn't want any free time this weekend anyway.

It was really windy here on Friday.  Like, really, really windy.  I even thought to myself on the drive home, "Huh, I haven't seen it this windy since right after we moved in and the shed blew into the fence."

This is what I came home to.

I took the picture through the kitchen window because I was too lazy to go out and inspect it too closely.  I'm like 7 months pregnant, what am I supposed to do with it?

Oh well.  At least it's the corner where I want to put in a vegetable garden anyway.  Never liked that corner garden in the first place.


Roasted Vegetable Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette

Serves:  4   Prep:  10 min  Bake:  30 min

6 carrots, sliced on the diagonal 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 onions, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/3 cup plus 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 trimmed ends from 1 loaf italian bread, cut into bite-size cubes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 bunches kale, tough stems discarded and leaves thinly sliced
one 4-ounce log goat cheese, quartered crosswise

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots, onions and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Spread into a single layer, season with salt and pepper and roast, tossing halfway through, until golden, about 30 minutes.  On a separate baking sheet, drizzle the bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss.  Bake until crisp, about 7 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl and using the back of a spoon, mash the garlic with a pinch of salt.  Whick in the lemon juice, then slowly whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil; season with salt and pepper
3. In a large bowl, combine the kale and roasted vegetables and toss with the dressing.  Divide among 4 plates and top each with smoe cruotons and a round of goat cheese

Oh this one was yummy.  One of my favourites so far.  The roasted vegetables smelled so good and it was so nice with the kale.  The only problem with this one was the amount - 2 bunches is way  too much kale.  you know those big yellow Tupperware bowls?  I had one of those full of kale.  It ended up that there wasn't enough veggies to go with all the kale, but it was still good.  I think that the vegetables were supposed to wilt and cook the kale a bit when you mixed them together, and we didn't end up with that effect because there was just so much.  The next time I try it, I would definitely only go with one bunch of kale and save myself the trouble.  I would also try to avoid setting off the smoke detector by making the croutons.  At least I know it works!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Grilled Beef and Horseradish Sandwiches

Grilled Beef and Horseradish Sandwiches

Serves: 4  Prep:  25 min  Grill: 15 min

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 1/4 pounds flank steak
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup jarred horseradish
1 loaf italian bread, cut crosswise into 8 sliced, ends trimmed and reserved for another use
4 ounces arugula
6 ribs celery, cut into sticks

1. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.  In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until golden-brown, about 15 minutes.
2. Brush the steak with teh remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill, turning once, for about 12 minutes for medium-rare; let rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, horseradish and a pinch each salt and pepper.  Spread onto one side of each bread slice.
4. Divide the sliced beef among 4 bread slices, then top with the caramelized onions and the arugula and set the remaining bread slices into place.  Serve with the celery sticks.

These were yummy, yummy, yummy.  Not a great one for leftovers, but a really nice, simple middle of the week meal.  If we had it again though, I would definitely make a salad instead of just the celery as a sidedish - sometimes these Rachael Ray recipes sacrifice the sidedishes for the overall cost of the week.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos with Scallion Dressing

Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos with Scallion Dressing
Serves:  4  Prep:  15 min  Grill 20 min

1/4 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
salt and pepper
6 slices of bacon
8 small flour tortillas
4 scallions (green onions)
1/4 cup plus 3 tabelspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 chicken cutlets (about 1 pound)
1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into matchsticks
sour cream, for serving

1. Preheat a grill to medium-high.  In a bowl, toss the cabbage with half of the lemon juice and season with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Microwave the bacon on a paper towel lined plate on high heat until crisp, about 4 minutes; crumble.
2. Grill the tortillas, turning once, until lightly charred, about 3 minutes; wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the scallions with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill, turning, until slightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes.  Using the same bowl, toss the chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill, turning once, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.  Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing along with the scallions.
4. In a small bowl, add the remaining lemon juice and slowly whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil; season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the sliced scallions and the apple.  Divide the chicken among the tortillas and top with the vinaigrette and bacon.  Serve with the sour cream and slaw.

This one was really unique.  I was worried about the combination of tastes, but it really turned out nicely with the apples and everything.  Not something I would make everyday or anything, but it was nice for this time.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Spicy Sausage Shepherd's Pie

Here are some more Rachael Ray recipes.  We actually made them last week, I just didn't get around to posting them.  There's still a few waiting that we haven't tried yet, and since Jagger's away all week, I won't be cooking them yet.  Enjoy!

Spicy Sausage Shepherd's Pie

Serves: 4  Prep:  15 min  Cook: 30 min

8 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper
1 pound hot italian sausage, casings removed (or 1 pound ground turkey, seasoned to taste with onions and crushed red pepper)
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon jarred horseradish
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Preheat the broiler.  In a pot, combine the potatoes and enough salted water to cover by 1 inch.  Cover and bring to a boil, then uncover and cook until fork-tender, about 10 minutes; drain.  Masin in 1/2 cup chicken broth and the cream; season with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, in a large, ovenproof skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up until browned, 5 to 7 minutes; using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl.  Add the cabbage, onion and garlic to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until golden, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and the horseradish.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the cooked sausage and the parsley, reserving 1 teaspoon for sprinkling.
3. Spoon the mashed potatoes onto the sausage mixture and broil until the potatoes are golden, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with the reserved parsley.

We were really happy with how this one turned out - it had a really unique flavour to it without being too spicy.  My only complaint was that it made a huge amount.  Like, incredibly huge.  I ended up putting the whole thing in a big 9x13 pan rather than keeping it in the skillet like she suggested.  Seriously, this was enough to feed a family of 6 for 2 days I think.  We had it for dinner, lunch, lunch, lunch and still have some left I think.  Be prepared if you're cooking this one!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

30 weeks down, 10ish to go

Well, here we are at 30 weeks.  It's hard to believe it's been that long already!  Here's where I'm at for right now, in case you were wondering.

I'm still really indecisive about food.  I'm finding I have to eat smaller and smaller meals (the baby is really high, so I get full and uncomfortable really easily) so I have to choose wisely!  It's not uncommon for me to try to order something, and then completely change my mind at the last minute.  I'm super fun to go out to dinner with right now.

I've been sleeping pretty well, can't complain too much.  My hips are starting ot hurt more at night though, so hopefully it doesn't get too bad.  I'm planning on working until November 26th, so I've got a long way to go.

The baby moves constantly.  Like constantly.  At our last ultrasound the tech even commented on how much it moves.  We went to a concert on the weekend (Mastodon, Deftones and Alice in Chains) and it was moving a lot for that.  We figure the kid will find the fact that we went to this concert hella lame in about 15 years and maybe find it kind of cool in about 25 years.  The kid is also getting really demanding - it hates it when I sit leaning forward, which is all the time at work.  Guess space is becoming a premium in there!

I'm so relieved that it's nice, cool fall weather now.  It's supposed to be a bit warmer this week, but I can't complain.  It's so nice to have windows open and have a breeze, it's made it super nice for sleeping and for going for walks.

We're trying to get things ready for the kid, but I'm finding myself unmotivated.  I've been nesting like crazy (which is made much for difficult by the fact that I'm still really forgetful, and will end up with half a dozen half-finished jobs all over the house.) but I haven't gotten too much for the kid yet.  Bought a few sleepers last week because they were on sale, but other than that, not too much.  I'll have showers and stuff coming up soon, so we'll see how we make out at that!

I am much more comfortable now that I'm in maternity clothes full time.  I can still fit into some T-shirts, but they're all pretty short now.  It makes a huge difference having clothes that fit.

I'm on to biweekly doctor's appointments now, which are a monstrous pain in my ass.  The baby clinic is only on Mondays, which is the absolute worst day of the week for me to go to the doctor's.  So much for my wonderful plan of taking Fridays off for appointments and relaxing.  Hopefully I'll be able to use all of my stockpiled vacation time to be able to be off work for 13 months and therefore not come back to work until January 2012 instead of coming back before Christmas.  Fingers crossed!

I've managed to dodge the heartburn bullet pretty well so far.  I haven't really had any traditional heartburn, just this weird kind of pressure in my throat.  Again, can't complain.

Really, this thing has been a breeze so far.  I had a little "I've gained so much weight!" meltdown last week, but I'm feeling okay about it now.  I've done that whole gaining a bit everywhere, so it's hard to see, but I can feel it.  I told the doctor at my last appointment that this pregnancy thing was easy so far.  He told me not to get cocky.  We'll see.  I'm sure I will get much more uncomfortable, but I really can't complain so far when there's so many other girls who are super sick through their whole pregnancy.

So there you go, there's where I'm at after 30 weeks of this.  I'll probably do one more post like this before the end, but I promise not to go overboard on preggo posts!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Fall TV is finally here!

Oh boy, this week is going to be a doozy!  The hubby's gone to a conference all week and I have the DVR all programmed and ready for fall TV!  I don't know what it is about this season, but I seem to want to watch every new show!

Here's my lineup and predictions for this week...

  • THE EVENT - This is the big new one on NBC, the big, mythological one that's supposed to be Lost, but not in the way that last year's Flashforward was supposed to be Lost.  I have high hopes it will last on my DVR!
  • LONESTAR - This one is being really hyped by FOX, a show about a guy with two lives.  It seems promising, and it was named one of the five best of the new season by Entertainment Weekly, so we'll give it a go.
  • HAWAII 5-0 - Another show that's been named one of the new shows to watch by Entertainment Weekly.  I'm excited for that theme song!
  • CHASE - Seems kind of lukewarm, but I'm going to check it out anyway.
  • MIKE & MOLLY - Not really my kind of sitcom, but I thought I would check it out.  People seem to be having good things to say about it.
  • GLEE - I can't wait for this show to return!  It's such a dose of happy.
  • RUNNING WILDE - A new show on Fox starring Will Arnett and Keri Russell - David Cross is in it too, so they've been hyping it as something to fill the void left by Arrested Development.  I don't think it's going to be quite that good, but it's worth checking out.
  • DETROIT 1-8-7 - Cop/Legal procedural dramas aren't usually my thing, but I'm checking this one out, if only because Michael Imperioli is in it.
  • NO ORDINARY FAMILY - It doesn't start until next week, but I'm super excited for this show.  It's like The Incredibles on TV!
  • AMERICA's NEXT TOP MODEL - Love this show.  It started a couple of weeks ago, and this week is finally the makeover show!  I want to see tears!
  • THE DEFENDERS - Again, legal shows aren't usually my thing, but this one seems promising and seems to have a funny edge to it.
  • UNDERCOVERS - The much-hyped new JJ Abrams vehicle.  I'm there.
  • MODERN FAMILY - I can't wait to see what they have in store for this show this season!
  • COUGAR TOWN - I love this show, it's another little dose of happy.  I can't wait to see Jennifer Aniston guest starring and see what shenanigans the cast gets into this year.  (Yes, this show has shenanigans)
  • THE WHOLE TRUTH - Again, not usually my thing, but this one seems interesting since you see both the defence and the prosecution side. 
  • BIG BANG THEORY - I made an effort to watch reruns of this over the summer, so we'll see if I keep it up this year.  I'm still not totally sold on it, but I find it amusing enough to keep watching.
  • 30 ROCK - Always entertaining - I can't wait for the live episode in October!
  • GREY'S ANATOMY - After walking away from the show in Season 5, I'm so glad I came back for Season 6.  Season 7 is shaping up to look pretty awesome with everyone recovering from the shooting at the hospital.
  • FRINGE - The second season was amazing, I can't wait to see what they come up with for this season! 
  • THE OFFICE - It's Steve Carrell's last season on the show, so it should make for interesting plots.
  • MY GENERATION - Seems a little lame, but I'm signed on if only for the fact that it's about a bunch of people who graduated high school in the year 2000 because I graduated high school in the year 2000!  They'll be just like me, right?!
  • BLUE BLOODS - Tom Selleck and his mustache plays the head of a cop family.  It's been getting great reviews, and it would be nice to have a show on Friday nights.
  • MEDIUM - I haven't kept up with this show much since about season 4, but I'd like to get back into it since every season seems to be teetering on cancellation.
  • SNL - Is looking awesome this season!  So far the hosts announced have been Amy Poehler, Jane Lynch, Emma Stone, Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm.  I can't wait!
  • MAD MEN - Still has a few weeks left of this season.  It's been so amazing, I don't want it to end!
  • DEXTER - Is back with a guilty conscience, but unfortunately I don't get his channel!  I'll have to wait for the DVDs.
  • THE SIMPSONS - Have no fears, we'll have stories for years.  I can't wait to see the season premiere with Bret and Jermaine from Flight of the Conchords as well as some of the Glee kids.
  • THE CLEVELAND SHOW - This show has really grown on me, it's so darn funny.
  • FAMILY GUY - It's been a little hit and miss, but really, what else am I watching on a Sunday night?
  • AMERICAN DAD - As much as it makes me hate myself, I've learned to love this little show.
  • THE WALKING DEAD - This one doesn't start until Halloween on AMC, but I'm pumped.  We're reading some Walking Dead for graphic novel group in October and I can't wait to see what AMC does with it.  Zombies every week!
So, that's what my weeks are looking like.  What new shows are you excited for?

Friday, 17 September 2010

The Thing About Facebook...

One of the movies coming out this fall that I'm really excited about is David Fincher's The Social Network.  You may know it as "The Facebook Movie".  I'm a big fan of David Fincher and it looks like the movie is going to be great.  I also enjoy Ben Mezrich's books, and The Social Network is based on his book, "The Accidental Billionaires".

I love Facebook just as much as any other junkie out there.  Don't deny it, you know you love it too.  That being said, there are definitely a few things that I can't stand about Facebook and the people that use it.

- The people who threaten to leave Facebook.  This is probably my biggest pet peeve on Facebook.  You know the types - the ones who post in their status "Leaving Facebook in a week, send me your email if you want to stay in touch!"  No, I do not want to stay in touch.  If you can't handle staying in the modern loop, then forget it.  I'm not playing into your little pity party game. 

- People who delete you from Facebook, then magically re-add you.  Seriously?  I didn't even realize we weren't friends anymore, and apparently you had some reason for cutting me out, but now you want to be my friend again?  Ignore.

- People who announce they are trimming down their Facebook friends.  I'm so worried, what if I don't make the cut?!

- Running into someone you haven't seen in a long time and realizing you have nothing to catch up on because of Facebook.  "Oh wow, hi!  I haven't seen you since high school!  So you married so and so, right?  And you just bought a house and have 2 little kids!  That's great!  I love your wedding pictures by the way!  So anyway, see you in another 10 years!"

- Starting sentences with "Well, on Facebook...".  I'm guilty of this one for sure, and a little piece of me dies every time I do it.  It usually involves gossip, to the effect of, "Well, on Facebook they just changed their status to 'it's complicated' so I wonder what's going on there."  Yes, I'm a terrible person.

- Constant updates.  I get it, things happen in your life.  You get lunch, you run into people, you think about the weekend.  I don't necessarily need to know all of this.  However, I can't help but feel like this is my own fault because I'm the one who has to check Facebook 20 times a day.

- Thinking in status updates.  Do you do this?  I must come up with 5 or 6 status updates over the course of a day.  Most of the time, I forget them all by the time I get to a computer, but the simple fact that my interior monologue becomes "Ooh, that would be a good status" is depressing.

- Inappropriate information.  What's this now?  You're airing all of your dirty laundry out for all of us to see?  Yikes.

- Poor grammar and spelling.  I know this one is unavoidable, but I'm truly sorry that the education system has failed you so much that you don't know the difference between "there/they're/their" and "your/you're".  Don't even get me started on "it's/its"

- Vaguebooking.  You know the ones - you see a status somewhere along the lines of "That's okay, don't worry about me, I'll get through it."  Then that person signs off of Facebook for 42 hours and waits while the comments of concern pop up wondering what's going on that's so awful.  I'm not playing your game.

- Sites that you have to "Like" in order to see what it is.  What a scam - "OMG, you won't believe what this guy did to get revenge!" OMG, I think I'll live without finding out.

Of course, there are wonderful things about Facebook.

- House pictures.  My single favourite thing about Facebook.  What's that?  You've renovated your house and have put up 200 before and after pictures?  Yes, please!

- Wedding pictures.  Second to the house pictures, I love me some wedding pictures.  Beware, if you have wedding pictures, I've creeped on them.

- Baby/Pregnancy pictures.  Coming in third.  I do enjoy seeing your pictures of your kids, but I have to admit, I give them a much quicker scan than say, pictures of your new couch. 

- The fact that all of the reasons I don't like Facebook gives way to two of my favourite blogs to check - STFU Parents and Failbook.  They bring me so much joy.

Now excuse me, I have to go post this blog on my Facebook so I can get immediate reaction and validation.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Boy or Girl? Place your bets!

I've been meaning to do this post for some time now, since I saw it over on the Five Blondes blog.  Here's my results to some classic old wives tales - let's see how accurate it is!  For the record, Jagger and I are still hoping for a boy (I still think it's a boy).  My mom and most of my family says girl, and my coworkers say boy.  As time has gone on (I'm 29 weeks now) Jagger and I are feeling more like it might be a girl, only because we've been wanting a boy so much that it will no doubt backfire.  Just as long as it's one or the other, we'll be happy.

Comment and place your bets!

I'm planning on posting a new picture next week for 30 weeks, so we'll see if that helps at all!

(And for the record, I don't believe in any of these at all, because I've heard the opposite about pretty much all of these)

(Also, I apologize for the spacing - when I tried to fix it, it made it all one big blob.  Sigh.)

Sleep Position

Pay attention to which way you lay down in bed tonight. If you prefer sleeping on your left side, you’ll have a boy. Right side? You’re pregnant with a girl.

Neutral - I prefer to sleep on my left side, but lately my left arm has been hurting when I do that, so I sleep better on my right side.  Also, if I sleep on my left side, I end up facing Jagger and that means I have to dodge his dragon breath all night.

Upset Stomach

Little girls aren’t always sweet. Extreme nausea means you are having a daughter.

Boy - I have been very lucky and have had hardly any nausea.  Really the only nausea to speak of was in the beginning, and only if I let myself get hungry.

Soft or Dry Hands

If your hands are dry during pregnancy, you are having a boy; soft—expect a girl.

Boy - My hands are always terribly dry in the winter and fine in the summer, but this year I've been noticing they've been much more dry.

Food Cravings

Your favorite pregnancy foods may tell you what sex the baby is. If you’re craving citrus while pregnant, you’re having a girl.

Boy - I can't say I've been craving citrus (or anything really) but lately I've been really liking tomatoes - does the acidity in the tomatoes count as being close to the acidity of the citrus?

Adult Acne

If altering hormones makes your skin break out, expect a girl.

Boy - I was really worried about what my skin would do when I was pregnant, since I also used birth control pills to help with my skin.  So far, it hasn't been so bad.  A few breakouts here and there, but nothing unusual for me, so I'm going with boy.  In fact, I've been out of makeup for a couple of weeks and no one seems to have noticed, so my skin can't be that bad.

Graceful or Clumsy Pregnancy

If you feel as though you’re gliding through they day, you’ll have a girl. Stumbling? It’s a boy.

Boy - but I'm always pretty clumsy.  I'm definitely running into things more often though.

Face Weight Gain

If your face gets fuller, it means you’re having a girl.

Neutral - This question is mean.  I think my face is fuller, but I haven't had anyone comment on it, so who knows.

Sugar and Spice Food Cravings

Craving salt during pregnancy? Potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn means a boy is on the way. Need a little something sweet? Ice cream, chocolate, and candy means you’re having a girl.

Neutral - I've been pretty into salty and sweet combinations actually - like adding Smarties to my popcorn at the movies.  Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!

Mood Changes

If you’re experiencing pregnant mood-swings, expect a baby girl to arrive soon.

Boy - I think I've been pretty relaxed, and can't really think of any mood swings.  I'll get crabby, but I'll just say that I'm in a bad mood.

High or Low Pregnant Belly

If you’re carrying the baby low on your stomach, expect a boy. If it’s high, you’re having a girl.

Girl - I'm carrying pretty high.  In fact, a few weeks ago when my mom saw me, that was the first thing she said - "That's a girl!  Look how high your belly is!"

Baby Weight

If you’re carrying baby in front, it’s a boy. Is the baby weight spaced all around your middle? It’s a girl.

Girl - I thought I was just belly, but then I sat in the captain's chair at my mom's dining room table on the weekend and it was a bit tighter fit than it used to be, so I guess I'm getting it all around.

Pendulum Test

Dangle a chain with a charm over your palm. If it swings back and forth: boy. In a circle: girl.


Model Your Hands

“Show me your hands.” If you would hold your hands palms up it’s a girl. Down? You’re having a boy.


Toddler Advice

Get baby advice from a nephew or friend’s little boy. If a toddler boy shows interest in your belly, you’ll have a girl. If he ignores you, it’s a boy.

Neutral - My friend's little boy didn't seem to interested in my belly on the weekend, but she's pregnant too, so I think he's just over the whole thing.  The little boy foster baby at my mom's house was playing with my belly though.

Eat Garlic

Guess the baby’s sex by eating garlic. If the smell seeps out of your pores it’s a boy. If there’s no scent it’s a little girl.

Neutral - I'm going with neutral on this one.  I can't tell if it seeps out of my pores, but garlic smell really sticks to my hands, even worse right now than it used to.

Key to Pregnancy

If you pick up a key by the round end, you’re having a boy. If it’s by the long end? A girl.

Boy - and the idea that anyone would pick up a key by the long end seems really weird to me.

Even and Odd Numbers

If your age and year of conception are both even or odd, it’s girl. One even, one odd means a boy.

Boy - 27, 2010

Baby’s Heartbeat

If the baby’s heart beats more than 150 times per minute, you’re pregnant with a girl. Less than 150, it’s a boy.

Boy - This week's appointment was the first time anyone had told me what the heart rate was.  I was told 135-142, but my mom declared that to be a "girl" heartrate.

Stress Test

A child tends to be of the same sex as the parent who is less stressed at the time of conception.

Neutral - We're both pretty calm most of the time, but conception would have been not too long before we moved, so we both were probably equally stressed.

Dream Meanings

If you dream about having a girl while pregnant, you will wind up having a boy and vice versa.

Neutral - I've mostly dreamed about the baby being a boy, but lately it's been a girl.

Breast Size

If your right breast is larger than the left while pregnant, you are having a girl. If the left is larger, it’s a baby boy.

Neutral - Seriously?  What kind of question is this?  They're both out of control, I can't tell if one is a different size than the other.


Boy - 11
Girl - 2
Neutral - 8

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri and Sweet Potato Wedges

Sorry about this, but here is the last Rachael Ray recipe from that meal planner.  I haven't actually cooked it, so I can't attest to its yummy-factor.  We were supposed to have cooked it before we went to the Fan Expo, but I couldn't be bothered with it seeing as how I'm not a huge barbeque fan right now.  The weather has gotten pretty fall-y here lately (yay!) so I'm just not in the mood for something like this.  Also, we spent most of the long weekend hiding inside watching Breaking Bad. 

Let me know if you try it though - I'm anxious to hear how it turns out!

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri and Sweet Potato Wedges

Serves: 4  Prep: 15 min (plus standing)  Grill: 20 min

2 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds, toasted
salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds flank steak, at room temperature
4 small sweet potatoes, (about 2 pounds total) each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges

1. Using a food processor, finely chop the garlic.  Add the parsley, 1/4 cup olive oil, the onion, thyme, vinegar, mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse to combine.  Coat the steak with 2 tablespoons of the chimchurri sauce and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat a grill for both high and medium heat.
2. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil; season with salt and pepper.  Arrange on an oiled grate over medium heat, cover and grill, turning occasionally, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, arrange the steak on the oiled grate over high heat, cover and grill, turning once, for 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare.  Transfer to a work surface and let rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing.  Serve with the remaining chimichurri and the sweet potatoes.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Fan Expo 2010

So last weekend we made the big trip to the Big Smoke and headed to Toronto for Fan Expo 2010 with some friends of ours.  All in all, it was a great weekend.  Was Fan Expo well organized?  I would say no.  Saturday was absolutely insane, with a line around the block just for re-admittance and hundreds of ticket holders who got left outside when the Convention Centre hit capacity.  The worst part about the capacity was that the expo was spread over three levels, so they would shut down an escalator to another level until the capacity levels evened out.  All in all, it made for a frustrating day.  Friday and Sunday were much better, with smaller crowds.

Highlights of Fan Expo:

- Jagger got his Summer Glau autograph, after about an hour and a half of waiting in line.  It was frustrating, but worth it.

By the time we got to her, she was no longer doing posed photos, so this is as good as it gets.  She's really pretty and super duper tiny in real life.

- Stan Lee walked right by us.  This was at one of the "wait in line to take the escalator back up to the main level" incidents.  We were at the head of the line, waiting for them to let us up when security ushered Stan Lee up the escalator beside us.  Pretty crazy, but no picture.  In real life, he looks like Stan Lee.

- Lots of good deals in Artist's Alley.  All in all, we probably spent the most time in Artist's Alley getting sketches, signatures and picking up some prints.  I got some of the guys from Kill Shakespeare to sign one of my issues.

Super nice guys, and they're friends of a friend of ours, hence the extra-special signature.  This is an amazing series, I highly recommend you pick it up if you haven't read it!

My friend Dan bought me one of these Gloomies prints.  All of her work was hilarious, it really cracks me up.  Dan's wife Amanda got one as well, and here's the one I picked out.

Check out her website for more goods!

I also managed to get some stuff for the kid, including these three prints - 3 for $10, can't go wrong there.

These pictures do not do them justice.  In real life, they are super bright and saturated with colour.  I can't wait to frame them and hang them up in the kid's room.  You can find the artist's blog here.

I got something else for the kid while we were there, but if I told you what it was, then it would be a hint to our name if the kid ends up being a boy.  You'll have to wait another 3 months to find out!

I also picked up this print, which the husband is not thrilled about...

Ignore the coasters and mouse that's holding it flat.  It's John Locke!  Isn't it great?  I love the way she did the smoke behind him.  Only $10, what a steal!  I'm not sure where he should live yet though...  I have the artist's business card as well, but her website seems to be down for maintenance, hopefully she'll have some new stuff up soon.  She told me she's working on some other Lost-related pieces, so hopefully we'll see those soon!

- The DC Universe panel was fun an informative.  There should have been more questions directed at the artists, but you can't really help what people ask.  It was great to see Jeff Lemire on the panel, and I was excited to see Brian Azzarello on the panel, and then to run into him at a booth later on. 

Too bad I didn't bring any issues of First Wave for him to sign.  He had a great answer to a stupid question at the panel - someone asked him if 100 Bullets was meant to run for 100 issues, or if it was a coincidence.  His response?  "Yeah, it was intentional.  That's why the ending works."

- Pure Pwnage - do you watch this show?  Probably not, it's a Canadian show on Showcase, but it started as an online show.  It's hilarious, all about gaming.  We met the creator and start, Jarett Cale.  We got some pictures, but they're super blurry thanks to the kid in line who took it for us. 

Not-So Highlights of Fan Expo:

- Lines, lines, line.  I knew going into it that we would be waiting in lots of lines, but this was ridiculous.  There were lines everywhere, and no one knew what they were for.  That being said, I would appreciate...
- Lack of signage.  A little signage would go a long way.  You had to constantly ask staff what a line was for, and a few signs would have made things a lot easier. 
- Very condensed areas - I've since read that they had to move it to the other side of the convention centre than they normally have it in, so they were forced into a smaller space.  They definitely need to break out some sections.  We decided we would love to see Artist's Alley in its own separate area.  It was extremely squished in that area and difficult to make it to all the tables.  It would also be nice if the celebrity signing area was held on a different level - on Sunday, the lineup for Shatner ran right through the middle of the convention centre, making it really difficult to get to lots of booths.
- Poor food selection.  We literally had to buy a $7 hot dog on Saturday.  Our original plan had been to leave the centre for lunch and go somewhere else nearby, but due to the capacity issues, if we left the building, we wouldn't be able to come back in.  Instead, we were stuck with a $7 hot dog, on a kind of stale bun.  Not cool.  We did bring lots of snacks, but still, having some more food options would go a long way.
- Lax security - I could not believe that they weren't checking anyone on their way in.  Not a single pat down, not a single bag was checked that I could see.  On Saturday, I fully expected my bag to be searched and assumed I would get hassled about the food I was bringing in, but no one batted an eye.  I know geeks are a mild bunch, but it wouldn't take much for some fake costume weapon to become an actual weapon.
- Too many costumes.  Okay, I know you worked really hard on your costume, and I have no idea what anime character you're supposed to be, but seriously.  I was tired of getting bumped with pieces of cardboard and hoop skirts by the end of Saturday, I was ready to lose it.  I know there's a masquerade and it's a big deal, but seriously, let's think before we get dressed.
- People bringing their kids.  This is not a place for children.  It was so crowded and there was so much walking.  I know your kid looks super cute in their costume, but leave them at home until they're old enough to handle it.  I literally saw a little girl, probably 4 years old throwing herself on the floor and crying because she couldn't walk anymore.  Awful.

All in all, we did have a good time, despite the downfalls.  As far as returning next year, I don't know if we would.  It would depend on what celebrities they have attend next year and whether or not they organize things better.  I don't think we would do Saturday ever again if things are going to be like that.  It would be nicer to go for an entire day on Friday and/or Sunday and avoid the major crowds of Saturday.

Here's a few more pictures of our weekend...

Yes, that's a Boba Fett made out of Lego and Julie Newmar.

This weekend has also made me realize how much I need a new camera.  Mine is crap with indoor lighting.  Add it to the list of things to get...

Any of you brave Fan Expo this year?  Or any other Comic Conventions?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Two Kinds of People: Staples v. Paper Clips

Are you a staple person or a paper clip person?  Here at work, staples vs. paper clips is a constant debate.  I myself am a big time staple person.  I hate using paperclips because they tend to get other things stuck to them.  However, I do insist on staples being done neatly.  Our courts on Mondays are big - often you'll be getting hundreds of stapled sets of informations ready for that day.  There is nothing worse than getting an information with 6,790 staples jammed in the upper left corner and pieces of paper sticking out everywhere.  Whenever I get a big court ready, I will sit and meticulously pull out all offending staples and tidy everything up.  It just makes me feel so much better.  If I get something that has something paper clipped to it, especially if it's a tiny little useless paper clip, that clip is going in the garbage.  I will only tolerate large paper clips - but I really prefer to use binder clips to hold temporary materials together.

I know, I've given this way too much thought.  But when you've become the person in the office that everyone else brings their spare binder clips to, you know you've got a reputation.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The Blair Cub

Just because she's so gosh darn cute.  Almost 3 months old now, too!  Hard to believe.  She's getting so big.

Grilled Sausages with Tomato-Chickpea Crostini

We both really liked this meal, and it was actually really quick and easy.  Once again, the barbequed meat stopped me from enjoying all of it, but I loved the crostini.  It was a nice, fresh summer meal.  I also really enjoyed that there was a second "side dish" in the cucumber spears.  I find that a lot of these recipes of Rachael's are missing a second side dish sometimes.  Enjoy!

Grilled Sausages with Tomato-Chickpea Crostini

Serves: 4  Prep: 15 min  Grill: 20 min

8 links (about 2 pounds) italian sausage, pricked with a fork
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tomatoes - cored, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, 1 clove finely chopped
salt and pepper
Half of a 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 baguette, cut crosswise on the diagonal into 16 slices
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 english cucumber, cut lengthwise into 8 spears

1. Preheat a grill to medium-high.  Arrange the sausages on the grate and grill, turning, until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the tomatoes and half of the chopped garlic, season with salt and pepper.  Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes; remove from the heat.
3. In a bowl, mash half of the chickpeas with the remaining chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil, stir in the whole chickpeas and season with salt and pepper.
4. Brush the bread slices with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and grill, turning once, until golden, about 1 minute; rub with the whole garlic clove.  Working with 1 toast at a time, spread on the goat cheese, then top with the chickpea and totato mixtures, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the parsley.  Serve with the sausages and cucumber spears.