Friday, January 30, 2009

The meeting life

So I am sitting here listening to people talk about Union Policies. It is pretty dry today. For dinner last night we had sushi and cup ramen in our hotel room here in Richmond. Last night we were driving and just ate left overs in the car. The trip down was good and our shopping yesterday got done. We now have a bedspread and duvet for the crib and a pay as you go cell phone for us. The questions is do we get a local number for Vancouver or a Local number for the home town. I don't plan to use it in the home town so I am thinking that a Vancouver number would be best. Decisions decisions. I don't know if there will be pictures from dinner this evening. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


So we had quite a different feast tonight. Different in that there was a starch/carb side. No rice in a bowl, no potatoes, I mean there was some bread under the pizza toast but it just wasn't the same. I enjoyed my dinner yet somehow it feels like something is missing. So lets take it piece by piece and see if you can help me out. We had the pizza toast. This is a simple yet to me inspired notion. Take the leftover pizza sauce. Slather it on bread. Add some cheese slices and voila. Instant pizza. I tell you even after all this time I still get fooled quite regularly.

Beside the pizza was some cha shu. This is a pork roast which is boiled in a ginger, garlic and possibly sugar mixture. Well sort of half boiled. The water only comes up to about the middle of the roast in the pot. I don't know how long said roast is boiled but it was cooking this morning as we left for school and the aroma almost kept me from getting out the door. This evening it was sliced up and served warm (some help from our friend Micro Wuave (rhymes with rico suave)).

Finally there was a green salad with daikon radish spears. It had a very Asian flavour. Some sesame oil with vinegar and soy sauce would be my best guess. There were probably some other flavours added into the dressing but as it is bath time I cannot get the information from the source. But take my word, it was yum.

The son had a preschool field trip to the ice arena for skating today. Mom was there to give us the inside scoop and play by play. However, I will paraphrase from what she told me.

"He was great. Really enjoyed himself. Totally zoomed around with the little bar contraption. Even skated pretty well without it. He is better than sis at that age. Maybe its a boy thing." or he could have inherited some amazingly athletic genes. You know, from the wife. Come on my head isn't that big... at least give me the benefit of the doubt.

On a different note I am starting to feel a little self conscious about the raw photos that I upload to my blog. I have just recently started reading some more polished blogs and it looks like photoshopping all of your photos might be deriguer. And I have always wanted to be French. What do you think? Can I get away with the folksy charm of my uncentered, no perspective, overexposed pictures or do I have to step it up a notch?

Ps. I am resisting the urge to look up derigurre. I know I have spelled it wrong but ... damn it here I go. Blogger gives me drogue, trigger, derringer, draggier and dredge. Nope. My second version gets even more obviously wrong words. At the bottom of Dictionary dot come I finally got de rigueur. I guess the space was important. Oh but I was close.

Monday, January 26, 2009


So we had the quicky dinner this evening. After the freezing ride home from the freezing skating rink (actually colder outside than in) we found mom here reheating some of our vegetarian chili. Over a nice bowl of rice it warmed some cockles this evening. Then we read chapt 4 of Harry potter #4 and now it is bath time. Next up, "poorly taped version of power rangers episode 2 of season 2. At least there aren't any commercials.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Making a bed.

Well that is what the son learned to do today. Not in the classic tuck in the sheets and fluff the pillow sense but in the your newest sibling will need somwhere to sleep sense. This was the empty spot we planned to use for the crib.
The first thing we had to do was move the pieces of the crib up to our room. Then we got the tool kit out.After we figured out which Allen key to use we were half way there. Slowly the pieces were put together. Finally all that was left was the mattress.

The son really did some great work. You may be wondering where the daughter managed to get off to and not be involved in something this involved. Well she was at a play day. Nice to get some son and dad time. After lunch I went into work for a few hours and when I came home it was time to start imitating. I have just found and am really enjoying all the facets of her blog. Tonight I tried to make her burgers. I think I did a pretty good job. The crumbled blue cheese with the sweet onions was really nice. The wife whipped up some potato salad (I am kind of french fried out from recent meals) and it was a complete meal. Good times. Should be a good week. We head for the coast on Wednesday. Yee haw.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A visit

After having guests over yesterday we went to someone else's place today. We went to see the midwife. Today was the day we made all the decisions about what we want to do after birth. We decided to go with the Vitamin K shot, but not with the antibiotic oinment on the eyes. Yes to the genetic screening for the three types of condition that can make a babies life really difficult. The oxcytocin shot right after birth to speed the delivery of the placenta kind of hung us up. The wife is really really big on doing the whole thing as naturally as possible. However, the midwife, who leans further towards the natural in natural child birth than us, said that she has come to recommend it as a good standard of care. We decided that we would go with the midwife on that one as well. Safe is so much more important than sorry in a situation like this. It also applies to the not having a home birth here in Grand Forks. The one and a half hour drive to Nelson definitely makes sense. If the hospital here was equipped for an emergency C-section then we would have contemplated the home birth. As it is, it just wouldn't make sense.

We visited the hospital in Nelson as well. The nurse on duty gave us a walk around and explained everything. She was very nice but will be on vacation from the 8-24th. So we prob ably won't be seeing here. While there she pointed out lots of amenities that they have that we should do our best to make use of. The birthing pool, the family room, kitchen facilities. Its times like those when my mind starts racing with all the things we need to do. I really need to carry a pencil and paper. But I don't and now sitting in the comfort of my home I can't quite recall all those urgent things I needed to do when I got home.

Lets think.

- Have food packed so that the kids and mom can have something to eat if the labour takes a long time. Don't want to be running out in the middle just to miss the whole thing.

- Dad needs to bring some swim trunks if he wants to get into the birthing pool or do a back massage when/if mom gets in the shower for pain management.

- Study the lamaze book and then give it back to the midwives so that someone else can use it.

- Have friend in Nelson's phone number written down so that we can call him up.

- Have list of phone numbers to call from the hospital when the baby is born.

- Get phone number to call for a substitute teacher.

- It goes on.

So with 2 - 6 six weeks remaining it is starting to feel very real. The wife mentioned in the car that she is starting to worry a little about the pain of child birth. With the daughter she didn't know what was coming. With the son she remembers thinking, "oh yeah, I remember this pain". The midwife gave the advice of trying to stay in the moment. If you're not in pain right now just feel that and live that. I cannot speak to this situation but I hope that advice helped the wife.

We had leftovers for dinner. Not picture worthy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Olive this work

Well it wasn't really work. We were going to make dinner anyways. We just made two dinners and had friends over to partake. Good times. I just keep forgetting the olives.

The wife and I had a sort of cook-off for our guests. She put together a beautiful assortment of ingredients for te-maki sushi. The shrimp and teriyaki salmon were big hits. People were rolling them up like they were going out of style. I think the guests even had some. I unfortunately was so focused on my pizza's that I didn't have any sushi. Fortunately, it is booked for a return engagement tomorrow as lunch on the road. Perfect.

As for the pizza's I kind of mismanaged this evenings quantities. I made only one true kids pizza, half cheese half ham and cheese. After that I made a cheeseburger pizza, probably too much onion for the little'uns. Cheeseburger is on the left, cheese/ham and cheese is on the right. Next up was a mushroom, olive, red pepper, onion pizza with a few slices of pepper salami on top. The last pizza had all of the left over ingredients, minus the olives (I am an idiot) piled high. I stuffed my face as usual (lack of pictures of these pizzas was do to face stuff and conversation) and if you tack on the bzzrs I had then I definitely over served myself this evening. But it was good.

We skipped dessert and the kids ran around the house playing various games and trying to play with various toys. Santa's Spiderman car thing is dead. The timer is busted and the batteries don't have the juice to get the car up and over the ramp. Do I try and take it apart and fix it. It doesn't look good but time will tell. Bath time, brush teeth, book time bed time. Gotta have a routine.

Oh yeah, it seemed like people thought the sushi won but they were probably just being nice because the wife is preggers. I mean my pizza kicked butt. But I will try to take my loss in stride. Next time I sabotage the rice cooker.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Double Trouble

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh..... That is the sound of first semester ending. Sure I still have three exams to prepare, invigilate and mark but that is peanuts. Sure we are down at the coast next weekend. Meh.. Its done. I get my preparatory block back this semester. I get to do Calculus this semester. Weeeee...Three levels of concious. Un, barely, overly. Which is who? You decide.

In celebration of this momentous day, I decided last night I would make dinner. I told the wife we would be having wraps with two types of filling. One was mexican style, just ground beef, onions, garlic and red pepper fried up with chilli powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, some vinegar and ketchup. The other filling was a chick pea, tofu, coconut curry mixture. It had onions, garlic, mushrooms and some frozen corn added to it. Usually I mess up one of the fillings and dinner is a lop sided affair but this evening they both turned out. I like the anticipation of working without a recipe. Its kind of like the trapeeze without a net. Only I am starting to take my failures harder. Maybe I should be writing these down so that when they turn out I can duplicate them. Nah, lets face it. I would never even read the recipe the next time. I guess it will just always be an adventure.

To fill up the wraps we also laid out, rice, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, guacamole, salsa, home made hot pickles, and some french fries but they didn't show up until after the picture was taken. I had two wraps, a tonne of french fries and a left over pop from Christmas. Uncomfortable would be an apt adjective for my bodies condition right now. Only, when one feels uncomfortable is it an adverb because it is a way of feeling. Probably not. If it were uncomfortably maybe but I am sure someone wiser than myself has the answer to this one.

As you can see from the top picture, the son crashed out early this evening. He is currently sawing logs. The wife and daughter just had their bath and apparently the daughter was doing lengths in the tub. Where does she get the energy? Well that is all for tonight. Hopefully we will have some guests and a real feast to show you tomorrow.


Ps. On further reflection, I had three wraps. That might have been the tipping point.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Surf and Turf

Eating like kings we are. Not that we had a classic surf and turf. We had pork chops and a shrimp pasta combination but never the less, two choices of protein. I try not to think about how good we have it here. But we do. On top of this there was left over coleslaw salad and a green salad featuring some nice juicy chunks of tomato. Even had some ice cream for dessert. Yes we do live like kings.

I managed to leave work early and walk home with the daughter today. As the snow melts during the day it makes a fragile jagged formation all over the southern face of any snow bank. The kid was all about kicking, karate chopping of various other forms of destruction. She left a swath of carnage five feet wide in some places. Between that and pretending she was mountain climbing it took us quite a while to make it home, more than double our to school time. But that was okay. We weren't in a rush to do anything.

Just now she popped out of the bath to see if we could still go skating this evening. It had been part of the plan but before dinner she didn't want to do her home reading. She wanted to play balloons with her brother. Which was great and I can totally back that as being a fun thing to do. But now I have to go back to work and she still has her home reading and homework to finish. Grade one is tough. You should hear the tears coming from the bath right now. Well this hard hearted dad has to sign off. Manyana.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Obama Day.

And so it begins.

As for me, with four weeks or so to go till b-day I had a chat with the person that will be replacing me while I'm off on parenthood leave for 5 - 7 weeks. I am pretty happy about that. With the other kids being born at the beginning of the summer vacation it has never been an issue before. However, this time we are having a winter baby. Should be interesting.

For dinner this evening we had turkey a la king made with some of the frozen Christmas turkey leftovers. It was really good. The wife mentioned she thought that was the organic turkey goodness coming through. I tend to think it was the fabulous job I did of brining and cooking it but hey its not a competition. Good turkey, happy people, bottom line. The coleslaw salad also made a nice reappearance after being gone for a while. Once again the organic cabbage the wife bought didn't have any of the usual "nigami" or bitterness. It was a really sweet coleslaw both in the taste sense and the damn thats good coleslaw sense. Looking forward to lunch tomorrow.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


That is the best way to describe today. Not that we went out anywhere or had anything special planned. It wasn't like that. It just seemed packed with importance. I will explain. Oh yeah and there is even a dinner picture.

Yesterday, I brought home some marking and planned to do that today while at home. Of course this meant the wife could get out for some errands and I could be here for the kids. Not emotionally but on an emergent parent in charge basis. As I explained it to the daughter there would be some playing in the morning. Then some lunch. Followed by some outside playing. Followed by a movie. Followed by dinner. Followed by brush teeth/book time/bed time. Well the kids playing inside this morning was great. Maybe it was the whole wheat pancakes but they were fully into playing together. I uploaded some cd's so that I could transfer them onto the daughters Ipod. After this I set her and her brother up in her room dancing and got down to work. Surprisingly this lasted for almost an hour. Then they started pestering me and lo and behold. It was lunch time. So I set up some lunch and then packed them outside to play. While the wife and I facilitated from inside they got up to this outside...

The dancing with drums came later. I felt like pretending to do a Chinese new year dragon type dance (do not want to offend anyone, it was just the whole cymbal type sound) with a washed and dried pot and lid I was putting away and everyone else wanted to get in on the act. I thought they did a marvelous job. Especially my son's high kicks right at the end.

After the festivities we sat down to watch The Bridge to Terabithia. Really cute kids movie until it cut my heart out and stomped it on the floor. The sadness was all done off screen so the kids didn't really pick it up. However, they were both sitting in my lap and my sobbing kind of shook them up. Literally. I can't quite recall having been that overcome by a movie. Ever. They watched it a second time right away because it is a good kids movie and I got the last of my marking done. Meanwhile, my starlet of a wife was whipping up some wicked gyoza for dinner.

Well I scarfed down a bunch of these home made honey's but the daughter has the new record as she just kept going back for more. I think she must have had more than 20. I mean she was unstoppable. We made her finish her rice, salad and miso soup (which was outstanding miso soup, I mean its always good but it was at that peak level tonight) so it wasn't like she was lacking anything. Just feeling the gyoza fever.

After dinner we did a quick home reading and then we read about swans before I sent the kids off to join their mom in the bath. At this point I headed back to school and was about to get to work when I noticed a colleague of mine was also burning the weekend candle. So I went in for a quick chat and an hour later I was emotionally limp after talking about things ranging from our fathers to the stresses of the job. During that conversation I tried to recall an idea I had come across recently and I couldn't clearly recall it or where I had found it. When the conversation ended I got back to work for an hour and then came back home. Then I realised, it was in the book I was reading last night just before bed. Another colleague had recommended it to me(gotta love having great colleagues), "Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot", by Jim Stockdale. The image I was searching for was that of Job, from the bible. The virtuous man to whom life is unfair. And there is no answer. The virtue is in the struggle, even though there may be no reward.

To me this seems like a Monumental idea. Life is not fair. (I by the way may be monumentally naive but the verdict isn't in yet) But that doesn't mean you should give up. One of the main beliefs I have is that I should be working toward making the world more fair. Redistribution of wealth, universal properly funded social programs like health care and education, inheritance tax. Sometimes the lack of inequity in the world makes me angry. That may just be the way the world is. However, it doesn't mean I have to stop trying to change it. But the anger doesn't help.

Something else that I touched on in the conversation with the first colleague was my pride. I mentioned that my pride in who I am may be a problem. Searching for recognition for the things I do, or have done, from the outside world may or may not come. But does it really matter. The virtue is in doing the things I can, to the best of my ability. And I am the only one who can really judge that. As the colleague put it, " you are just the same as everyone else, not worse, not better, just a person trying to live." I messed up his words but it was something like that. So for tomorrow, keep trying to change the world, lose the pride and false modesty, and don't sweat it if things don't seem fair. Life is supposed to be challenging. In the challenge lies the virtue.

What a day. And on a Sunday to boot.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chilling with the Chili

So I am up on the roof with my shovel and this guy walks by and yells out, "you better be careful. One hole in those shingles and its good-bye Charlie." Good bye Charlie. Asides from the obvious advice I really enjoyed the use of good-bye Charlie. The man had an Italian-Canadian accent and I would say he was in his 50s. He walks past our house all the time and this was the first time he ever started an exchange other than hello. Even though he was pointing out that shovelling off the roof is a bad idea, which it is in so many ways, I enjoyed that whole bystander taking an active role in my well being. Small towns do have their charms. He also mentioned I should buy a roof rake. Maybe next year. For now I will just live with icicles.

After the shovelling I started the fire down stairs with the last of the wood I had inside and then got to chopping. Six loads later and I was ready to start making this evenings chili. It was a mushroom, tofu vegetarian chili so I started by cutting the onions and mushrooms and crushing a couple of cloves of garlic. This was thrown in a pot which was placed on the now really hot wood burning stove. I went back up stairs, realised I was quite short on time (had to go referee some basketball) and got the wife to chop tofu, carrots, peppers and the rest of the veggies while I opened season on some can opening and spread some seasoning around inside a big bowl. This was then carried down stairs and poured over the now simmering/steaming onion/mushroom/ garlic combination. I put on the lid and had just enough time to eat some cereal (12:30 in the afternoon and I still hadn't had breakfast) and get out the door.

I came back to ice rink time in the backyard and a house bubbling with the scent of vegetarian tofu mushroom chili. After a bit of play time we came in and started putting rice and chili into bowls. I also whipped some of our home made bread into a little bit of garlic bread. The chili was very low on the spicy heat but nice and warm in the tummy on a cold winter evening. Counteracting this was this evenings dessert menu featuring Neapolitan ice cream from one of those four litre buckets. Nothing like bulk buying of ice cream. The kids put on some aprons to eat dinner, they are really into the whole cooking thing. They even helped me with doing the dishes before dinner (prep stuff and lunch). Now they are in the bath and we are getting ready to watch the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Roll on.

Speaking of Roll on it looks like Obama is going to be inaugurated on Tuesday. Is he the real deal? Can he make a difference? Are there heroes in this post post modern age. I want to believe but I just don't buy it. Time will tell.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Full Friday

At least for me. I was out the door at 8:30 to take part in the union contract meeting mentioned earlier. We read through our almost complete contract for two and half hours. Mind numbing but informative. Then I bought some hockey sticks, look for hockey pucks in vain and brought home some boneless skinless chicken breasts for dinner.

Upon arriving home I found the family engaged in a movie and waiting for their dough to rise. They decided to make bread today. Interesting little buns of all sorts. Sticky Jam buns, chocolate chip filled buns and a wonderful cheese, garlic and dill number that was really awesome. The picture doesn't do it justice because we have already finished about a third of them. I really need an alarm that goes off right before I eat anything reminding me to take a picture.

Before the buns went in the oven we put the hockey sticks to good use and played some hockey outside. We also did some slalom skating and had another snowball fight royale. With all the plus 3 and plus 5 days recently the ice seems to be getting a little thin. If winter doesn't return in full force we may not be skating much longer. Some leaves that were frozen into the ice managed to melt holes from the warmth of the sunshine. However, if it gets nice and cold I am sure I can keep the sheet solid for another month or two. Post skate we came back in and watched another movie. The kids had been snacking on buns [ed. no the time line doesn't work but live with it] so they didn't really need lunch. Around five I started chopping up the last three potatoes. No one mentioned we were down to three when I said earlier that I was making fries so that was what we had. It all worked out and no one that was hungry for fries went without. The chicken breasts were sliced in half, soaked in soy sauce and sugar and then fried up in the fry pan. Instant Terkiyaki chicken burgers. The tomato and lettuce that were purchased with the breasts filled out the burgers nicely. Everyone else snacked on them seperately but I had a proper burger. Now we are fed and ready for another movie. I believe it will be Underdog. Good times.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Everyone's Doing It.

Well it is Thursday night so we are all geared up for a snack fest followed by some movie watching. Only one week left in this semester. (Deep sigh of relief and fatigue) We also had a landmark day. The daughter got her ears pierced. Six to eight months ago when the mom in this family got her ears re-pierced the daughter was totally excited to get hers done until we got to the store. Then she chickened out. Well with "All" of her friends at school having their ears pierced she wanted to join the gang. So today she did.
I think they are slightly lopsided but no one ever really looks that closely at both ears at the same time anyways, right? Come on help me here. I know there is no way to fix it so just play along and make me feel better. Remember, it is all about me. Not unlike tonights dinner. It was guacamole with salsa and last nights curry. Couldn't have picked a better dinner if I tried. Not to mention the daughter managed to pick Ketchup flavoured Pringles as her choice of snack. Sweet. So now were are settling in for a nice busy weekend. Contracts to be read for the union, basketball games to be reffed on Saturday. Tonnes of time spent getting exams ready and setting things up for next semester's courses. Yes, life is good and busy. With any luck we will manage to get a play day and some outside skating in as well. Got another couple of layers on last night as it was cold and clear. Nice.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How do you spell...

...retraction? I think I might have nailed it someone check. Okay the camera was buried under a pile of my correspondence and papers that need to be filed. Dang, me again. Why is it always me sheepishly putting my hand up after I blow my top trying to figure out who has done something outrageously stupid? Really have to work on that. Not that I freaked out or anything but I definitely gave my son the long look. I am pretty sure he knew he was in the right and just shrugged me off. He is good that way.

So I only just found the camera so I couldn't have taken a picture of dinner this evening anyway. Not to mention that I wasn't even here for dinner but all things considered lets just be thankful it has been found and life, and this blog, can move on from here with all of us older and wiser yet at the same time more excited about the prospects to come.

The family had tofu curry which looked delicious and from the one chunk I had will be great tomorrow in lunch. I was at a meeting and snacked on veggies and dip, chunks of cheese, some sliced meats and assorted fruit. I did not have a pop (massive wave of cheering from the crowd) even though I almost caved at three different times. Instead I went and got my cup and had water. This doesn't make up for the bag of all dressed potato chips last night but lets call it part of the penance.

In a side note the daughter had her first trouble with friends at school. She was excluded for the first time yesterday. She talked with her mom about it and then she and I also had a chat about it. Grade one. I thought we would have a longer grace period. Couldn't she have fallen into that miracle crowd where everyone is confident and secure and can handle sharing friends. I know it is a lot to ask for but I am not looking forward to the next 12 years of this. The real question is how much to meddle. Do I set her up with some machiavellian scheme to shred her opponents and come out on top or do I let her learn the ins and outs of school and friends as an ear and shoulder? I can here a scooby do bad guy right now.

If it hadn't been for those meddling parents we would have gotten away with it too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Well that is what I am going to call my son for now. He has managed to misplace the camera. I mean I am sure it was him. I only put the camera in three places and it is not in any of them. He however has this tendancy to play with it. I can imagine it being under his bed or any number of other places I won't figure out until we have another big clean up day. So we are without picture.

We are not however without dinner. I came home to a lovely, miso soup, green salad and shepherd's pie combination. I have great love for my wife and try to express it everyday. She walked downtown and back today and is complaining of a sore belly. Should I mention to her that she is five-six weeks away from b-day and she might want to take it a bit easier. Nope. I'm sure she has that one figured out. Speaking of the big day, things around that are starting to crystallize. The guy who will take over for me while I am on parental leave is someone I know so getting him up to speed shouldn't be too bad. If we can make it through the first three days post pregnancy then after that I am sure I will be fine. Pretty excited about it. Still working on names.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Froming Pouting to Pork.

Well as usual Sunday was had a melancholy feel to it as the weekend ended and it was time to start getting ready for the week ahead. We started with some more shoveling. After I finished the rink I went to do the driveway and the daughter spent some quality time on ice. After I was done I went out back and managed to get this video.

And that is after having one lesson. I don't even think they have taught her to spin yet. She may be a natural but after hearing about the cost involved with being the parents of a figure skater I don't know if we would survive. This is the picture that I took after the son made his request.We followed this picture taking with a marathon snowball fight. The snow was that perfect grab a handful instant snowball consistency. This was the first snowball fight for the son and he was into it, I mean the fire was in his eyes. We have unleashed a monster.

As for the rest of the day I went into work this afternoon and returned home to some wicked awesome pork roast with roasted potatoes. I even cracked a jar of our home made apple sauce which made the meal other worldly. In a crazy turn of events the daughter wouldn't even eat it. She had chosen ramen noodles for lunch but wanted to eat the scooby doo alphagettis from a shopping trip on thursday or friday. The pout was really impressive and after a slammed door, some shouting on my part and lots of discussion she ended up having the noodles. On a slightly positive note, as the noodles were cooking she said she was feeling very guilty. Is this good or bad? hmmm....

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Real Deal

Well after a crappy, yet easy to make, store bought pizza last night, we had to do it up ourselves tonight. Pre pizza there were some other goings on. Let me explain.

I took my leisurely time in bed this morning and did not rise till the crack of ten. Or just before. Mom looked schwacked already so I realised it was going to be a dad day. Being the dad around here, at least in name, I decided to make a plan. First things first, we had a play day to arrange. I think it was Thursday that I made this promise but it had to be kept. After organizing around that we put together a schedule for cleaning, shopping, going to the bank, making dough and everything else. Then I decided to invite a guest for dinner. Long story short, we picked up play mate, the daughter and her skated, played house, had a pretend picnic downstairs, drank hot chocolate and snacked, skated again, came back in the house for an itchy foot and finally skated for one final time. During this time the boy managed to awaken and we made the pizza dough. After taking friend home we started to make the pizza.
It turned out well. We did the kids individual sized pizzas to start with and as is usually the case it was a hit. I forgot to put mushrooms on the boys pizza but at least I am remembering that I forgot. This is the first step. The adults had some spicy hungarian salami to go on the deluxe. The second pizza was a vegetarian which was ably aided by some last minute olives.
The final pizza pictured above, was a half and half with the leftover salami and pineapple. These were accompanied by some of the remaining olives and ham. Although as I am sure you can see, there was no intermingling. Other accompaniments for dinner were the wife's pre chopped insta salad with feta. Yumm. I also whipped up some more guacamole and brought up a jar of spicy salsa. We finished with a fruit salad and ice cream to go with the christmas cookies the guest brought. The guest also brought a bottle of sparkling apple juice was was as INXS might say, "a new sensation." The daughter made a deal with the guest to bring it next time she comes for dinner and then pressed a loonie into her hand to seal her end of the bargain. Priceless. The son said he would chip in when the bottle arrives. He must be a pragmatist.

In the next picture I will have you note my daughters shirt colour. Apparently the son took this one while I was not in the room. There were others, many others.
Please note an hour later, half way through dinner, as I am going to shut off the camera my son is merrily snapping the batteries dead on, my daughter has changed apparel. We will definitely need the hand me downs to keep coming if we are going to satisfy this clothes horse. Please people, do not be shy. You should be able to make out our guest and the wife in the background. We had a wonderful evening chatting and eating and drinking. It was a grand Saturday and I did like 90% of it myself. Okay somewhere in the 80's but lets not get picky. Sure the wife did the two salads but one was practically... okay okay it was a team effort, I get it. The guest did the dishes. Yes!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Big Night Out.

Well we just had a big night out. The Harlem Crowns, sort of a small time version of the Globe Trotters were in town for a fundraiser tonight and the family went to watch the show. I unfortunately was one of the suckers forced to play against them. It was fun and I was laughing even on the court. I have never been dunked on so much but hey, that is part of the show.

For dinner we had some store bought frozen pizza and one of those roasted chickens. It was one of those nights. Earlier in the day we met with the midwife, luckily for us she came to town so we didn't have to do any driving. All in all a good Friday. If I could just shake this tennis elbow and shovel the roof all would be right with the world.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Breathe Out

We made it. Its Thursday evening which means I safely navigated another week. Only two weeks left in this semester. After school the kids sledded a little and then we all came home. Some snow shoveling later and I was back to school for a little basketball. Meanwhile, back at the ranch they were eating guacamole and yaki soba. The soba was so delicious that they didn't finish the guac so I managed to get some when I arrived back home with a really sore elbow. There must be a cure for tennis elbow but it probably involves slowly getting back into the exercise you like doing and building up the muscles and tendons along the way. This sort of clashes with the do nothing and then go all out philosophy that I follow. Rats.

Anyways, after arriving home from b-ball I found the familiy in the midst of watching Kung-Fu Panda. I watched the last half and then we watched it again so I could see the whole thing. Nice movie. This is how the family looked by the end of the movie.All settled in for one of those long winter naps. Some tooth brushing and a phone call from Grandma later it is now time for bed. Yosh. The pass is open and the midwife is coming to see us tomorrow. Gotta love getting good service.

Best line from the kung-fu panda movie,

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift and that is why we call it the present."

Some real truth in that. Hard to stay focussed on but some real truth there.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Chops and chips

Well the first part of dinner was home made and the second came in a bag. After dance class pickup we went to the grocery store and got the toothpaste that the kids have been needing. We of course had to get two tubes of identical toothpaste. My treat was a bag of buffalo wing and blue cheese chips. They are pictured on my plate to the right.
The home made stuff consisted of a really yummy pork chop covered in a nice sauce. No details on how it was seasoned but I enjoyed it. There were some green beans cooked up the same way but as the wife pointed out they came from a can so they lacked that crispness you get in the summer. The kids were all over the noodle salad. The son was eating it by the fistful. I think this may have been the last day for the stew. Everyday the beef gets more tender. It was actually hard to pick up with a fork because it was so crumbly.

Gotta go chop some fire wood before getting back to work.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


That is my new word for a vegetarian casserole. I wonder if a) I coined it and b) it will catch on. Fingers crossed on both counts. As for the casserole it had potato slices, tofu steak slices, onions, cabbage and an assortment of cheese melted over the top. It was very well seasoned but the fact that I was shovelling it into my head so quickly kept me from finding out what it was seasoned with. The green salad was most likely one of those package baby lettuce variant ones but with roated walnutes, feta cheese, balsamic vinegar and olive oil it was out of this world. I am salivating right now. Maybe seconds, hmmmm...

Other than that is snowed lights out today. We shovelled after dinner and though I probably should I will not be returning to the factory tonight. If the kidlets go to bed the wife and I might even watch a movie. How decadent. On a school night nevertheless.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fundamentally sound.

This is how I would describe tonight's dinner. Let us start with the stew. Big chunks of carrot, japanese radish and other assorted root vegetables had a heavy influence and really pulled their weight. The chunks of beef were nicely seasoned and that added to the broth. I don't know if the wife used turkey stock or plain old water but the broth was great. Also our friend the mushroom found his way in as usual. The caesar salad rang with authenticity. I mean look at those croutons. Finished with a simple bowl of rice it was everything one could want on this first day back at the grind.

I planned to stay and work after school but it was the first day of skating lessons so I had to ride along to help out with the registration and what not. The daughter loved it and the son wept and wailed enough for me to buy him a chocolate bar out of guilt at not signing him up too. But for $120 bucks he can wait till next year when he might actually spend some time skating around the ice. The daughter swept effortlessly into her group and was really happy to be able to skate backwards. Not that the instructor told her anything I hadn't already. I think it is just the official setting and the pressure of everyone else doing it that lead to the breakthrough. That and the smoother ice.

Funnily enough, after shelling out for the lessons I got home to find a permission slip that needs to be signed. It turns out that her class at school is going to have five weeks of skating classes starting this week. So that is Monday and Thursday with organized skating. A couple of days at home on the weekend and I will be expecting a double axel by March. She better get on it.

Oh and a shout out to the reader from Texas, glad to see you coming back. Hope your enjoying it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Party's over.

Well it had to happen. Winter vacation has ended. We have put the house back to rights, more or less, after finishing up with the doctor this morning. Nice way to start the new year. Unfortunately, after returning the machine and having my last lunchtime nap for a while I had to spend some quality time at work getting ready for tomorrow. I was worried that everyone would be all broken up about me not being around. Not the case as it turns out.

To start with the rest of the gang decided to make some bread. Not just any bread but chocolate filled bread. There was some opinion that is was slightly overcooked but the pride on the kids faces at having made their own bread was unmistakable. I was ever so gently persuaded to have a third piece with my dinner. Now I know how all of those people that I brow beat into reading this blog feel. Come on, have another post, its really good.

Now they didn't only bake bread while I was away. They also spent some serious time outside playing. A lady who was passing on the side walk stopped to talk with the fam and informed them of how she used to play in the snow. Apparently, her mom would whip up some water with food colouring and she would make designs in the snow. So quicker than you can say Dave's your uncle they were outside making snow art. By the time I got home it was too dark to see, or it had all melted away but they said they had a good time. They also re-planted the now defunct christmas tree in the front yard. I kind of like it.As for dinner there was tonkatsu, stir fried veggies, rice and the aforementioned chocolate bread. I enjoyed the lot. No leftovers for tomorrows lunch but hey that is what dinner is for. And really, the kids put away most of the tonkatsu.In an interesting turn of events, I did not have a beer with dinner. Drying out is going to be tough after the holidays. I have pretty much had a beer or two every day in the afternoon for the last two weeks. Honestly though, I am pretty sure the new chocolate addiction will be even harder to break. The next big event in our lives is Baby due day. Less than two months and the excitement is building. Lots to do, lots to do.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Doctor

Believe it or not the carpeting in your home gets dirty even if you vacuum. I have known this for a while but it has been one of those quietly sequestered thoughts that pops it's head out once in a while only to be shunned to the back of the brain again. I mean who really wants to rent a rug doctor and spend all day moving furniture and cleaning. The filling the machine with hot water ain't so bad but the trips with the dirty water make one feel so ashamed. Anyways two rooms, an area rug and a hallway later we are three quarters of the way done. This is how the place looked just after we finished doing the living room.

Note the two fans strategically moving the air over the carpet. It does take a while to dry. And what does one do with the furniture that used to be in the living room? Why you stack it on end in the dining room. Leaving just enough room to clean the big area rug. The pay off is of course when it is all dry, six - eight hours later, and you get to move all the furniture back into place. Of course my daughter will not be sleeping in her room tonight as we only had the two fans. I also have some big work to do tomorrow morning before I have to return the machine but all in all it was a good days work and I am glad it is done. Oh and the carpet does look a thousand times better.

As for dinner, we were at a skating birthday party tonight. Their rink is quite literally twice as large as ours. I do not have rink envy, I do not have rink envy. But you know... If I took out the baby apricots that don't seem to be growing and move the compost... I could have twice as much work shovelling next year. Only time will tell. It was a good party and

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tough Work

So we had home made turkey curry for dinner last night. We just didn't have it at home. We pot lucked it up with some friends. Unfortunately, we didn't bring the camera. The curry was even better this evening, as curry usually is, but I didn't get any pics of it this evening either.

However, there was some serious baking going on tonight and that was recorded. Recently, the family was turned on to a Japanese animated series called Yakitate Japan. It follows a Japanese boy who wants to make a truly Japanese type of bread. He moves to Tokyo and has various adventures at the store he works at. The daughter wanted to bake something this evening and the quickest thing I could think of were scones. With no yeast and no rise time they worked out just nicely and in under half an hour we were done. A savoury chive and cheese combination was meant to match soup but they ended up just being eaten in hand. You can see from my daughter's current state that it was a tough job baking these guys. Well the back to work count down is on. I may have to actually go in and do some prep before Monday. Lets not think about that right now.