11 September 2014

For the Grandparents: 10-Months-Old

Ellen is 10-months-old for another week and she is such a pleasant person.

She loves to dance.  Steve calls her his dancing bear and if we say dance dance dance or dancing bear to her, she starts to bop.  She also does a sweet dance to any music she hears, even if it's just me singing to The Bairn at bedtime.

She walks like a champion.

She has six teeth and is working on another one.

She remains cautious with strangers and rarely gives them smiles or anything resembling friendliness.

She has learned the art of protest and arches her back, kicks her feet, and shrieks if she is displeased.  She also shrieks just for fun, often while Steve is making business calls or, her favorite, in the middle of church.

She's always finding 'hats.'  She loves to pick up pieces of clothing, diaper changing pads, or wash cloths and place them on her head.  Then she laughs crazily and takes off running.  I don't know all of the rules of the game yet, but it's her favorite.

She has little curls that spring out around her head in the humidity that make her look like a little angel baby.

She remains very independent and content most of the time and she is a treat.

08 September 2014

From The Bairn

MBC: See you later, alligator.
The Bairn: Don't be wild, crocodile. (pause) Stay in the zoo.

01 September 2014


I've been doing yoga every week since December.  I think it reduces the number of times I threaten my 2-year-old with Dire Consequences.  Sometimes he does yoga too.  This is his downward-facing dog.

When I only have a few minutes to get some yoga in, I like to do this Tara Stiles routine for flexibility. It's for beginners and it's quick.

I also like the 30-Day Yoga Challenge videos with Erin Motz.  They're relatively short and I like the variety.

My favorite free yoga videos, though, are from Yoga with Adriene.  I like her yoga philosophy ("find what feels good") and her explanations (finally I know what it means to breath into the backs of my legs) and her videos (lots of restorative yoga).

The best offerings from Yoga with Adriene, for me, have been
the Energizing Morning Practice,
Yoga for the Winter Blues (or the Spring Blues in Canada), and
the Bedtime Yoga Sequence.

Also good for me--not eating all the desserts confiscated from The Bairn after he grabs them off the potluck table.  Lesson for next Labo(u)r Day.

29 August 2014

A Year's Supply of Peaches

We have been canning.

At the beginning of the week I took the kids outside, handed The Bairn a bucket, set Ellen up in the shade, and picked enough fruit off our tree for Steve to make a canner-load of spiced crab apples.  Steve claims he's going to make the best bbq sauce in the history of the world with the remaining canning syrup.

Wednesday we drove to the Annapolis Valley, my true Nova Scotian home, to buy 100 lbs of peaches.  Whenever we go to Wolfville, I have to spend a lot of time demanding that Steve explain why we don't live there.  They are my people.  For example, at the fruit market where we bought the fruit (and where they sell homemade taquitos and operate a petting zoo/park/playground), a woman asked Steve to come over and lend his strength to moving our peach boxes.  One of the young male employees protested, "Now, now, maybe his strength is poetry."  (It's not.)

Yesterday we spent seven hours processing 23 quarts of peaches and 5 quarts of peach pie filling.

To do this, you must first dress your baby as some kind of weird Hawaiian hobo.

Just because.

Then you must give her fun toys, like empty bowls and forks.

Because she is a gem, this will keep her happy all day.

Then you may proceed with filling three of these buckets with peaches before processing.

Afterward, do not even consider making dinner.  Eat outside at the market down the road.  Sit with old people who come out in droves to hear the live music on Thursday nights.  They will be nice to your baby, even if she's dressed like a freak show.

25 August 2014

Steve's Happy Birthday

Steve's birthday was on Saturday, so we headed to the Exhibition with Papa to celebrate.

The Bairn found construction vehicles in the corn pit and could have stayed there happily until his 18th birthday.  He bypassed patting the bunnies to go play with the toys.  Bunnies.

Ellen was not at all sure about the petting zoo.

When we did drag The Bairn away to visit the 4-H barns, he made friends with this goat and thought it was hilarious when the goat nibbled him.  It may have played a role in his decision to bite his beloved nursery teacher in church the next day.

He loved the tractor display, and the old man guarding the tractors gave him a pin that he wore proudly.

Ellen's favorite thing was eating crackers in the stroller.

The Bairn's one true desire was to ride the little train.  He asked us about it approximately every 30 seconds until noon, when the rides actually opened.  Then he continued to ask about it, because the train was broken and he had to wait some more.  The guy operating it was really nice, though, and let The Bairn ride for an extremely long time.  Until it broke again.  The Bairn is probably the only child in the history of the exhibition to actually get his money's worth on a ride there.

Ellen is not This Tall yet.

I made Steve a black forest cake and The Bairn kindly blew out the candles for him.

23 August 2014

A Series of Failed Photos

We are not a family skilled in the novelty photo opportunity.

Problem #1 - Steve's shirt is showing through a pig face opening.  We need more people in our family.

Problem #2 - The Bairn has disappeared from the photo.

Problem #3 - Ellen refuses to be stuffed in a pig face hole any longer.

Don't expect to see this picture on our Christmas card.

21 August 2014

Adventures in Cheesemaking

Last month someone from Relief Society called to say that they'd like me to teach a class in August and I said, "Sure thing."  And then they started talking about cheesemaking and I said, "Sure thing, except, you know, I don't know how to make cheese."  And then everyone at church started telling me how excited they were for me to do the cheesemaking and someone I know from our little village who doesn't go to church with us but works with someone who does was emailing me to ask if she could come learn the cheesemaking too, and I was all like, "Sure thing, except, I don't know how to make cheese!")

Still, all the people are coming tonight.  And I do know how to make cottage cheese and yogurt.  And I read some books on making cheese.  And this morning I whipped up some paneer to give myself some more cheesemaking credentials.  So wish us luck, because I'm going to be instructing others on cheesemaking in four hours.

This is my paneer.  It cost more than buying a block at the store and probably part of The Bairn's brain, because I let him watch YouTube movies all morning so that he'd stop 'helping' me with it.

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