Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Can See Russia From My House.

As if I don't have enough going on to drive me to distraction, the upcoming election in the US is making me feel fairly unbuttoned. And by "unbuttoned", I mean, seething, foaming at the mouth, climbing the walls, scratching my eyes out/ears bleeding, crazy. I despise that McCain (or whoever has their hand up his ass and is pulling the puppet strings) chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Holy shit - could they find someone more insulting to women? What exactly are they saying about the American people that they think picking her is going to help them win? I keep hoping she will self-destruct, but it is clear to me now that she can do no wrong. Even when she is caught lying about earmarks or it comes out that she made sure rape victims were charged for their own rape kits, Republicans keep singing her praises. Even my older brother (who has a PhD in Particle Physics) is going to vote for her. I can't even stand to listen to the rhetoric on CNN about this election. Have Americans not had enough of this government over the past 8 years? Have they learned nothing? I guess only time will tell. Let's hope they figure out that doing more of the same will not result in a different result.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wontcha Come 'Round.

Cameron and I made it home safe and sound from our Ladies Only Weekend in Ottawa visiting Jennifer. It was terrific to get a block of time to catch up with Jennifer (usually we have less time and more kids to contend with). Also, there is something good about being out of your own environment for a few days. I felt more relaxed and didn't have the constant "to do" list running like a ticker tape through the back of my head.

On our first night, we hung out in the kitchen for much of the evening, chatting, eating, and more chatting. Jennifer cooked a fantastic Japanese meal for us (I friggin' LOVE her cooking), and was very patient as I unloaded every little thought in my head (as I am apt to do when presented with an opportunity to talk with an adult). One of the things I really appreciate Jennifer is that she has been there for the entire back story, so she knows when I say something, how I'll likely feel about it and why. I don't have to go into great depth for her to get the gist of it. We also have a very relaxed way of spending time together. It usually involves good food, hanging out, and the odd shopping errand. Turns out this also works well for babies. Cameron was a good sport all weekend. She was very interested in her new surroundings, and especially liked Jennifer's dog Sasha. Sasha wasn't really sure what she thought of Cameron sleeping in her bed, but was very tolerant (she even let Cameron hold onto her tail). Twice I came into the bedroom to find Sasha curled up at the end of the bed, careful not to disturb Cameron. With any other animal that would have made me incredibly nervous, but not Sasha. She is the sweetest lady dog I have ever met.

Jennifer's neighbour is a musician by the name of Andrea Simms Karp, and while I didn't get to meet her, I did download her new album off of itunes. Cameron and I listened to it twice on the way home and all I have to say is "wow". Check her out on her website and if you dig it, I highly recommend buying a copy. I'm hoping she comes to Toronto at some point so I can hear her live. Max and Scott were very pleased to see us return. I was exhausted (driving 5 hours straight with 2 short booby breaks is a long haul, especially when being serenaded by a baby who doesn't care that the next rest stop is not for 38km when she wants booby now!). We're right back into the swing of things though and from the look of this week's schedule, it's another busy one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cameron Elizabeth: 4 months old.

My dearest baby Cameron,

This post is coming more than a week late because we both got sick with colds and have been recovering for the past week. Actually, you got the cold first, and then you gave it to me (if we're going to be exact for historical reasons). Regardless, we are on the road to recovery and about to embark on our 2nd Official Girls Only Road trip tomorrow, because that's what big girls do.
This past month has brought about many new changes. You have been on a growth spurt, or should I say weight gain spurt? This past month you packed on almost a pound and a half, landing you at 13 lbs, 5 ounces on September 2nd. An interesting note is that I weighed 13 lbs, 6 ounces on September 2nd, 1975, and since we have the same birthday, that's pretty much right on target! You didn't grow in length this month, but that's okay - the nurse says that everything is just evening out. We have had to delay your 4 month vaccination because you have been sick, but not to worry, we'll get that in next week (not that I'm looking forward to it). I get very sad when you cry after you get your needles. You look at the doctor like "What did I do to deserve that? I'm just a sweet little baby, you mean old jerk!".
Cameron, you have smiles for miles, and you grin all the time. You also have a little laugh that comes out when you are especially happy - usually at bath time or when you get tickled under the chin. Sometimes you get to have baths with me, and you really like that. It's all your favourite things at once - bath, booby, and mommy and daddy both paying 100% attention to you.

Whenever you get a little sad, you are easily appeased with a rendition of "I'm a Little Teapot". You also like to listen when I tell your big brother Max stories. You sit up straight and get a big smile on your face and look very attentive. I am glad you like stories like your brother, as we seem to be reading A LOT of books right now.

This month you graduated to your exosaucer. This is a fantastic thing as you always prefer to be standing up, and I get tired of holding you up in my lap all the time. You sit/stand in your exosaucer and hang out with me while I'm in the kitchen, cooking dinner, or eating breakfast. We'll have to figure out how to fit it into the car for our trip to Ottawa as I don't think either of us can live without it.

You love your toes - you hold onto them and look at me like "Hey, where did these awesome things come from?". You also like sucking on your woozit toy, and any shoulder you can get your little mouth on. Most days your dad's shirt is soaked through by the time he gets ready for bed. He doesn't seem to mind though, he thinks it is kind of funny.
Cameron, you are one good baby - everybody says so! You have an easy demeanor, and you don't mind taking a bottle at all. On your 4 month birthday, your dad and I went away for a whole night to celebrate our anniversary. You stayed with your Aunt Christine in Toronto (I think you got the cold from all the partying you two did). From what she reported, all you did was sleep, eat, and shop. I hear you went to Yorkville and Holt Renfrew. Sounds very fancy, little lady, or "Miss Muffin" as Christine likes to call you. You also slept all through the night, without waking up. haven't done that for me in a while. I think you have been holding out on me. Or maybe it's that you are sleeping next to your favourite restaurant. Who wouldn't want to wake up for a snack?
Speaking of snacks - when you get hungry, and a little tired, you start talking in this little raspy voice of yours that cracks me up. You are not to be ignored, and if you are made to wait, you get progressively louder until the noise in my head makes me feel like I will fall over if I don't pick you up and feed you. I swear, you babies know all the tricks to get your mommies to be at your beck and call. If it isn't your round cheeks that I can't stop kissing, the sound of your voice makes me feel like I need to drop everything immediately to see what you need. You make my day, every day. Your dad and I are very much in love with you, and we can't get enough cuddles and kisses in, so you will have to forgive us if you get tired of all that. Your curly brown hair and hazel eyes (they changed this month!) make you look so much like your dad, I can't help but smile when I see you in his arms. I am looking forward to seeing what this next month will bring.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

50 lbs of Meat! Oh My!

Lame-oh apologies from the FF household. Cameron and I have been sick all week with a nasty head cold. She has been wanting to nurse on the hour to sooth her throat and I have been very cranky with a never ending headache.

While it hasn't been a very productive week, I did manage to finally finish "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". It may have taken me four months to complete, but damn it, I did it! I don't have it in me to prepare enough food stores to get my family through the winter, but I have decided to make a few changes that I feel good about. First off, I ordered 30 pounds of organic beef and 20 pounds of organic pork from Meeting Place Organic Farm in Lucknow, Ontario. It will get delivered at the end of September. I'm curious to see how long it lasts us. We can order more beef in November if we run out. I like the idea of supporting local farmers, and I really like the idea of feeding my family organic meat.

The other thing I am going to do, with the help of my mom, is can apple sauce and pizza sauce. I have grand aspirations of canning much more next year, but for now I think this is a good start. Max loves apple sauce and I make pizza about once a week, so we will definitely use both. I have sourced organic tomatoes and apples from the local market and been promised they will be available in abundance at the end of September. I'll be sure to document my adventures in canning and blog about it. Also, I promise to blog more this coming week, assuming we're all healthy!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Woo Wee Weekend.

Where to begin? Scott and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary by taking a trip to wine country (Niagara, for those of you who aren't from around these parts). I will admit I was a little (lot) stressed about leaving Cameron for a whole day at the ripe old age of 4 months. I mean, I didn't leave Max for the entire first year of his life. Christine, who was there for Cameron's birth took care of her for us, and Scott's folks took care of Max. We thought that since they could both potentially stay up all night, a divide and conquer strategy was better for everyone. On their best days they are both wonderful, on their worst they would have the Dalai Lama running for the hills. I'm pleased to report that they were both very well behaved and they both slept through the night. Yes, Cameron, my darling baby girl, slept 9.5 hours straight for Christine. Must have something to do with the fact that Christine doesn't smell like a milk factory. At least that's my theory!

We started our trip by stopping at a few wineries on our way to the B & B. First we stopped at Malivoire, then Kacaba, and my favourite of the day, Tawse. Tawse uses a state-of-the-art method of wine making involving gravity, and uses a pond on the property to heat and cool the entire winery. Then we headed to our favourite B & B - the Jordan Village Guest Manor. Sheldon and Judy have a beautiful property, right on the Jordan Main Street. The B & B has rooms right in their home, but also has a guest cottage, which is where we like to stay. The cottage has a little kitchen, dining area, family room, bedroom (king size bed!) and bathroom with a claw foot tub. We dropped off our stuff and took a stroll down the Main Street where we also visited Cave Spring and had a snack on the patio of the Zooma Zooma cafe. Many jokes followed with "All I wanna do is zoom-zoom-zoom-zoom and a boom-boom....". Yes, we are twelve at heart.

After "resting" for a bit and taking a bath, we headed over to Vineland for the chef's 5 Course Tasting Menu, complemented by the Wine Pairing Menu. Because it was our anniversary, we were treated to some of Vineland's Brut, and then the fun began. The meal began with Oysters 3 Ways, was followed with Roasted Red Pepper soup with goat cheese (our favourite course), then Chicken Risotto, Steak with seasonal vegetables and polenta, and then a dessert, which I think was some sort of a torte, with ice wine. The entire experience was divine, and I left feeling pleasantly full (each course was the perfect gourmet size), and glowing. And perhaps a little bit stumbly, but I wasn't driving, so that's okay. On the way back to the B & B, Scott made a joke that made me laugh. Actually, howl may be more appropriate. I think I almost made him drive off the road I was laughing so hard. Those who know me well, know it takes a lot to make me laugh outwardly, so this was really cathartic. I had tears running down my face, and my stomach hurt, but it was such a great release and it was one of the highlights of the weekend.

The next morning we got up early (we seem to be incapable of sleeping in) and headed back to the Zooma Zooma Cafe for breakfast. Scott had scrambled eggs with lobster and I had turkey frittata. We then headed over to Flat Rock Cellars, which may be my new favourite winery (their Twisted wine is out of this world).

Then came the spa. Ah yes, the spa. As part of our weekend away, I booked myself into the Inn on the Twenty spa for a relaxation massage and lavender pedicure. What a way to end the weekend. We packed up, and headed home, rested, relaxed, and pampered. I can't wait to do it again next year!