28 May 2011

Fair weather saturday

wow, nice weather today!!!

thankfully there were fun things on the X to-do list on a day when the weather decided to cooperate! imagine that! we got loaded up after breakfast and walked ourselves over to uncommon kids to look for a few things to take to france with us. what perfect timing! the travel high chair we wanted was 40% off! its a phil&teds metoo chair and we used it once at a restaurant a while ago because thats what they had as their kiddie high chair. it was really easy to use, and small, and its lightweight and folds down to nothing. we also nabbed a ball with letters on it and a truck, both from the rubbabu company. i also bought some nice crayons, in a hope that one day soon we can start entering the world of art projects with X. fun!

(starting out the day walking down the sidewalk; and then riding in the carrier)

once that successful stop was done, we walked over to the IWK hospital where they had a kids fair going on. it seemed like the entire area of the hospital grounds was being used for festivities. bouncy houses, petting zoos, a mini ride-able train, balloon stand, bake goods table, music stage, a brass band, hot dog vendors. it was great.

we bought a few tickets and did the petting zoo area. X liked the twin lambs the best. and then we got in line for hot dogs. i was thankfully also able to get a nice, crisp apple at the hot dog stand because when we offered X the hot dog (gasp) she only took a few bites and then refused (more for me!). she then proceeded to gobble down the apple.

while i was in line for the hot dogs, she danced to a brass band, and then while eating the apple we stood by the music stage and listened to a tween girl play the guitar...really well! then X started dancing again. she is hilarious.

(some video of her dancing at the fair. she normally doesnt hold our hands while she dances. i cant remember why she was doing that. also, i think you can see that she was trying to sing or something to the music. her mouth was moving a lot.)

and then her morning had wiped her out. we popped her in the carrier and headed over to a little mall area to look in a travel store for some plug adapters for france. she fell asleep on the way there. but, when we got home she woke up from the nap. obscenely short for my liking!

but we finished the afternoon with a trip to a new playground that we found on a halifax playground blog and after dinner ran her around the daltech campus across the street. where she gets all this energy i'll never figure out. perhaps she had stored it up from all the days/months of being cooped up inside!

(enjoying the swings at the isleville playground)

23 May 2011

Ferns as food

had a side dish of fiddleheads for dinner tonight and thought id post.

last year around this time we noticed bins of spiraled ferns in a few inches of water appearing in all the grocery stores. these are apparently a canadian delicacy (of sorts, they are also found in other parts of the world). they are young fern fronds before they have unfurled. you can usually see them in the stores for about 3 weeks and then their season is done. we missed it last year because of baby duty, but we grabbed some tonight to go with dinner.

basically you rinse the dirt off of them and boil. dave salt and peppered his, which i neglected to do. i thought they were a bit bland, but that was likely my fault. they tasted like an earthier asparagus. dave thought his were tasty, so i guess next time i should season them a bit.

22 May 2011

Undesired eruption

dave was reading the cnn website today and saw this lovely article about an icelandic volcanic eruption...
"A volcanic eruption in Iceland forced flight cancellations and the closure of airspace over the country's four international airports, an official said Sunday.
"There are no international flights in or out of Iceland at this time," Keflavik International Airport spokeswoman Hjordis Gudmunsdottir said.
Officials will reassess the situation at midnight Sunday (8 p.m. EDT), she said."
this eruption from the grimsvotn volcano will hopefully clear up before we take off on june 2 and wont make a reappearance until at least after we are home. a little nervewracking because we didnt buy travel insurance for any of the plans we made, i wouldnt want to forfeit all the money, and of course the MUCH needed vacation getaway.

to make a double entendre: better a premature eruption than no take off at all...

The winds-or not a changin

we busted out of the city for a short getaway to try and boost our moods, it did not work.

while we have occasionally seen the sun here, every day for the past 30 days or so has included rain. some days it rains all day, some days, just much of the day. what a glorious place to live. from mid-october until june you need to lock away the pills, the rope, and the razor blades because you are one bad weather day away from contemplating ending it all. indeed, i am being dramatic, but i seriously do not wonder why there is a damn pub on every corner in nova scotia. people need to drink their blues away.

anyway, we thought we saw a glimpse of hope in the weather forecast. we booked a night at a b&b in windsor and hoped for the best. we wanted to get out and see a few things, do a test run of travel with X before france, and belatedly celebrate our anniversary (6 years on may 14). dave planned the outing, which was lovely. and if he hadnt, we wouldnt have done anything at all to celebrate. so thank you for trying dave!!

on saturday we dinked around halifax and had lunch at home. we packed up casually and when X showed signs of needing a nap we loaded into the car. the weather had started out decent but was grey, misty, and foggy by the time we drove out of the city. a sign of things to come. :( but, X napped and the drive was good. just as she woke up we were nearing our first stop: smiley's park.

it took us another 20 minutes to find the damn place because the signage was such shit. and it was drizzling and cold, which made us even more grumpy. at least there were enough leaves on the trees now to protect us a bit from the rain because X needed out of the car. we wandered around the campground area of the park because it wasnt officially open yet for the season and that was the driest, flattest area to be in. we did get a little boost to our mood when we saw forget-me-nots in bloom and spotted a few patches of nodding trillium. we were used to seeing regular trillium in ann arbor, and always loved finding the early spring flowers there each year, so this brought back good memories. X played with rocks and sticks and at least the place was peaceful. and when we were all damp, dirty, cold, and hungry we got back in the car.

(a nodding trillium; i love the shots of dave and X walking away from me. their body language is amusing to me; see how cold and stiff i am? X doesnt even seem to register the cold most of the time. i guess she is a true bluenoser!)

(rocks and sticks around smiley's park)

we drove into windsor to check in to our b&b: the meandering in. since it was still off-season we were the only ones in the house that night. this was great for us because we didnt have to worry about X disturbing anyone with her noises and curiosities. it was a nice time to introduce her to the b&b experience.

the hosts were a nice middle aged couple and they gave us food suggestions in town. we had been to windsor for their pumpkin regatta and to have brunch but we never did much actual exploring of the town. while dave and X settled in to the room i went out in the rain to get a snack.

(playing in the room at the b&b; she pulled daves tube sock out of the bag and brought it to him. he put it on her leg.)

i went to the snapdragon cafe for a turkey sandwich on foccacia. decent. then we snacked and milled around the room and our floor of the b&b before dinner. thankfully it was only misting by this time. we headed out to the spitfire arms to see how dinner would go.

a big part of france travel will mean that i cant always offer X all the healthy food i want to, exactly when i want to. sometimes she will have to eat from a take-out window, or a bakery, or airport food. eeps! with all the airport security guidelines and our limit to the number of bags we can carry and still be mobile in europe i knew this would be a big thing for me: feeding my kid stuff that i would never serve at home. but hey, shes getting older. shes getting exposed to the wide world. and sometimes that means eating junk. its not every day and its not like im choosing the places with only deep fried onion rings and sugar battered sausage on the menu. sooo...here goes...

the spitfire arms was a cozy pub. the local hang out. a place for young people, couples, families, everyone. we sat down and did our normal X restaurant dance: one person gets to act like a normal restaurant go-er while the other is on baby duty. while dave was off with X, a french couple (complete with french-english translation dictionary) sat down and attempted to interact with the waitstaff. i wanted to help, but laughed at myself. im sure they could do better than any "help" i could give, and then i reminded myself...that will be us in just a few short weeks!

anyway, dinner arrived and we all convened at the table. i had a few things that i had brought from home for X and she was offered some tomato slices and sweet potato fries from our plate. thankfully the fries werent greasy or limp, and werent salted or spiced. im not saying they were health food, but i was fine with offering them to her in their current state, which was nice. and she loved them, of course. she didnt last long at the dinner table though, so we ate quickly and got packed up. our nice waitress even offered to put Xs portable table mat through their dishwasher! very kid-friendly place!

after dinner we walked around outside as long as we could. it was cold and damp and grey and misty. love it! on the way back to the b&b, X found a kitty near a barber shop. the barber was closing up and wanted to let the kitty back inside, but he invited X in to look at the two cats he had...only in a small town does this not sound creepy. lol. she had a short visit with the kitties and was even treated to a little concert from the barber and his guitar. gotta love the random treats life gives you.

and, back in our room, we dinked around and settled down for bed. since X had had a shortened nap in the car, we thought she might want to turn in a weeeee early. just a little maybe? nope, we laid in bed with her for over an hour. finally we all fell asleep at something like 10:30p.

we were up at 8:30a and ready for breakfast. see how we got to sleep in there? mega "sleep-in" when you go to bed at the same time as baby. and we also got to enjoy a big, hot breakfast that someone else had cooked and would clean up for us! it really was a nice thing. X tried some fruit, toast, and...a nibble of bacon. eeps. im terrible. and i even broke my rule that she would have her first taste of bacon with aunt eva. sorry love! hopefully her second taste of bacon will be with you!

after breakfast, X and i went outside to explore while dave showered and packed up. shockingly, it was still cold, damp, and grey! what a weekend. when we were all set to check out we decided that the weather was still too crummy to spend more than 15 minutes at a time outside...not worth it to hang around windsor/wolfville. we headed home. :(

we stopped in bedford for some lunch. the mall there was open, but almost none of the stores were open, and barely any of the food places. what kind of a mall is only partially open? youd never see that in the u.s.! so, we ended up doing chickenburger for lunch. we had been there before and knew that it was a bit better than typical fast food. the chicken was still in real chicken form and wasnt soaked in salt or sugar or fat, so...we let X have her first fast food experience. she had plain chicken and a bit of bread and a few other bites of snacks we still had with us. and then we drove home.

(enjoying her fast food experience)

upon entering the apartment, X dive bombed her stuffed animals and played with her toys like she had been without them for months. she played some music on her leapfrog noise table (thanks ntin and ben) and danced her butt off. she had clearly missed her tunes this weekend. there were times where we would randomly start humming one of her songs simply because it got stuck in our heads and she would turn around and ask for more. she would dance to our horrible singing, she was that desperate. we would laugh and she would ask for more, more, more. i guess we need to get some music on the computer before we go to france.

food travel lessons for X went fairly well. junk food will annoy me but she can clearly get through it. she will eat what we can find and i can ration whatever stockpile of snacks i am able to pack and then i will nurse her more than normal if she gets hungry beyond what we can offer her. a benefit of still nursing, i might as well take advantage and remind myself that at least i can give her decent nutrition at some points throughout the day. we are used to cooking for ourselves in france so it will just be a matter of getting settled and finding the food that she can eat that is without dairy. thank goodness it is also a country of bread!

one thing that bothers me is that im sure we will take off for france and the nice weather will all of the sudden arrive and decide to stay in halifax. the pleasant season around here seems to be june-september. may and october are majorly iffy and the rest of the year you are on depression control. i cant get used to it. i doubt i ever could. we cant live here forever. please hire dave this year. someone!

lastly, the 6th anniversary gift is candy (according to whatever websites i found). fear not, i recently got dave a chocolate beer candy bar and bought my yearly quota of sour peaches and worms for myself. also, while in windsor, dave got a chocolate peanut butter bar to use to gross me out with, so candy was definitely purchased for the occasion. one of our lamest anniversary celebrations, mostly due to weather, but at least we got to celebrate. thanks for planning the trip dave, and thanks for marrying the grumpy lump that is me. :) looking forward to lucky (or itchy?) number seven!

(oh so glamorous and young! those were the days!)

10 May 2011

Waldorf as a natural path to probiotics

this title makes no sense? follow me on this one...

i recently found another baby group to attend with X. we have gone once so far. the lady who leads the group has 5 grown children and has been a waldorf-trained educator for a few decades. now, i honestly dont know much about waldorf but i do know that it focuses (at least at this age) on allowing the child to explore and use their imagination rather than playing with electronics. giving them simple things to play with like scarves, simple dolls, finger puppets, wood blocks, bowls, etc. and having places for them to hide in, crawl through, etc. will teach them lots about the world and will develop their imaginations, which will help take them wherever they want to go as they get older. from what i have seen its in-line with what i am already interested in so i will probably continue down this path to mine resources in this area of parenting. im sure i'll pick up things i like and things i dislike along the way. so far it doesnt seem like a cult. which is good.

anyway, at this play group there was a dad with his son. we had a play group snack of bananas. however, X cant do bananas due to tummy aches. so it ended up leading to a mention that i wanted to see a naturopath for X and her food sensitivities but hadnt gotten around to finding someone in the city to trust. the dad (warren) said that his wife (sarah) is the premier naturopath in the city. she apparently was one of the first to establish a practice here and has won many awards. boo ya! a good recommendation.

after play group, i found her practice online and emailed for an appointment. today was my appointment. we had one hour to meet with the doctor. WAY more than you get to meet with an MD. in this amount of time you can actually get at trying to find the root of a problem, rather than just treating a symptom. this is what has been drawing me toward alternative medicine and away from "traditional" medicine for the past several years. our discussion was normal, her questions were normal and reasonable and appropriate for finding the proper solution. there was no hocus pocus or magic potions.

by the end of the session it was decided that allergy testing was way far down the "treatment" path (it requires 4 vials of blood!) and that we would first just do a daily dose of probiotics, for a month. perhaps the dairy sensitivity and other food irritants had taken her good gut bacteria down to a wimpy level. perhaps all we need to do is repopulate it with some friendly stuff and give it a month to build up strength. then we will come back and talk about reintroducing some of the "sensitive" foods. this plan seemed totally reasonable to me and was what i had in mind if i had had to try to go at it myself. its just nice to have someone telling me which probiotics to buy, how much, when, etc. and having the added help of experience and advice about the process.

apparently too, if we had had supplemental insurance, its very common for naturopathy to be partially covered here in canada. so...its definitely not something unusual and kooky here. the one potentially "kooky" thing i will say at the end here is that she also mentioned that from our conversation it seemed like X was a "pulsatilla" child type. there are two types i guess (i think chamomile is the other). the names of the personality types come from the herbs the different types respond to to help aid in stress reduction. anyway, she gave X a dose of pulsatilla and said i should note any changes in the coming week (as in, perhaps she might be a little less whiny and more capable of being independent for longer periods...the pulsatilla having helped her cope with stressors in her environment). there are no side effects, so i was willing to do it and see if anything happens. its the one part of the visit i wasnt sold on, but im not writing it off.

and that is how i got from waldorf to probiotics.

08 May 2011

Mothers day meh

well, it looks like blogger is not going to give me back my originally drafted, near finished post i had created for this day. oh well.

mothers day was nothing special this year. aside from dave doing more of the X wrangling than normal, we didnt plan anything or do anything out of the ordinary. however it was automatically better than last year. i was only beginning to understand how hard a job being a mom was back then.

a big shout out to my mom for raising three kids and not pulling her hair out! thanks for being a phone call away these days when X is entering a new and delightful "phase". im glad you have a good memory for that kind of stuff and can recall what i was like back then. happy mothers day.

07 May 2011

Bored yet?

as you can see, i post about little else but X these days.

this is not because i have become a self-absorbed parent. dear god i hope not. this is because the weather here is CRAP and "tourist season" has not quite started, which means things outside the city are still quiet from the winter "low season," for the most part. there is nothing to do. and if there were, it would have to be a good reason to get this kid in the car. she is still bad at riding distances longer than 30-40 minutes. oh, and add in her food sensitivities and it makes even going out to a restaurant less appealing these days. ugh.

we have plans for getting a life in the works, its just going to take some time. you can watch the blogs left-hand side bar for our upcoming travel destinations and look forward to posts about something more interesting than nap times and baby poop. trust me, i look forward to it as well.