Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Home" again.

Well, the sidekick and I are back in Oil town, settling into our old routine. G is still on Ontario time so his wake ups and naps are off. He must have really missed his Daddy as he pitched a huge fit when Ian left for work this morning. G was very excited to see Fiji and his purple ball, he seems to really enjoy being in his own surroundings. I will be working hard in the next while to make this house more like home. A home inside "home".

The day we left Ottawa I went on a mini shopping spree. Having made it the whole winter without purchasing anything unnecessary (clothing wise) a trip to The Workshop to blow some serious coin was in order. Me and my trusty new credit card had quite the time. B was kind enough to offer me my old employee discount which may have either softened the blow or made me spend more. The clothes are amazing and make me feel like a really hot styling urban mama; who can put a price tag on that?

After the spree it was time to bid farewell to home (*sob*) and make our way back to Montreal (hooray!). First though, I had business at the butcher shop. See, Ian has a second (must be third now that G is around ) love, double smoked Ottawa Valley bacon. Being a wonderful, fabulous and ridiculously good looking wife I purchased 6lbs (yes 6lbs) of the stuff and had the boys at Aubrey's vacuum pack it (vac packing was really Ryan's idea).

Friday night's dinner in Montreal was a fabulous curry prepared by K's partner D. He has recently become the proud owner of a book full of amazing curries; I can't remember the name of the book but it was a eggplant dahl and it was incredibly fabulous. G has been obsessed with oranges of late and instead of eating dahl he settled for crackers and oranges. I think the dahl might have been too spicy for him.

Saturday was a load of fun. K and I with the sidekick in tow picked up a friend of hers and went yardsaling. I haven't been to a yard sale in a really long time and judging by how quickly I picked up stuff, it is probably a good thing. The good yard sales were great and the bad ones were awful. The sales were pretty spread out so we ended up driving to most of them. G fell asleep and K had an allergic reaction to a really icky house that was having an estate sale. K didn't find her breadbox but we all found some treasures.

After the obligatory visit to the Jean Talon Market, where I got 18 vanilla beans for $20, we had a lovely dinner at Rumi. I had really amazing lamb kebab and the best fatoush I have had a in a long while. G slept almost the entire dinner but woke up just in time to have some french fries, which are unfortunately one of his favourite foods. We had plans to see a Ghanaian dance troupe but when we arrived at 8pm no one was there except people waiting to see the troupe. A little bit discouraged we headed down into Plateau for the best (BEST!) chocolate gelato ever.

"Fleur de sel" chocolate gelato is absolute heaven. G, being a foodie baby also loved the gourmet gelato and preferred the "fleur de sel" above all others. We did give the chili chocolate a try and it was good but I regretted getting a whole scoop of it as my mouth was tired of it and really just wanted more of the "fleur de sel" stuff.

Sunday, our last day in Montreal, was pretty chill. D & K played with G (did I mention that D is great at playing with G?) while I made pancakes (sour cream pancakes) and then we visited the awesome cafe with the huge pate selection. This particular cafe makes the most divine hot chocolate with milk on the side.

One of my favourite parts of the trip was cooking Sunday's dinner. D cooked trout and I made a blood orange sauce to go along with it. D makes the most amazing basmati rice, he gave me pointers on how to make mine as great but we shall see how it goes.

Well that was basically the trip. The plane ride back was a challenge and I am sure that when I lost my temper ever so slightly with G everyone thought I was "Mommy Dearest". I think it is because I am so used to his chill that his crankiness, while not obvious to others, really grates on me.
We will be "home" for the next little while. Looking forward to planting the garden plot and buying the bike trailer. Woo Hoo the open road!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Home Again Part 2 A massage and a "Cookie Day"

While we are home in Ottawa we are staying at the home of G's girlfriend (A). We are loving staying here for a ton of reasons but the best ones are the homey atmosphere and being immersed in friendship. Being among such great friends for the past few days has been divine and sad. It really makes me feel revived but also really accentuates what our Alberta life is missing. Suburbia would be a lot more livable if all these lovely people were in it.Because B is brilliant and has great ideas for having fun with the kidlets; I had my first massage in months (thank you RMT Rossana Rebeccani) and my first full on baking experience with the sidekick and his pal.

Chef April joined B,the kids and I to make and decorate sugar cookies. We made the cookies while the kidlets napped and set them loose decorating them when they woke up.

"Cookie Day Recipe"
Makes 3 dozen cookies, a huge mess, and good memories
Caution! When baking with babies make sure you have at a minimum a 3/2 adult to child ratio

  1. Bake cookies and allow to cool
  2. Pipe a little bit of icing on to each cookie
  3. Place cookies and toppings within reach of the kidlets
  4. Have a blast!
A was all about the decorating; she was a machine throwing sprinkles and silver balls on everything. G, always the minimalist, was more interested in eating the toppings than decorating; he decorated about 3 of the 3 dozen cookies!

The living room was a disaster but we all had a blast, got to munch on cookies and share them with friends!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Home again home again

A darling friend of mine has flown me and G down to visit her in Montreal. We had a lovely whirlwind of a weekend with the sidekick and introduced him to some urban living. Most of you know that the sidekick and I used to be urbanites but I think suburbia has caused him to forget how awesome urban living can be. I think he was a little shocked at our packed calendar but he is adjusting.

One day in Montreal and I am in love again. If I could just have one Montreal thing follow me everywhere it would be the cafes. Twelve kinds of pate and the most divine hotchocolate! Why is the rest of the country so uncivilized?

The sidekick and I spent a day exploring the hood (I miss having a hood). We tried Mama et Bebe cafe on for size but the coffee was overpriced and they charged a ridiculous sum (which I paid) for the boy to play with boring toys. Happily, K saved the day by bringing us to a great cafe in the late afternoon and out for awesome Indian food. G slept almost the entire day away in the stroller allowing me to (gasp!) read most of a book.

As my dear friend has a busy week day schedule (having a real j-o-b) G and I have borrowed her car to whisk ourselves back home.

Ah, home! I need to stop thinkng of Ottawa as home as we do not live there anymore but it just feels like the place I/we belong. G and I plan to hang out with allour bestest Ottawa friends and visit our favourite Ottawa places. Blowing my monthly budget on pretty handmade clothing at "The Workshop" is also in my "homecoming" plan.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Green Thumb!

Sinceone of the things I like about Edmonton is my having a yard and a garden plot, I need to grow a garden. In the past I have grown container gardens fullof herbs and flowers. I tried to grow vegtables in a container garden but it was a horrible disatser.

I am planning a vegetable garden for this summer and I am hoping that I don't end up being the "Grim Reaper" of the garden. I have already started a few herbs and I can see the first little sprouts of "creeping thyme" and a whole bunch of marigolds pushing through. So far so good.

I think I have two main failings when it comes to gardening; 1) I think it should be intuitive and 2) I get too excited and plant before the frost. Oh, and I am the most disorganized "type A"person you will ever meet. I am really hoping that I can over comemy disorganization and my lack of ability to actually learn about gardening. Perhaps there is a gardening support group attached to my garden plot rental. I really want to learn how to do the organic gardening thing right.

I have sprouts it is true but I am one week into my new garden and I am encountering a problem. I need to keep my sprouting plants in the house until June. That isn't the hard part though ,the hard part is keepingmy cats from using my sprouts as a toilet. I have only enough room for 2 more flats of seeds before I run out of places to put things. Since I am being very ambitious with my herbs (I want my back yard to smell like an herb garden) I am going to have to find a solution.

Getting the sidekick interested in the garden willbe another challenge.We don't have a fence and he seemsmore interested in the neighbour's swing set than playing in the dirt with mommy. I have no problemwith him playing in the neighbour's yard but I ama little worried that they might. We share a drive way and a walk way and even though I have attempted conversation they have never really talkedto us and they seem uneasy about G being in their yard.

The suburbs they are a strange thing. We have lived here for 8 months and despite announcing ourselvesto iur direct next door neighbours we still have no idea who we live among.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

7 months!

It has been seven months since we left Ottawa. Seven months since we bid farewell to good friends and our city life.

Just before we left a good friend held a going away party for us. It was lovely and torture at the same time;I just couldn't look forward with any optimism. A friend at the party suggested I start a blog to keep everyone updated and I had intended to start one when we arrived here but I was so absorbed in my hatred of my new surroundings I didn't have the energy.

Now here we are after the worst winter of my life and I am feeling optimistic. I endured the worst 6 months of my adult life and now I feel energized. I want to stop hating it here and maybe start to tolerate it and even (gasp) like it here. Here I am going to attempt to counter everything I dislike about Edmonton and my new life by finding something I like about them.

Anyone who reads this can feel free to keep me in check. I want to try and grow from this experience instead of just sitting around feeling sorry for myself because *sigh* we could be here for a while.

1. I hate living in the suburbs
2. I hate having to drive everywhere
3. Bringing my recycle to the depot is a pain

1. I like having a yard and a garden plot
2. I like my new (to me) red Toyota Matrix
3. I like that Edmonton rips sorts and composts compostable garbage

That was pretty easy. I bet it is going to get harder.

Lets see if I have the organization and brainpower to keep up with this blog. Stay tuned for some possibly totally unintersting (or intersting I may surprise you) updates about me and G and Ian and our "little rented house on the prarie". We have lots planned for the spring lets see how it all pans out.