Friday, March 15, 2013

Eddie VAN Halen...

Guys, we've had Eddie VAN Halen for less than a week and already I feel like my life without Eddie VAN Halen was a pale shadow.  How did we live so long without a minivan?  This thing is, in a word, awesome.  No doubt.  On Friday I took one for the team and drove it to Costco and IKEA and it was so effortless!  I could have fit the entire inventory of both stores in there with room to spare!  Also, driving a Honda after driving the Captain - you can't even compare.  Oh, so THAT'S what it's like when brakes and gas are like, responsive to your touch.  LOL!

This past weekend was jam-packed, but a good mix of some leisure time, some chores time, some family time, and some friend visiting time.  It was pretty balanced.  

On Friday night we had our street Ladies' night, which heralded the return of El Sol's tacos to my belly.  As you may or may not remember, we were banned from El Sol  5 years ago.  Even though boycotting El Sol was the right thing to do, there hasn't been a minute that's gone by where I haven't missed those tasty, tasty tacos.  I've had a lot of Toronto tacos by this point.  El Sol's are totally different and totally delicious from the fare you get elsewhere.  And their beans and rice are top notch.  Anyway, the ladies all went to a neighbour's house and we had El Sol takeout and someone made a pavlova and I made tres leches and it was a delicious evening.

The Dotytron, on the other hand...well, let's just say that in terms of gender parity in the Dotytron-Lagefeld household, he was a champ.  Two of the ladies' partner's were otherwise occupied so I volunteered the Dotytron to have two little girls (aged 4 and 3) over for a movie night at our house.  It turned into a pajama party, and when I came home at around 10pm, the Dotytron was like, pale.  LOL!  The Big Yam was thrilled to have his friends over, the girls were all over-stimulated, and the Dotytron didn't pace the evening well.  What was supposed to be a quiet, cozy night of movies on the couch ended up being a hot dog and Kraft Dinner/popcorn/cupcakes/running up and down the stairs every 20 minutes-fuelled bacchanalia.  He had a bit of a rough time and I owe him bigtime for being such a trooper.  We've also earned neighbourhood points though, so the next time we get to dump our kids off at someone else's house on a Friday night for a movie night.  

Saturday we hit up the Farmer's Market at the Brickworks for our beloved crepes and some waffles and a walk around looking at fishes in the pond and snails and blowing dandelions:

Then we went to my friend G's house and she hosted this cute little playdate for all the ladies crew at work with the partners and the kids.  So cute:

I started working with these girls 6 years ago - big changes in the intervening years!  Look at what we've done!  Also, look at that sweet blue-eyed baby amidst that pile of mixies!

In other news - I have EXPLODED.  No joke.  I look like I have a beach ball welded to my gut.  It's very alarming:

I feel like this dress doesn't even give the proper picture of my true girth.

Last time I saw my regular OB she said that if I make it to 37 weeks, they'll induce me then.  So that's around 1st or 2nd week of July.  I just hit 30 weeks on Sunday so around 7 more weeks to go.  EEKS!!!  STRESSBALLING!  I need to figure out what to pack in the hospital bag!  I have to start sterilizing stuff!  I have to get the rest of the gear on our list!  

I had an appointment at Sunnybrook on Tuesday and one of the twerps is starting to be weird!!!  There was evidence that he was shunting blood preferentially to the brain.  That's usually something that babies do when there are Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) issues or TTTS.  It's called the "brain-sparing" effect and basically the baby is like, "well, if I'm not getting enough, what am I going to prioritize?" and you have babies who have teeny tiny shrunken bodies and regular sized heads (if left unchecked).  Everything else checked out normal, so the report was like, "difficult to interpret given normal growing fetus" but that means I have to go back next week for another ultrasound instead of in two weeks.  NOT COOL, TWERP B, NOT COOL.  STOP BEING WEIRD IN THERE!  Even though the doctor told me not to worry (in a very brusque, uninformative fashion), I was pretty upset and left a teary message on the Dotytron's phone.  Then I sent an update email to the main interested parties (grandmothers).  My mom's response was pretty reassuring, along the lines of now that we have such sophisticated diagnostic tools, it just gives us more to worry about for no reason.  Momma D's response to the email?  "I'm eating that leftover pasta you gave me for lunch.  I love the lemon flavour.  What is it?"  LOL!!!  Pretty funny, and reminiscent of the whole, premature labour of the Big Yam/roasting pan debacle that happened when the Big Yam was born.  "I know you're having you're baby 4 weeks early and it's caught everyone by surprise...but it's still cool if you loan us your roasting pan for our turkey, right?"  

Anyway, I'm trying not to stress but it's annoying that OBs are like, the worst.  I had to call the Roomie to get the lowdown on what the results actually meant and I'm seeing my midwife tomorrow.  It's called BEDSIDE MANNER, OBs!  Learn a little something!  It's called INFORMED CHOICE!  Jeez.  

The way the Roomie explained it is that it sounds like of the 9 things they look for to assess how they're doing in there, one thing with Twerp B was off.  So they want me to come back in a week to see a) give them more time in my belly; and b) then they'll see whether next week that one thing has either resolved itself, or now, 3 things are off and they have to devise some kind of plan.

The Big Yam has been hilarious lately.  Last week he had this weird, mysterious fever for two days, with no other symptoms of sickness.  Day 1 he came back from J's and was pretty miserable - lots of whining and crying and wanting hugs.  At one point, while the Dotytron was in the process of making our weeknight dinner, the Big Yam rallied enough to point a finger at him, and say, apropos of nothing, "And remember, Baba, never give up!"  It was pretty awesome.  As far as words of encouragement from a 2 year old go, that was definitely one of the highlights.  

This week has been crazy busy and this weekend is shaping up to also be bucksauce (as per usual).  It was nice last weekend to catch up with friends and eat ice cream in the park with our buds, B & G, and feel like we did our familial duty by seeing my mum and Momma D.  

We've been killing it on the food fronts lately:

April Bloomfield's smashed chicken livers (iron intake say what!) on garlic-rubbed toast with a big-a** Greek Salad.  I love me a crunchy, cold, Greek salad when the weather is hot.

Sunday breakkie - nduja scrambled eggs with cheddar and baby arugula

Dinner with my mum: roasted leg of lamb (cooked pretty bang-on), roasted potatoes, minted peas, and roasted asparagus with bagna cauda

The orange creamsicle tart from the Baked cookbook.  It's been a while since I've made it (recipe reproduced here) that I had forgotten that the curd is very, very loose, even after a full day in the fridge.  Next time, I'm either going to up the amount of gelatin to set the curd, or do what I did this time, which is give it a good 2 hours in the freezer prior to serving.  You could also just store it in the freezer and pull it out and hour or two before you plan on serving it - it tastes best when it's icy cold and the freezer time helps to set the filling.  It really does taste like an orange creamsicle in tart form.

Dinner with Momma D: I made that spring pasta I do - in this case, farfalle with ramps, peas, mint, lemon and crème frâiche, and seared scallops.

A rosemary, pear, and cambozola tart.  Usually I avoid cambozola like the plague (it's so common!), but in this application, as on top of the steak sandwiches from last week, it works really well.

Sunday morning I spent making a million pounds of empanada filling (my own recipe - ground beef, spices, olives, hard boiled egg, chopped roasted peppers) to be stuck inside Martha Stewart's cream cheese empanada dough (with whole wheat flour subbed in).  I froze them and then they got an egg wash before being baked.  They were pretty darned tasty and worth all the work in the end.  Now we also have extras for a quick weeknight meal when the twerps arrive.  Even with doubling the dough,  I still have enough filling left over to freeze and use in the future.

Gluten free peanut butter and nutella sea salt cookies.  I'm bringing these to our friends' M & M's house tonight.  So easy!  I'll post the recipe below.



Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies (with Nutella and Sea Salt)
makes around 24, 2" cookies

1 c. creamy or chunky (as long as it's not the natural stuff) peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup of sugar
1 t. baking soda
sea salt

- preheat oven to 350F
- either beat the ingredients together vigorously by hand, or use a hand mixer like I did.  This is not a recipe that requires the brawn of a stand mixer.
- for the dough into tablespoon sized balls
- place on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies flatten out and aren't glossy any more.  
- take the tray out and using the back of a measuring spoon, make a little indent in the centre of each cookie.  Fill the indent with about a 1/4-1/2 tsp. of Nutella and then bake for an additional 2 minutes.  
- sprinkle the cookies with sea salt and let cool on the trays.  

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