Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ah, yes. The comfort zone.

We all have our comfort zones. Most of them involve routines, familiarity, and comfortable old sweatpants of either a literal or metaphorical nature. I firmly believe that you grow as a person & develop new dimensions & textures in your personality by forcing yourself to do things outside of your comfort zone, even if they're just little things. So I force myself to do new things pretty regularily, even if it's just teeny tiny things. (Provisional cast-ons - cool! Martinis - retch!)
Amoryn was a huge, major new thing that was completely outside of any of my known zones, comfortable or otherwise. At least she was when she first arrived. We've been hanging around together now for almost seven months, & I've got to say, I think we've reached a comfortable place. She's got a daily routine (which I understand), she eats things (a lot of things), she plays, we laugh. It's great. It's really fantastic.
So of course, because I'm feeling so very comfortable & content & complete, I want to avoid stagnating.
I decided it was time to go back to work.
A little bit at first - two or three days a week, from home. Depending on child care - I'd been looking for a pseudo-gramma who would babysit Amoryn in our house while I worked from the basement. I've found a wonderful auntie, who plainly adores Amoryn, and that's great. We tried a day home a couple of times, and that was... rocky. Basically, the dayhome lady nicely told me that Am is too much work, too small, & really, maybe I shouldn't go back to work yet. Am is too young for day cares, too.
Then I met with my bosses, & recieved a lukewarm reception of my grand plan of working from home. This was discouraging.
I slumped at home, baking cookies, mulling whether I wanted to get into a grand battle over working from home, or just say "screw you, hippie, my way or no way".
Luckily, I was saved from this dilemma by my teammates asking me to do some work from home on an ongoing basis, sort of catch-as-catch-can.
So yesterday, I did some work from home! Amoryn did not suffer, or even notice. The turkey noodle soup did suffer, in that I didn't make noodles. I don't think the soup minded, but the man was distressed over it. The pumpkin carving was fun. The day, as a whole, was good.
Although different, strange, new & out of my comfort zone. Time will tell how the balancing act is progressing. I suspect it will be similar to Amoryn sitting up - wobble, wobble, correct, overbalance, tip, try again. As long as I tip into the lap of my husband & family & friends & home, & not onto my bosses, I think things should be groovy.
PS: Also groovy - Amoryn's Halloween costume - Sir Winston Churchill. Sitting unasissted, even, with couch cushions for back-up. I think the likeness is striking.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


So, I'm sitting at the computer, combining my morning internet fix with my Amoryn snuggle time. She's wiggling a little bit, which is standard these days, when she leans forward and slowly & deliberately whomps her head on the desk.
It made quite a good "thud", a little bit like the noise an underripe watermelon makes when you knock on it.
I think it means she'd like to go & do something else now, Momma. So we're off to the tub and yet another botched version of "Rubber Ducky".

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You make me happeeeeeeeeee...

You know, the world is full of things I don't know. Some of them are things I may suspect, but have never proved conclusively; and some of them are things that possess some piquant charm that makes them memorable once I do hear them.
I've learned a couple things in the last day or so... one was that my suspicions about how much the old vacuum sucked were correct. Awkward sentence? Doesn't make sense? "The old vacuum blows." True. The new vacuum, the DC14 Dyson, I am seriously into. It sucks, and in that good, good vacuum way. I brought it home last night, put it together after supper, vaccuumed the arm chair, & then Sarah & I exclaimed in horror at all of the cat hair that was trapped in the clear bin (tm) of the Dyson.
The thing I learned that I did not suspect, but find fascinating, is that "You Are My Sunshine" is one of the oficial songs of the State of Louisianna. (As well, I have a hard time spelling "Louisianna".) It was co-written by a Governor of L., & features a lyric about crawdads & gumbo & stuff. Maybe I do exaggerate a bit - but it does use the word "Jambalaya". The other state song is as I would expect it to be; "You Are My Sunshine" is a surprise though.
Instead of signing off with a photo of all the stuff in the clear bin (tm) of the Dyson, I shall leave you with the full lyrics of "You Are My Sunshine".
Official Song Act 540 of 1977:
...The official song for the State of Louisiana shall also be the musical composition with words and music by Governor Jimmie H. Davis and Charles Mitchell, entitled "You Are My Sunshine".
"YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE"by Jimmie H. Davis and Charles Mitchell
The other night, dear
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms.
When I awoke, dear
I was mistaken
And I hung my head and cried;
You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.
I'll always love you
And make you happy
If you will only say the same
But if you leave me
To love another
You'll regret it all some day;
You told me once, dear
You really loved me
And no one else could come between
But now you've left me
And love another
You have shattered all my dreams;
Louisiana my Louisiana
the place where I was borne.
White fields of cotton--
green fields clover,
the best fishing
and long tall corn;
Crawfish gumbo and jambalaya
the biggest shrimp and sugar cane,
the finest oysters
and sweet strawberries
from Toledo Bend to New Orleans;
(I so did not make any of that up. True story.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

You think that was hot? Check this out:

Yes indeed; alphabetizing & labelling my spice rack wasn't enough excitement. I just went through my knitting needles.
I put the ones that had plastic sleeves back into their plastic sleeves.
I elasticed the needles of set sizes together.
I wrote each & every set down (although a circular needles is kind of like a pair of pants... you can't halve it).
And then, solidifying my claim to be the Dork Queen of the Universe, I made an Excel spreadsheet of my knitting needles so I can sort by size, by type, add new purchases, etc.
(Any remaining doubts about D.Q.U. will be annihilated by the knowledge that I own FOUR 9.0mm 80 cm circular needles. Admittedly, I was making a big cat bed to be felted**, but still. Excessive.)
**-Project was a pain in the batookus, so I unravelled the yarn & tucked everything back into my stash drawer. I *heart* knitting for this reason.


The man is home from Spokane, huzzah! Every fall, he goes to Spokane, & every fall, I ask him to pretty please stop by Victoria's Secret & pick me up a bra or two. Not because they are excessively titilating, mind, but because they make good quality, comfortable bras. I think that may be one of the two things I minded most about being pregnant - I missed my VS bras. And their comfort & flattery.
(The other thing? My shoes, darling, I missed my shoes. I could always see them, but I couldn't wear my pretty heels at all after about 13 weeks.)
Anyways. Spokane. Bras. Back to topic. Sar also wears VS bras almost exclusively, so my good-sport husband goes to VS once a year or so, bearing not one but TWO bra lists.
Through this exercise, we've discovered that a) the man is totally fabulous & unexpectedly patient b) VS stores do not stock even remotely close to everything in the online store or cataloge & c) they don't have the same sales.
This arrived in my email box yesterday & made me laugh. It's great having a brilliant best friend AND an incredible husband.
-----Original Message-----
From: Sarah
Sent: October 17, 2007 11:50 AM
To: Kourtney
Subject: Surreal

Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[suh-ree-uhl, -reel]
1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of surrealism;

2. having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream;
unreal; fantastic: surreal complexities of the bureaucracy.

3. talking with your husband on the phone at work about bra
colours, and lined vs. unlined options.

[Origin: 1935-40; back formation from surrealism
-Related forms
sur*re*al*ly, adverb
sur*re*al*i*ty, noun

That's only the first art of the email, she talks about what colors she will be getting. And that's for Sarah, Pat, & me to know! Ha ha ha!
Okay. I am going to go & clean the bathrooms now, because half of my parents arrive on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Piggy piggy piggy.


It was the man's birthday over the weekend. We had a party. And a roast suckling pig. It was good. It was delicious. It was inspiring.

Luckily, the man did take pics of the pig on the barby, other wise you'd be stuck with nothing but "after" photos, such as this:

And the cake - Pat is going for the last piece.

All in all, it was a splendid birthday party.

And everyone had a good time.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What I Did On The Long Weekend

You know, a little while ago a friend of a friend found out that I had a blog. He very thinly veiled his horror & contempt that I am, in fact, a mommy-blogger - the most noxious creature known to the internet*. I was rather insulted to have someone scorn my blog without reading it first, especially in my own home! Just because I'm a mom doesn't mean I have nothing to say! I still have thoughts & opinions & ideas**. I have concerns & projects & all sorts of STUFF*** that is worth talking about. After he's read all of my goofiness, THEN he can judge. Really. Like he was so darn superior. Didn't he realize that it was a BYOWeenie Roast at my house, & the weenies should never insult the hostess?
Speaking of Important Things That I Find Interesting - my spice rack. I broke down & segregated & re-alphabetized it. And labelled all of the lids, too. Top shelf - baking. Bottom shelf - spice grinders. Middle two shelves - "the rest".

I reorganized the pantry as well. I'm so pleased; I wanted to sit in front of the open pantry door & bask, much as a person would in front of a fireplace. I still kind of want to do that.

I'm going to settle instead for leaving the pantry door open while I do dishes. The feng-shui-ed canned goods can direct their inner harmony at my back.
PS: Just to fulfill the mommy-blog quotient of one child-centric thing per post - I washed Am's bedding & bear & camel.
Everybody survived okay though - the camel is positively radiant!
*-Here you thought it was pedophiles. Nope. Mommybloggers are the bottom of the food chain.
**- True, a lot of my projects these days are whizzing food into mush for Am. Then combining mush types to get her to eat them. I'm mulling a gene-splicing frankenfruit horror - Banurkey - banana-turkey. I haven't yet; it seems so wrong. But I know Am would totally eat her turkey that way.
***-Admittedly, some of the stuff is about the incredibly weird poo**** that Am creates. But still!
****- Offically exceeding basic mommyblog requirements with mention of fecal matter.

It's Almost Driven Me Crazy

If you're not interested in car seats, this may well bore the crap out of you. BUT! Before you head over to I Can Has Cheezbrgr, please make note of this if you are buckling children into car seats:
1. Shoulder straps should be even with or just below level of baby's shoulders if rear-facing; straps should be even with or just above kid's shoulders when forward facing.
2. Chest clip thingy should be at baby's armpit.
3. There should only be enough strap slack to insert a finger between the straps & the kid's collarbone.
4. Don't put the car seat & kid in the front seat.
5. Use a car seat EVERY time!
Also, please note that a) I'm not a professional car seat person, b) if you misunderstand my summary, I'm not liable because of a), & c) it's all focused for babies, not toddlers, because I have no toddler experience. Yet. Also, don't sue. On to the post! (PS: Amoryn pics at the very bottom of this post. )
Amoryn has been growing like a weed (a carefully tended, lovingly nourished weed), and she'll soon be too heavy for her current car seat. So I've been on the hunt for the next car seat, & oy vey. The options. One older lady told me a lovely story about how when her kids were small, they'd just chuck a single mattress in the back seat of the car & let 'em bounce around. "They loved it", she chuckled.
Sadly, no longer an option. If nothing else, cars don't have back seats that big anymore. I have to admit, I've been going around in circles on the whole thing. I've finally sifted through all of the information I could find, & here, collated for your easy use (should you be buying a carseat in Canada at the very least, more particularily Alberta).
The only thing your baby really truly needs that you MUST buy before they are born is a car seat. (Unless you are planning on the raw foodist/home birth/granola/live in a hut in the woods lifestyle. If so, good for you, & what the heck are you doing on the Internet? You should be making yogurt or something.)
There are two car seat options for newborns:
1) The rear facing, infant only, easily removable, kind-of-looks-like-a-bucket car seat. These are great because they clip out of the car without disturbing your baby, & the precious, precious sleep of the baby. They also can clip into strollers & swings, depending on the make & model. They kind of suck because they tend to be heavy, & they are usually only good to 20-22 lbs or so. This is what we started out with, & I'd say it was well worth it, even though the girl will be out of it oh, say, next week.
2) The "convertible" car seat - it typically goes from rear facing 5-30 lbs-ish, to forward facing 20-40lbs-ish, to a booster seat, again depending on model. These are awesome because one car seat will generally get your kid to 40 lbs, 80 if there's the booster seat option. They are big, & they can't be removed as easily. This is what I'm on the hunt for.
This is the car seat sizing info I have found:
1) Until your baby is at least a year old, they have to be backwards facing.
2) Until your baby is at least 20 lbs, they have to be backwards facing.
If your baby is 8 months & 23 lbs, still backwards facing. If you baby is 14 months & 18 lbs, still backwards facing. Must be a year & 20 lbs!
3) Until you child is 40 lbs, they have to be in a car seat with straps, not just a booster seat.
4) Until your child is 80 lbs OR 9 years old, put them into a booster seat.
The Calgary Health Region has handouts, etc etc, that go through all of the information you need to know about putting your baby in his car seat. Here is the main link, & a FAQ link:
Handouts are available in Arabic, English, English - Aboriginal Peoples, Farsi, French, Punjabi, Simple Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Urdu, & Vietnamese. Aren't we multicultural - no wonder I can't always figure out what language I'm hearing on the C-Train - I admit, I don't know my Urdu from my Farsi!
Transport Canada (ie: gavernment people) maintain a website that list problems, recalls, etc. Here's the link - and interestingly enough, one of the carseats I'm looking at had a bulletin posted on it in August.
Land's sake, people, the internet is full of opinions. For once, I'm going to use this, instead of lamenting the fact, & heading back to look at lolcats. Before you buy a car seat, you may want to check out the following online reviews of carseats (Amazon is a shopping site, true, but has reviews of a lot of its products):
Or, just go to Google, type in the car seat name & "review".
And that's all I've got, until later today when I go & get the car seat I think I've selected. Until then, here's a pick of Am in her new wheels!
She is quite frankly delighted with it. Or maybe the camel. Hard to say.
She is happy though!
UPDATE: The first carseat I bought I returned because it was too tall & didn't have much seat padding. The second carseat I bought I am going to return because the belting has a flaw, one handle thingy is broke, & it might be too wide (& bonk into the man's shoudlers when he is driving.) Otherwise, I love the second carseat.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Maybe It's Just Me,

It seems un-Christian to have a really, really loud muffler on a Jeep that needs to be revved all the time. One or the other, sure. But the combination? Excessive.
I kind of wish that there was something scriptural that said "Yea, and thou shalt not go forth and rev to 9,000 rpm, unless ye wish the neighbours chylde, which suffereth during loud VROOM VROOOOOOM noises, to be deposited upon thine doorstep to waileth at thee" or "Blessed are the quiet mufflers" or something.
But maybe it's just me. And my Christian neighbour with the glass-packs.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Breaking Klutz News!!!

Top 10 Optimistic Things To Say About Knocking A Roll Of Paper Towel Into The Toilet:
10. Well, at least I had just cleaned the toilet bowl.
9. It is only the roll of paper towel I use to clean the bathrooms.
8. For once, it is optimistic to be glad the roll is half empty.
7. We do buy paper towel in bulk at Costco, & we're headed there this afternoon.
6. Quick reflexes to get the roll out when it was only just a little dunked.
5. I always wear gloves to clean bathrooms, so no "Ack! grabbing things in toilet with bare hands!" reflex.
4. Hm. Those darn environmentalists are always harping about "Save, reuse, blah blah"... I'll show them! Hah!
3. Yet another persuasive arguement in favour of Leaving The Seat Down.
2. After cutting off the lower, sodden half of the roll, said roll fits into bucket of bathroom cleaning stuff better.
And the number one optimistic thing to say about knocking the roll of paper towel into the toilet:
1. At least it wasn't the baby monitor.
(Scene of the crime - note gloves, shortened paper towel, & baby monitor.)

Tra-la-la, doo-de-doo...

So! I've been busy. My back has much improved, & I'm down to needing two heat-pack breaks each day. I can put Am into her jumperoo. And I can snuggle up to my hubby. All of which are good things.
I also made a bridesmaids outfit for Coreen - corset top, pencil skirt, & stole. All in a lovely dark brown satin. I had been planning on doing the bulk of the sewing the weekend I threw my back out, but heh, did not happen. I did a little bit (very little) on Monday, and a wee little bit on Tuesday, then I really actually did get some done on Wednesday, with it almost all finished for Thursday. I hemmed it Friday, & Coreen wore it in the wedding on Saturday. She looked awesome, but was apparently quite scandalous.

Now that's its all safely finished, may I say "Phew!"; I am pleased with myself for getting that done. And I am very thankful that Coreen, who probably was quite concerned about the state of her dress (which was briefly re-scheduled as a toga/wrap thingy), was nothing but supportive & wonderful.
I also knit Amoryn a silly little bonnet this weekend. Why? Well, I have a weakness for bonnets, my hands were empty, I had the yarn, and really, my girl, she doesn't have a lot of hair on her head. And winter is coming. So may I present:

Front view.
Side view. Also, the Canada food guide on the fridge.
An attempt at the back view (mamma, what ARE you doing?).
And a more successful back view, complete with bottle of wine, box of tissue, & cell phone. She seems to like it (the hat, I mean - we don't let her drink wine, & her tissue & cell phone access are closely supervised), and even if she doesn't, it's tied on, so she can't yank it off.
I also made soup yesterday - well, it started as potato bacon soup. It turned into a garden chowder, & I quite liked it, although the man was not as sold. He said it was the bacon, but I think it might have been that the broth was the exact color of beef stew, but there was no beef flavour. (Pureed carrots, tomatoes, & a little bit of bacon grease.) He did love the parmesan biscuits.
I followed that up with a batch of cookies - the cookie jar from Ikea has been sitting empty & taunting me. It is now full of cookies (& temptation). Damn you, cookie jar!
Also, damn myself for idiocy - on the third last pan of cookies, I opened the oven door, put the oven mit on my hand whilst thinking "careful, hot", grabbed the pan with the raw cookies with my right, oven-mitted hand, and then tried to grab the pan of baked cookies with my bare left hand. IDIOT! I lightly burnt my pointer finger & thumb, but did not shriek out loud, throw anything, or burn the cookies. Only my fingers. Idiot. The man was sweet & sympatheitc & took the other two pans out of the oven, after I confessed my idiocy.
There's some new pics up at the Flickr site - and now that I've taken care of my digital duties, I'm off to go & dredge the bathrooms out. Tra-la!