Sunday, 25 October 2009

Splish Splash

Daddy's off on a work trip, so it's just me and the V-man, holding down the fort. We seem to be doing ok, but miss him terribly! Last night was the splashiest bathtime yet, and tons of fun!

The only problem is that Vaughn's newest tricks (pushing himself up to sitting, then pulling himself up to standing, and cruising around things) while awesome everywhere else, are NOT awesome in the slippery bathtub! I fear that it'll be quite a while before he stops fighting me on this one... if ever? In the meantime, this is fun for hours at a time:

His other new trick is turning pages - it makes reading pretty neat. Or more frustrating, depending on his patience with how fast we read!

Well, we survived the flu, and are no worse for wear, aside from a bit of residual snottiness. And yay, no flu shot required now! Apparently, every case of flu recorded here so far has been H1N1, so the "regular" shot wouldn't have done us any now we're off the hook for the season! I hope.

My braces are getting more manageable. My initial enthusiasm waned after about 4 hours, when I realized that it hurt to bring my teeth within an inch of biting anything. Oh, the agony! But nothing that time, good humour, and a nice mixture of alcohol and tylenol couldn't fix. It was a good week of zoodles, KD, smoothies, and oatmeal, anyway. AND, I've got my nightly flossing routine down to 25 minutes (wheee), and am able to eat semi-solids again, though the Crispy Crunch and Mr. Big in the Halloween stash are still safe from me...although they may have a future in the blender.


We are Very Sorry to Introduce...

As evidenced by my "Currently Reading" list (look right!), I've been bitten by the bookworm again lately, which has been wonderful and/or frustrating, depending on the book. Let me introduce...

The Cranky Book Reviewer

Do you have a favourite author? One that you know won't let you down? You have read everything by this guy, and you get super excited when you see that he's written a new book and that it's available at the library...

Charles de Lint is actually an Ottawa-based writer (in one of the first books I read by him, a character walked down Bank Street, over the Lansdowne bridge, and I suddenly realized it was set in my town) has been one of my tried-and-true guys for over ten years.

He's created an incredible world, Newford, populated with likeable, interesting, memorable characters, which exists across many of his books. For me, opening a new story and reading about Geordie or Jilly, or Maida and Zia again was like running into an old friend. Each book left me satisfied, but also desperately interested to read more of his work. His stand-alone novels are just as good.

The Mystery of Grace, however, has the feel of a publisher's deadline about it. It had all the classic de Lint characteristics - a mix of reality and fantasy, intrigue, love, folklore, music, good against evil... and then it just ends. I almost feel like writing him a letter, and saying, "No seriously. Where's the REAL ending?" It feels slapdash, like he just gave up and decided to stop at the 100,000th word (these books exist in NowWhat, à la Douglas Adams).

I still love the man's work, and will definitely get a hold of his next book as soon as MH Public Library gets it in, but he only has two more chances with my heart.

I've also just finished my third Ken Follett novel, World Without End. It was slightly worse than its prequel, Pillars of the Earth. (oh look - it's being turned into a miniseries, apparently starring Lovejoy. Goody.) Don't get me wrong - I admit that it's MY fault for sitting down with another 900-plus-page book of his (thanks, Meg!!!), especially after I didn't enjoy the first two too much.

I'll give the man props, though, for researching his work thoroughly - the in-depth information on carpentry and mason techniques from the 14th century, the background on the plague, etc. was, I'm sure, very accurate.

However, in an opus as long and detailed as World Without End, with so very many characters, he tended to re-introduce them again each time they pop up...again. As in (paraphrasing, as I have no interest in opening that book again) "Gregory Longfellow, who was the lawyer at the trial for etc.". This calls for another letter: "Perhaps if you made your characters more memorable in the first place, you wouldn't need to describe them over and over again".

Generally, I found the plot lines to be extremely reminiscent of Pillars of the Earth. Hero and Heroine, torn apart, reunited, lather, rinse, repeat. Good People persecuted. Repeat ad nauseum. Evil Church-Type People prosper, wreak revenge over and over on Good People, for no good reason. Etcetera.

I will NOT be reading any more of his books. Unless I'm desperate.

/end vent

Thursday, 15 October 2009

This little piggy...

...was going to go to the flu clinic on Tuesday morning with her little boy.

Unfortunately, they both had head colds.

Actually, on closer inspection, they decided that they felt decidedly...fluey.

And with further research, their symptoms seem pretty well in line with H1N1.

So THIS little piggy has dodged the flu shot yet again! Ha ha!

Kaff kaff.



Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Brace Yourself

The V-man is growing by leaps and bounds!
The first meal of spaghetti was a huge hit, as you can see.

Toofs! We got toofs! The only way to show them off is by hanging upside down, of course!

Our little boy is now pulling himself up to standing on his change table (oh, that's safe), and in any other area can be propped up against walls, chairs, couches, etc. Quite convenient for me, since I can now put on my shoes or wash both hands at the same time (ooooo).

The handsome Huff mugs for the camera at Thanksgiving in Edmonton.

He had another fun weekend with his "cousins", Odin and Teddy, whom* he finds amazing and fun and wonderful...although Great Dane kisses are a little intense when you're only three apples tall!

And FINALLY, I bit the bullet (the last thing I'll be biting for some time, it seems... I had zoodles for lunch (didja ever go hunting with your bowl and spoon?), and although they were tasty, I miss nuts, popcorn, candy, candy, candy, candy... already!) and...well, I did something. No regrets yet, but it hasn't started to hurt yet. Sigh.

* Question for Captain Grammar: does a plural indirect subject (Odin and Teddy) require a who or a whom?

Friday, 2 October 2009

The All-Day Tea

Tea all day - what a concept!

Here's how the All-Day Tea starts: it's 6:45 am. You draw a nice fresh kettle of cold water, and bring it to a boil. Carefully and conscientiously, you choose a teabag from your delightfully excessive assortment, and pick your favourite mug from the cupboard. On this occasion, it's the peach-and-apricot herbal blend and the oversized Pampered Princess mug, respectively. You place the teabag lovingly in the cup, winding the string around the handle, and pour the boiling water over top, filling it almost to the brim.

8:25 am: You walk past the mug, still full to the brim, still containing the teabag, but now cold, sitting on the counter where you left it when you gave the baby his bottle, his breakfast, changed him, dressed him, washed his face, brushed his (six) teeth, got him into his sweater and took him for a walk to the park, time on the swings, and on the bouncing mousie. You're home again, and a little chilled, in the perfect state to enjoy a lovely cup of tea! You discard the teabag, place the mug into the microwave and press "beverage".

12:30 pm: After naps all around, another bottle (for the baby, unfortunately) and lunch (leftovers for both of you!), it's time for some independent play. Perhaps independent enough that you can try this tea thing again. The cup of tea, which is still in the microwave from its 8:30 reheating, gets another ride on the carousel, and comes out piping hot. Rather too hot to drink right away, really. But it will be perfect in about 10 minutes.

4:42 pm: You wander past the coffee table with a Very Cranky Baby Who Doesn't Want To Nap, upon which you spot a lovely (yet cold...again...) cup of tea which would not only be very calming, but would hit the spot right now. Unfortunately, even a cold tea will stain when the (small) flailing arms knock it out of your hand, so it will have to wait a little longer.

6:00 pm: Yes! Tea with dinner! The cup goes for another ride. That way, it can sit and cool on the table while the baby drinks his dinnertime fix, and then, while you're eating your own dinner whilst feeding the baby with your other two hands, you can sip your lovely tea.

8:15 pm: The baby is in bed, if not asleep, then doing a reasonable facsimile of said sleep. The long-awaited cup of tea rode around in the microwave again, and is held protectively against your chest as you sit on the couch, watching tv. You take a sip, then another, then another.

9:00 pm: Draining the last, now cold, drop from the mug, you sigh happily. What a lovely cup of tea.