Sunday, August 30, 2009

Life is good...

Every day, I feel so blessed to have the family I do. I truly do have an amazing husband and I'm so lucky for that. He is a fantastic father to his boys and it's so cool to see him with them. And then there are my boys. Sebastian of course had a really rough ride at the beginning of his life, but now he's just this incredible little toddler about to start preschool. He's fun to chat with, has the cutest smile and can say the sweetest things. I try and remind him every day that I sure did win the kid lottery when I was chosen to be his mom!! And then there is Sullivan. He's this happy, content, always smiling little baby who is curious about everything. He sticks pretty much anything in his mouth and is motoring all over the house now with his army crawl. It's so cute. It amazes me how different Sebastian and Sullivan are. It's been so much fun parenting a full term child just because of the things that were different with Sebastian. I love them both more than anything, and I'm so proud to parent such a cute pair of boys. And I love that Sebastian looks out for his little brother sometimes, taking away things he shouldn't be chewing on (like the remote or my wallet for example). Or how he can be protective of him when we're out "don't touch my brother, he's not yours". And sometimes he will give him hugs or get a toy for him and it's just so cute. I love my family and I hope I tell them that often enough because I really am lucky!! Thanks guys!! Thanks Jeremy, Sebastian, Sullivan (and Cronos the super dog)... you make me smile and have fun every day!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The August Instalment of the Daring Bakers

The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

This was a fun challenge. Cindy and I chose to make it while visiting family in Medicine Hat. We were very lucky that my mom let us take over her kitchen to make the Torte. Since we were baking it for two different families, when it came time to assemble it, we made two half cakes. It was definitely a lot of work, but in a super tasty good sort of way!! We followed the recipe as written, except that we chose to add cherry syrup between the layers brushed on with a pastry brush. However, I never really tasted it, so next time I think I would go straight for the cherry liqueur and maybe get the desired taste that way. All in all it was a great challenge that got us to do a few different things, like play with sugar, make a multi layer cake and have fun with assembly. I loved making it and eating it!! And, as you can see from the pictures, my favourite taste tester enjoyed it too!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Long time no post!!

Wow, I haven't really posted much about the family in awhile now. I blame part of this on the iphone. My husband got me an iphone at the end of June and as a result, I am hardly ever on the main computer anymore!!

Life has been busy. Sullivan is crawling now. It's that army style crawl but he can get where he wants to go and faster than we realize too!! He's eating real food now too. All sorts of stuff, and does amazing with the baby mum mums and cookies and such. It's so completely the opposite experience than what we had with Sebastian, where food was (and sometimes still is) a struggle.

And Sebastian is doing amazing. He's starting preschool in a couple weeks and is just so much fun to hang out with. He can pedal his tricycle now and is doing very well with that. I can actually play some games with him now and he sort of actually does what he is supposed to.

Anyhow, here's a few pictures from lately.

At the top of Sulphur Mountain, 6.12km with 700 meter altitude gain, that we did as a family (and Sebastian walked most of it by himself!!)

Sebastian with the Canada flag at the top of Sulphur Mountain

Happy boy Sullivan enjoying the beautiful weather

Sebastian in one of his new outfits

Sullivan being the happy baby that he is

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Check your shoes...

Running takes a lot out of you. Sometimes when people start running for the first time or after a long period of inactivity, they go into their closet, find a pair of runners and go. And, they might be okay, but quite often, it is time for a new pair of shoes. Think about it... your running shoes are what's between your body and the hard surfaces you run on. They absorb the force of your feet hitting the ground multiple times in a minute. They help take the pressure off your knees and ankles. Did you suddenly start hurting? Have you got shin splints? Knee aches? There is a good possibility that something as simple as new shoes could help you out.

And, don't buy just any shoes. Go to an actual running store and have one of the staff that's trained, fit your feet and make sure you get into the shoes you need. There are many types of shoes. Some provide stability, others provide cushioning, some are designed to be super lightweight and only good for racing. It's important to have shoes that match your feet and how you run. If you pronate, then having a neutral shoe is not going to help you.

Once you know what kind of shoes you need, then go for comfort. Shoes come in all sorts of colours and shapes, but you can't buy shoes based on that. You need to buy the ones that match what you need and feel comfortable on your feet. They might not be the snazziest pair, but if they get you safely through your training and race without incident, then they are the best pair.

And shoes don't last forever either, so even if you bought a brand new pair 3 years ago, and haven't used them much, maybe it's time for a new pair. That way, you know they are offering you the support you need. If you keep a running log, you'll know how far you've gone, and then you can replace them once you've logged 500 km or more.

Shoes are expensive, but they are nothing compared to being sidelined because of an injury, so if something started hurting that never used to, or you really can't remember when you got your shoes, or if they were shoes that have done you well in six other sports, take the time to go buy new ones. You will be glad you did!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Spanish dish...

This month, for The Daring Cooks' challenge, we had to make Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes by José Andrés, one of the most important Spanish Chefs at the moment. The challenge was hosted by Olga from Las Cosas de Olga and Olga’s Recipes At first this recipe made me very grumpy. I'm not always really adventurous when it comes to food from the sea, and last month, with the skate fish, and doing the challenge so late, I couldn't believe right away again I was going to be using another sea creature that I'd never heard of.

Well, quickly enough, I got past that. We bought the cuttlefish frozen. It was nothing like I imagined it to be after watching a little video on youtube. Cuttlefish is similar to squid, so it was quite easy to handle. I simply didn't deal with the tentacles portion. Discarded those and cut the main part into strips.

One part of the recipe that was new to me was making a garlic aioli. And I have to say, although it was lots of work, it was really neat to watch simply olive oil and garlic turn into something so tasty. It was incredibly strong however.

Making the sofregit was lots of fun too and the house smelled so aromatic as it was cooking.

I couldn't find any short grain rice so just used arborio rice, which I love because I love risotto so much.

It was a good challenge and the end result was an excellent dinner. If I make it again, I think I'd like to add a bit more in the way of spices. Just a thought though. Thanks Olga for introducing me and my family to an entirely new dish, and to making me push my culinary skills to a new level working with a new sea creature I never have before. I was impressed with the end result!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The hiking family...

This past weekend was so fantastic. I loved everything about it. On Friday I hiked with a work friend and we climbed to the top of Ha Ling Mountain. This is no simple task. We gained 700 meters in elevation over 2.5km, so just imagine how the whole trail was pretty much straight up. My lungs got a great workout, and my legs were sore for 2 days afterwards (like don't want to go down the stairs sore).

Then on Saturday, Jeremy and I volunteered to help set up Transition 2 for the inaugural Calgary Ironman 70.3. It was a lot of fun and it now has me thinking that the time has come to start doing triathlons.

On Sunday, we went and cheered on the athletes on the biking section of the Ironman, and it was great. We had posters that read "You are my hero" and "looking mighty fine". We got lots of smiles and thumbs up from the bikers. After that, we hung out at Jeremy's mom's for a bit then headed to Cochrane for ice cream from Mackays. It was so super tasty (I had coconut). Sebastian even managed to stay pretty clean. That night, we had a barbeque and served up rootbeer bbq sauce ribs. They were tasty. Sebastian had fun at one point trying to soak everyone with the hose.

That night, there was a massive thunderstorm. It was insane. I have never seen so much lightning in my life. I was almost feeling scared inside the house.

And then finally Monday, we went hiking. I managed to convince my husband to hike for the first time this year (I have asked many times already and been turned down every time). It was fun. We did Heart Creek trail, which is a nice 5km hike. Sebastian even did 1.7km of it himself, through the fun section with bridges etc. We packed our lunch and had a fantastic time!!

Then, that night, we made stuffed mushrooms and headed over to my aunt and uncle's house to visit with family visiting from out of town. It was a super night!! I loved the whole weekend. I pretty much spent the whole weekend just having fun!! It was great!!