Tag Archives: baking

Astrid – No More Diapers

Gymnastics

The big news here is that Astrid is now diaper free, at least during the day. She’s been wearing underwear at home since October but we weren’t sure how to make the transition at daycare. She would never tell her teachers when she had to go and we didn’t want to burden them with a toddler peeing her pants several times a day.

Then suddenly on November 8, she said she wanted to wear underwear to daycare. It caught us by surprise, but we wanted to capitalize on her enthusiasm. So we sent her to daycare with 7 extra pairs of pants, socks, and underwear and pre-apologized to the teachers for the mess she was about to make. We were shocked when she came home in the same pair of pants.

Over the next few weeks she had a bunch of accidents and sometimes came home with 2 pairs of wet pants, socks, and even shoes. But she quickly got better at letting someone know when she had to pee, and it’s been a few weeks now since her last accident. We cancelled our cloth diaper service a few weeks ago and use disposable pull-ups at nighttime.

Grandkids

The next big achievement is Astrid had her first sleepover at Grandma’s. Again, we weren’t ready for it but our hand was forced when our only babysitter (Grandma) was under house arrest (backstory) and we had plans to celebrate Emily’s birthday. So we dropped Astrid off after dinner and prayed we didn’t get a phone call to come get her overnight.

We expected the worst – Astrid hadn’t napped that day and was a bit grouchy, she was still on Ventolin for asthma, and she had been waking up at night coughing and wheezing. But she had fun, slept through the night on the futon, and was brushing her teeth after eating a yummy breakfast when I came by the next morning to pick her up. If grandma is up for it, we hope to try it again in the new year.

Sleeping Bags

Astrid’s health has been pretty good lately. A few minor colds and the accompanying asthma, but no hospital ER visits. We saw our respirologist and pediatrician, who told us to keep doing what we’re doing. They were impressed with the data and charts I’ve been collecting. The goal is to see less hospital visits and drugs this winter.

Puff the Magic Dragon

Astrid loves singing. Her favourite songs right now are Puff the Magic Dragon and Frosty the Snowman.

Mixin

She also likes helping cook and bake, especially pancakes on Saturday mornings and popcorn at night (the perfect snack for a blanket fort).

Pizza

Astrid’s newest obsession is clothing with pockets. She loves having pants, jackets, and shirts with pockets on them.

More photos of November and December.

Pretending to Watch TV

Welfare Food Challenge – Day 1

We survived Day 1 of the Welfare Food Challenge. There are lots of interesting people blogging and tweeting about their experiences. I’ve been surprised to see a number of people buying cans of beans. Obviously more convenient, but a lot more expensive than dried beans.

After Day 1, I feel well fed but gassy. I guess eating a lot of beans will do that.

Welfare Food Challenge - Breakfast 1
Breakfast was a simple but filling meal of oatmeal, half a banana, and a spoonful of sugar.

Lentil Lunch
Lunch was rice, lentils, tomatoes, and a few carrots. We made way too much and now have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Bean, Potato, and Carrot Soup
For dinner I made a simple soup with potatoes, carrots, white beans, garlic, and broth. Nothing fancy, but satisfying.

I also made bread (one loaf tonight and one ready to bake tomorrow). Here is the recipe I followed. It took a few hours (most of it waiting for it to rise), so it wasn’t ready in time for dinner. It just came out of the oven and is the ugliest looking loaf of bread I’ve ever seen (kind of slug like), but it smells delicious and tastes pretty good. Although I wish I had honey or jam to spread on it.
Baking Bread Fresh Bread Homemade Bread

Radha’s Cooking Classes – Alternative Baking

Radha is one of my favourite vegetarian restaurants in Vancouver. The chefs at Radha push the boundaries of vegan baking, offer raw food options, and get the most out of seasonally available local foods.

On Sunday mornings, Radha offers cooking classes on a wide variety of topics – upcoming classes include “Seasonal Soups”, “Lentils and Beans”, and “Hors d’Oeuvres & Canapés”. A few weeks ago Emily and I attended a course on “Alternative Baking” instructed by Andrea Potter, which focused on baking without using the normal ingredients – sugar, white flour, eggs, and milk.

It is probably worth noting that the cooking classes offered at Radha are more instructional then hands-on. Most of time was spent discussion ingredients and watching Adrea bake. The only interactive parts were eating (they feed you lunch plus we got to try all of the deserts that were made during the course), and decorating cupcakes.

At the beginning of our class, Andrea asked us each to talk about why were there and what we were hoping to learn. Most of the attendees were interested in gluten-free baking because they either had wheat sensitivities, were celiac, or often baked for someone who couldn’t eat gluten. It really seems that gluten-free baking has taken off in the last few years (people are even raising their kids wheat-free), but people are still trying to figure out how to do it successfully.
Continue reading Radha’s Cooking Classes – Alternative Baking

Bike to Work Week at Pulse Energy

Biker Breakfast Bait

While most of the country is preparing for snow, Vancouver is celebrating the rainy season with Bike to Work Week, which started on Monday. As the self-appointed captain of the Bike to Work Week team at Pulse Energy, I’m trying to ensure we defend our title for most commutes that we won in the summer. My job is made easy by the group of dedicated cyclists who work at Pulse and the improved cycling infrastructure, which is key to getting new cyclists to bike downtown – luckily our office is located along on the Dunsmuir separated bike lane.

On Monday, I offered breakfast for anyone who cycled in or who promised to bike in at least one day this week. I baked up some apple strudel, spinach and feta pie, and gluten-free pumpkin muffins. Considering that every morsel was eaten, we should have no problem getting lots of bums on bike seats this week. So far, the results look good – we’re close to the top in 2 categories.