Having baby means all sorts of decisions. Where do you want to give birth? How do you want to raise the child? Religion? School? Number of siblings? One of the first decisions we were faced with was how much of our daughter we want to put online. Internet histories are currently pretty much forever, she’s a person who deserves to create her own public record. This is why I haven’t posted anything about her yet. (I realize I haven’t posted much of anything at all for a while, but the baby stuff was a decision, not laziness, promise.) For the moment the decision I’ve made is that we will post photos of her in a “secret” Facebook group, and I will keep a journal of her life, but won’t be making it public at this point. And on Facebook I will rarely refer to her by her actual name. For now. It’s not that I don’t want to brag about her, believe me. She’s awesome.

But I have realized that I do a lot of research into baby related things, and I come across some interesting stuff. I thought I could share some of that and give a little information about why I was interested in that thing at that moment. I found a browser extension that sends links I like directly to my blog, so I’m going to try that, and then I can go to the blog and add my thoughts.

I love that I get to be home with Baby B most of the time. It’s a nice lifestyle right now because she’s taking lots of naps*, which leaves me time to get a few things done and sometimes even grab a nap of my own. One of the biggest challenges, though, is figuring out what to do with her when she’s awake. I try to hit a happy medium and not make every moment about her, because I figure she learns a lot by seeing how life goes… going to the post office, the quilt store, the grocery store, Target, etc. But that leaves the rest of the day, and once she’s spent time on the playmat, we’ve read a few books, and we’ve done any necessary grooming, well, what then? So this page is a good reference:

http://mamaot.com/2013/09/26/how-to-play-with-your-newborn-baby-0-to-3-months/

 

* Kind of, more on that later

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Happy Boxing Day, everyone!

We had my family (My mom, dad, and brother) over to our house for dinner on Christmas Eve. I decided that I wanted the evening to be more than a simple dinner and a movie, so I tried to find what I thought might be the most interactive and fun meal. Fondue!

I went to Harmons around noon on Christmas Eve, which was basically as soon as a realized that the snow was starting to stick ans wasn’t letting up any time soon. I wasn’t sure what kind of crowd there would be at the store. Large, but generally genial. The employees in the produce section seemed grumpy, as seems to be traditional there, but the people at the butcher counter, the deli, the bakery, and the cheese counter all seemed to be having a good time. There were Christmas carols playing and I heard lots of people saying Merry Christmas to each other. Even with a shortage running on quite a few products no one seemed to too stressed or rude. That shopping trip was actually one of my favorite holiday things I’ve done this year.

The first course was the cheese fondue, served alongside the salad, because the rest of my family is mentally American and doesn’t get that salad should be a course in and of itself. The salad was a strawberry and feta salad with a blush wine vinaigrette.

The fondue was the XXX recipe from the Melting Pot Cookbook. Since I am pretty sensitive to alcohol (and I mean that not the sense that I am a lightweight, though probably true, but the sense that I can feel it burning in my throat when it hasn’t been properly cooked off) I defied the recipe and mixed the cherry liqueur and wine together and cooked them for a few minutes to make sure the alcohol was well and truly gone. This didn’t seem to have any deleterious effect on the final product.

I added a little butterkäse to the cheese mixture for it’s smooth texture and mild flavor. The other cheeses were a blend of emmenthal (or, as the cheesemonger kept calling it emmentaler), and gruyere. I heart both of those Swiss cheeses. Please, if I may? You can buy any old cheese you want for everyday use. But for the holidays, and doubly for holiday fondue, I implore you. Buy good cheese. Go someplace with a cheesemonger, spend the extra few bucks, and buy the stuff that they cut off of a wheel. Shrinkwrapped cheese is not a holiday food.*

I might have gotten a little over enthusiastic when it comes to the dippables, but I figured each and every one would make a good leftover. In no particular order…. pretzel sticks, green apples, red apples, Lil’ Smokies, salami (Musica by Creminelli, try it if you get the chance,) ham cubes, green grapes, bread cubes, and potato chunks (steamed).

After the fondue we were all a bit stuffed, so we decided to watch a movie and then have dessert. Did you know that it’s the 20th anniversary of Muppets Christmas Carol? It’s probably my favorite Christmas movie ever.

When I mentioned to my next door neighbor, Brittany, that I was doing fondue for diner she offered her chocolate fountain. I’d never used a chocolate fountain before. Well, that’s not true. There’s a buffet in Wendover that has one. But I’d never run one. It’s pretty fun. The machine’s manual indicated that I needed to use a minimum of 8 cups of chocolate, so I mixed two bags of milk chocolate chips with one bag of semi-sweet and one bag of “bittersweet” (60%). The dippables were: strawberries, apples, grapes, pretzel sticks (yes, I carried a few things over from the cheese), Oreos, Butter Wafers, and marshmallows (vanilla, made at Harmons, incredible.) it was a lot of fun. It turns out that if your table isn’t 100% level the chocolate will sometimes not sheet totally evenly, but there was still plenty of chocolate flowing.

In the end the meal was declared fun by all, and that was about the nicest thing I could have heard.

 

 

 

*More on the value of qualified food merchants to come in my first blog post about our trip to Europe. Yay!

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SuperBetter

October 13, 2012

Have you heard of SuperBetter? It’s an online game that is designed to improve your life by developing/strengthening four areas, emotional, physical, social, and mental. It was created by Jane McGonigal, a game designer, who designed it to help her recover from a brain injury. Today a colleague pointed out her TED talk, which I [...]

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Autumn comes to us, enfin

October 12, 2012

Autumn came to the mountains in late August, and they have been brilliantly yellow and red for a while, which has been stunning, but slow to come down to the valley. I’m not complaining. We drove up to Oktoberfest twice this year, and even though we didn’t attend any festivities the first time, the drive [...]

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Jacoby Fingerless gloves. Finished.

September 13, 2012

Kaffe Fassett is a madman. My next door neighbor, MadQuilterBritt, is a huge fan of his, so when I shamlessly adopted her hobby, I paid extra attention to his fabrics and quilting books. They generally range from “vibrant” to “eye-achingly busy.” I was looking at one of his books at Elaine’s Quilt Block and one [...]

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Rock climbing? Me?

May 9, 2012

Mike used to rock climb a fair amount, but then life caught up, and then he met this amazing girl, and, to make a long story short (too late!) it’s been a while. Tuesday night he decided he was going for the second time this year, and unlike the first time, I couldn’t think of [...]

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Cowichan sweater lust

April 22, 2012

I told my friend Marielle that I would do a post with some of my photos from the Cowichan Cultural Center… err, Centre (Canada) over a month ago. (If you would like to read more about the development of the Cowichan Sweater, the Wikipedia article is useful.) The Cowichan started knitting right after sheep were [...]

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Hawaiian quilting

February 15, 2012

My start at Hawaiian quilting came from… Hawaii! Yeah, I dedicated a whole afternoon to shopping. I went to Kamuki Dry Goods, which was a funny shop. It very much brings to mind what I imagine quilt shops looked like in the 70s. That said they had more Kona Cotton colors than I’ve ever seen [...]

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I want to blog more, so I’m going to blog now. Right now.

February 13, 2012

Seriously, this playing catch up, this thing where I tell myself “I really want to post this thing I did today, but I have to finish blogging Hawaii! And then Christmas! And the 2011 review, and then 2012…” By this point I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and nauseated and have to sit down and NOT [...]

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Hawaii!!! (Part three)

December 1, 2011

As I tend to forget this kind of thing, I’m writing it here. This post’s events begin on Sunday, November 13, 2011. There. Whew. Sunday we did three things. We went to the Swap meet, where we both utterly failed to take any photos. It was fun, but quite hot. We spent about half of [...]

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