Friday, April 30, 2010

I am so excited because.....

this bestest friend is coming from BC in only 15 more sleeps! Can't wait!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cinnamon Buns!

This recipe is from my Kitchen Aid Mixer Recipe Book. It's so easy to make and sooo yummy to eat!!!

Basic Sweet Dough
3/4 cup low-fat milk (I just use regular milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter/margarine
2 pkgs(2tbsp) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
3 eggs at room temperature
5 1/2-6 1/2 cups white flour

Place milk, sugar, salt and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture, eggs, and 5 cups flour. Turn to Speed 2(for Kitchen aid mixers) and mix about 2 minutes.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down and shape as desired for rolls etc...

Cinnamon Swirl Rounds

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter/margarine
1/4 cup white flour
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans(optional)

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Roll to 10 x 24-inch rectangle. Spread sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly on dough. Roll dough tightly from long side to form 24-inch roll, pinching seams together. Cut into 24 slices, 1 inch each. Place 12 rolls each in two greased 9 x 13 pans. Cover and let rise 45-60 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately(I never do because it's too much of a pain!) Spoon glaze over warm rolls.

Caramel Glaze
1/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Place evaporated milk and brown sugar in small saucepan. cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly. Place milk mixture, icing sugar and vanilla in bowl and beat until creamy.

My glaze(because I'm too lazy to make the caramel stuff :-)
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond flavoring
enough milk to make a barely pourable glaze

Mmmm!! Cinnamon Buns!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Katie Update

We went to see the specialist in London with Katie today and all seems to be well! Last week when we came home she passsed what I thought might be gallstones(or biliruben stones) and when I mentioned it to the Doc he was surprised but very happy. The ultrasound she had last week came back clear and normal(this confirmed my diagnosis of biliruben stones). Because her liver enzyemes were a bit high from the blood work she had last week (nothing to worry about, they're just not perfect) we have to go back in a couple weeks for bloodwork and then we'll meet with the specialist again. Hopefully after that we'll be done with hospitals and we'll take a break from sinking a fortune into them with our parking fees!

Katie seems to be back to normal otherwise; she does have thrush so she's a little cranky from that, but we're thankful that everything else seems to be fine.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What a character!

This little girl definitely takes after her father... ahem....*cough cough* ;-)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bathroom Renovation

Done! We're finally done! Yippee! Zippity-do-da-day!!! Can you tell I'm a little excited? Our upstairs bathroom renovation is finally completed! We started the project in March 2008 and planned on completing it within a few months, but as usual, life got in the way and it was put on hold. We took a break from the renovating both summers so we could work on other projects outside and then in the fall of 2008 we also decided to "put it on hold" to finish up a few other things. Well, with a baby on the way, the pressure was on to get it completed, so Ben started working full tilt again in the middle of September.

When we bought the house, the bathroom was totally unusable and totally disgusting! It was one of the first things that was ripped out and then it sat there in that condition until March 2008. The spring before we were married we found a matching toliet, whirlpool tub, and sink at a yard sale for $225. The fixtures on the pieces alone were worth more than that, so we figured we had a pretty good deal. The only problem was, the colour was somewhere inbetween beige and pink. I wasn't quite sure how we would come up with colours to match that and not end up having a pink bathroom! Thankfully Sandra VanMaanen and the helpful girls at Benjamin Moore saved us and now you can hardly see the pink in the finish.

Because the tub was so big and because we had to work around a baring wall, we were somewhat limited as to the layout of the bathroom. We finally decided to replace the baring wall, put the tub outside the existing bathroom and build a wall surrounding it. We then left an opening in the wall between the studs so we could have access to the tub from the bathroom.

Beside the bathroom is a largish closet which falls under the stairs to the attic. I requested, and Ben acquiesed and built a small linen closet into part of the larger closet, thus giving me a place to store my towels and other bathroom supplies.

Well they say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so with all the pictures I have below, I figured I could have written at least a short novel :-) I'll just summarize what we all had to do to get the finished product:
-gut the entire room of fixtures, tub, sink, toliet, drywall etc.
-rewire the entire room
-replumb the entire room
-replace and move a baring wall
-replace floor joists
-install new floor
-build surrounding walls for tub
-stud and insulate and vapour barrier the outside walls
-reduct heating
-build in linen closet
-drywall, tape and mud
-install new window
-install tile on floor and tub surround, grout and seal
-put in a new door
-install new tub, toliet
-find and refinish vanity($75 courtesy of Kijiji) and install sink
-caulk everything
-install fixtures including, lighting, fans and towel bars
-Last but not least, enjoy all our work!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

1st six weeks of life with a baby

Well the first six weeks with a new baby have simply flown by! Here is a list of things that have been going on:

  • Katie is "sleeping through the night" I usually get a good 6, maybe 7 hour stretch after I feed her at 10pm and then another stretch until she wakes up around 8/8:30am

  • We've started cloth diapers and I'm loving it! Everytime I change I diaper I'm happy because it really costs us nothing!

  • We had an overnight stay at the hospital :-( Katie got some sort of flu bug and was not nursing well, puking and had very 'unnormal' diapers. I took her to Emerg(at the advice of my midwife) and because she was jaundice they wanted to keep her overnight for observation. They took a whole ton of blood and did an ultrasound. On the ultrasound they found what they think might be gall stones(apparently not unheard of in a baby) and we now have an appointment to see a specialist in London next week. But, by the time we went home the next night, Katie was back to normal.

  • We just had our last midwife appointment yesterday. I'm going to miss those ladies!

  • Katie is starting to suck her thumb. She needs a little help putting it in her mouth, but she's pretty good and keeping it in. Mind you, she only wants her left thumb; if I try put her right thumb in, I get some very funny faces!

  • Ben gives me a "day off" and changes all the diapers on Sundays (he changes diapers throughout the week as well, but Sundays he's on full duty! :-)

  • Katie was 10lb 3oz at her appointment yesterday

  • My reward for nursing is huge smiles from a very happy baby after each feeding

  • Katie takes after her daddy and is a major fidgeter: her hands are always moving and, her feet too!

  • We love our daughter more and more each day

Here are some random pictures of the last six weeks as well.

Great grandmother

Great Grandfather

Being weighed

Too tired to burp


tante Lien

First outing to Mitchell

Not impressed with bathtime

Opa Kattenberg

Smiles at three weeks


Four generations

The whole family

Cousin Charity was baptized on the same day

For those of you who know these VanMeps, this is a classic Amanda and Ben pose:-)

Sweet cousins

Abusive cousins??

So content with Grandpa

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Katie's birthday!

Waiting for the midwife.

Yes! I am ready to give birth!

13 and a half hours later.....Fresh out of the oven!