The due date that came and went

Well, it is three days past my official due date, and Bannock is not showing any interest in making an appearance on this terrestrial sphere. I knew before I hit the 40 week mark that it is quite common for first pregnancies to run over term, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the psychological toll this would exact. It’s kind of like running a marathon, and then having “someone” (*ahem* Bannock) tack on an extra mile at the end. Instead of a mini-me, I’ve been hanging out with this ugly dude:

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Only a mother could love this face…

Also my more-human, but less toothy Momalot, who arrived last Tuesday. Since she has no baby to cuddle, she has been forced to fill her time by cooking butter beef, and buying me ice cream. This is healthy pregnancy eating at its finest.

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Not quite sure how I ever fit in her torso

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Todd and I spent my due date at the hospital. My doctor wanted to make sure that everything was still looking normal, so he prescribed a non-stress test for Bannock. Basically, I had a couple of monitors strapped to my impossibly large mid-section in an effort to determine whether Bannock was still moving normally. While I appreciated the diligence, I could have answered that question on my own: Bannock and her best friend Placenta are throwing a rager.

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Only in Thailand do the birthing rooms and nurses look like they belong in a soothing spa.

I took the test in the room that I will most likely be giving birth in. It was nice to get a feel for it in advance, but also an annoying reminder that we weren’t there for the actual event. So I made Todd placate me with more ice cream.

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If you haven’t tried Haagen Dazs’s salted caramel flavour yet, do yourself a favour and buy some immediately. It may be trendy, but you won’t care once it’s in your mouth.

The rest of my recent pre-child days have been filled with bad photo shoots, bouncing on my birthing ball, and giving Bannock lectures about the importance of respecting other people’s schedules.

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In the battle of the bulge, Bannock is clearly dominating.

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Ok. That’s probably enough whining, and more than enough revolting photographs of me. I’ll try to enjoy these last, fleeting moments of butter beef bliss, and start preparing the ultimate sermon on punctuality that I will preach to Bannock throughout her life.

Bobbleheads

This trip has been full of bobbleheads – otherwise known as children under the age of 5. Our circle of friends must have taken notes from the rabbit handbook, because procreation has happened en masse. This is just fine with me – I dig a good bobblehead. In spite of their limited impulse/bladder control, they got their priorities right: eating and sleeping are my favourite activities, too. Here are a few of the little dudes’n’dudettes we hung out with before Todd left to go back to Bangkok last week (I’m livin’ large and in charge in Canada until early August):

1. First up, we have little Theo.

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As you can see, Theo is one gorgeous little dude. While I guess his parents may have had something to do with his genetic makeup, I attribute his good looks mostly to the fact that he was born in our house. That’s right: our frenants (friends/tenants) Eric and Laura decided that our little love shack would give their birth experience that certain extra somethin’ somethin.’ Clearly, it worked out. I generously offered to let them pay their rent using Theo as the currency, but they were strangely disinterested…

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“Excuse me!?! Of course Theo belongs to me – he was born in MY HOUSE!!”

**If you’d like to birth your child in the Abode of Attractiveness, contact us – we are currently offering sweet package deals. Beautiful Babies guaranteed. **

2. Next up, we have my favourite twins/goddaughters Bobble and Yoda. We have known these two pixies since birth, which is probably why we felt the need to give them such thoughtful and concise nicknames. As a baby, Bobble (otherwise known as Esme) would flail her limbs and head all over the place as though she’d been given a major sugar hit. We assumed that she was just a really active baby until we noticed that Yoda (Maelle) was eerily quiet and focused: clearly, she was manipulating Bobble’s movements using The Force.

The twins try to control me using only basic hand motions

Now that they are 2.5 years old, both twins have gained full control of their limbs, and have learned to use The Force in less conspicuous ways, such as helping Elderly Math Geeks (ie: Todd, and their father Joel) design water features out of old pipes, and using their oversized brains to learn both of Canada’s official languages. I take comfort in the fact that they still can’t speak Pig Latin, so at least I’ll have some party tricks to impress them with when they’re older.

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The twins instruct the Elderly Math Geeks on proper hose and pipe placement.

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“Ahh. My strategic instruction paid off.”

3. And finally, we have a whole litter of kittens. Todd and his two buddies Mark and Andy are basically Tweedle-dee, Tweedle-dum, and Tweedle-dumber, except that Mark and Andy hopped on the procreation train before Todd did, and cranked out two kids each before Todd could even procure his first.

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“Dude. Todd is DEFINITELY Tweedle-dumber”

We got to spend a weekend with the Tweedles and their wives and kids, which gave us plenty of time to hike, catch up on life, and have multiple philosophical discussions with their 3 year old daughters, Anna and Emily.

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Todd and Emily debate that age old question: What flavour is the colour red?

We learned that a 3km hike with 4 children is an epic endeavour, and requires numerous chocolate bribes and rest stops to throw rocks. However, I’ve never had adult hiking buddies pick flowers for me; or ask if the dog walking toward us on the trail is a bear; or refer to my husband as “That boy,” so I’m calling it a winner.

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“That boy” helps Emily and Anna search for magic swimming bunnies

I got to hang out with some additional awesome bobbleheads after Todd left, but I have to cut this post off somewhere. Before I sign off, though, let me just reassure you that amidst all the hangouts with our friends’ kiddies, I didn’t neglect my own wee bairn. Nope. Bannock got plenty of high quality food:

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Enjoy it while it lasts, little Bannock, cuz after you’re born, no fast food will ever touch your lips.

And heaps of rest:

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And one last photo for all of you who have bugged me for photos of the bump: rest assured, it is growing.

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Photo courtesy of my Aunt Jeanette. She is a Dutch Oma, so if you ever bump into her, ask her to make you some Butter Beef.

Butter Beef and Other Treats

Well, the blog has been a little mother-centric lately, and I’m sure she’s starting to feel just like Todd sometimes does (“why does it feel like YOUR blog is always about ME?”), but I had to do one last post on Momalot. Actually, it’s more about the food that she cooked while she was in Bangkok than it is about the gal herself. Homecookin’ is no mean feat when you are operating in an Elfin Kitchen in a strange land, but she rose to the challenge. Momalot has never been one to let a few minor roadblocks like emergency hospital trips prevent her from feedin’ her chilluns. Here are a few of the gems she produced:

1. Butter Beef

Butter Beef is one of my favourite things in the world. It’s exactly what it sounds like: beef cooked in butter. Momalot learned this handy trick from her Dutch mother-in-law: buy some meat (any kind will do), and huck it in a pan with a bunch of butter. Let it simmer for a few hours, then serve it alongside a pile of carbs. You cannot go wrong. This was one of my favourite dishes growing up, and due to its fat-bomb consistency, Momalot would only make it on birthdays. Remembering the few times that I chose something other than Butter Beef for my birthday supper leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

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First, simmer the butter. Don’t skimp.

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Make sure you’re wearing a cute apron when you add the meat.

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Let it cook…

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And cook some more. 6-10 hours should do it. A Canadian potholder will greatly enhance the flavour

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Momalot wishes to state that the meat shouldn’t be quite this black – our stove didn’t offer a low enough temperature to properly cook it. The blackness tastes amazing, though.

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Get yer carbs ready (Yorkshire pudding in this case)

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And mow down. I apologize for the lack of artistry in this shot, but if you knew how hard it was for me to resist eating while I took a photo, you’d forgive me.

I am salivating as I write this. Fortunately for us, Momalot was not content to rest on her laurels. Once we’d digested the Butter Beef (this took a few days), she got to work baking

2. Bread and Cinnamon Buns

My parents are basically the original hippies, minus the drugs and free love – they had a manual push mower long before it was trendy. When I had to mow the lawn as a child, I wished that they were a little less “progressive,” but now that I have no lawn to speak of, I have fond memories. They also bake their own bread from scratch on a weekly basis. It was no problem at all for Momalot to bake bread in our little oven. She hucked some flour and some yeast into a pot, let it rise in the Bangkok heat, and bob’s your uncle: ready to bake.

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“Are you dissing Uncle Bob again?!”

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And apparently we consumed the finished product so quickly that I didn’t even get a photo. Dang.

Finally, Momalot repeated the steps for making bread dough, but this time she also made her own sauce, lined one of our wire mesh racks with aluminum foil, and voila, cranked out a

3. Pizza

This was probably my second favourite meal as a child (after Butter Beef). Unlike Butter Beef, we would often eat this on weekends, as apparently it was not as rough on the ol’ arteries as fat-drenched animal protein. I often wished that we could order takeout pizza instead, but now that I am an adult and have eaten my share of truly dire pizza topped with mysterious meats, I see the error in my ways. There’s just something about knowing where all the ingredients come from that allows you to stuff your face with far more panache.

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Momalot also stocked our cupboards and made us numerous salads, but sadly, I did not document this with my camera. If you want more specific instructions on how to make Butter Beef, let me know, or ask any Dutch Oma who lived through the war. Just like Momalot, she’ll probably have some buttery tricks up her sleeve.