Sunday, November 28, 2010

sunday night wok...toddlers included!

tonight was stir-fry night. we just threw everything in the fridge into the wok and went from there. splash of fishsauce (well, more than a splash because i love fish sauce), soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce (why the heck not), various veggies and fruit (peppers are a fruit, right?). served with sticky white rice. my son is almost 2-and-a-half and is picky so i thought i’d share with any other parents-of-toddlers out there who may be reading how i get my son to eat wok-fried veggies and meat…i make a quesadilla! always fried, and always with sour cream and ketchup (kinda gross but he likes it) on the side. oh and stuffed with LOTS of cheese and even a little mayo.

cut it up small for toddler's quesadilla

lay on tortilla with slices of cheese

i had one pumpkin left from the garden and so made some pumpkin pie with it…huge success as always with my family :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

moving out...back home.

we just finished the process of moving back in with my mum…the home where I grew up. we’re building a new house, which is taking its sweet time to materialize, and my partner’s dad wanted to rent our existing house once we moved into our new home. but after facing much financial turmoil with the new build, we figured: why not get that ball rolling now and save a little extra money? lets move in with my mum! my father-in-law is moving in; we’re moving out.

many people would gawk at the idea of moving back in with a parent as adults. coincidentally, the cbc had a piece on the topic this morning and it turns out that many people in their twenties and even their thirties are finding themselves temporarily back in their childhood home with their parents for various reasons…usually with the intent of saving a bit of money, re-evaluating their goals and values and/or re-establishing themselves in some way.
our society places so much pressure on people to move out. it’s practically a rite of passage. some  might even argue that to move back in with parents after being away could be a sign of pathology…lets get this person on anti-depressants! however having multiple generations under one roof is common practice in many places in the world, and in spite of the drawbacks, there are lots of advantages.

take today for example. i wasn’t at work today (in contrast to my mum, sister and partner…all at work today) and I had time to make a nice meal. normally, my son and i would brave the grocery store together after his nap (a risky endeavor when you’re as big as a house pregnant and your son is 2). i would prepare the meal alone while he played alone, and then we would eat alone. when dh arrived home, he would eat alone while i would be madly cleaning up the kitchen alone while he finished eating. he would then prepare our son to go to bed while i tied up any other lose ends. on days we work (we work opposite shifts so as to avoid outsourced child-care) such a routine leads to much frustration some of the time, and utter exhauastion most of the time.

today, in contrast, my sister got home at 4 (she too recently moved back into the family home to pursue university education). she watched toddler while i efficiently went to the grocery store sans child. upon arriving at home, i promptly started preparing food while my sis entertained my son by watching arcade fire and tegan & sara videos online (my son loves watching musicians perform). part way through cooking, my mum arrived home (exhausted after a hard day) and had a chance to unwind, whereas normally, she’d be rushing to prepare something edible. while i cooked we had stimulating conversation about controversial topics in the news today (e.g. polygamy). meanwhile, sister and toddler come back and joined in the fun. we all ate dinner together (i much prefer meals to be a social event) and they helped clean (i HATE cleaning after preparing and cooking meals). meanwhile dh arrives home from work at 7:30 pm and eats while we’re all casually cleaning…not such a big task when everyone’s doing it. we all help put the toddler to bed calm and relaxed. FUN!!

anyway, there clearly are drawbacks to moving back into your childhood home under your parent’s roof. but there are so many benefits. my mum gets to see her grandson every day (his smile can melt away even the worst day’s stress). i get to have help with him while doing things i love (like cooking). my toddler gets to see a community of faces on a more regular basis than usual, rather than just see my tired old face all day long.

in today’s post, I could have easily bitched about the negatives of living at home, and would likely have elicited much sympathy from others. but where would that get me? why not challenge conventional beliefs about the way things “should be” and share the positive experiences? I look forward to having my own space again but until this happens, i will definitely make the best of our situation :)

here's some pictures of the chaos of moving. into my childhood weird. we even made a make-shift computer desk in our bedroom because there's simply no room for it everywhere else.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

big fish

EDIT: apparently the old link to the pattern does not work anymore so i have pasted the pattern directly onto the page. let me know if anything didn't transfer properly or if you have any questions. email me at or contact me through ravelry.  
exciting news. i've finally gotten my shit together and created my own knitting pattern! totally from scratch. my brother-in-law asked for a colour-work hat. i looked up patterns online and wasn't really happy with what i i just decided to create one myself! he's an avid fisherman, hence the idea to use fish. i'm posting it on ravelry for free! yay!

thanks to my lover for providing feedback on the fish grid. 

see below for pattern:

a simple colour-work pattern on superbulky yarn sure to satisfy the fisherman in your life. made with an acrylic/wool/rayon mixed yarn, this hat is machine washable and can be put in the dryer on low – a bonus when gifting to a no-nonsense kinda person (like my brother-in-law, the inspiration for the design and the recipient of one of these warm hats).

skills required/abbreviations
cast-on (i used long-tail)
k – knit
p – purl
m1 – make one increase
k2tog – knit two together
st st – stockinette stitch
pm – place marker
sm – slip marker


9.5 sts/4 inches in st st.


-          size 9 or 10 mm  16 inch circular and/or double pointed needles…whichever size gets gauge.
-          7 stitch markers.
-          3 skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (or equivalent). this pattern used less than one skein EACH of Grey Marble (MC, or main colour); Charcol (CC1, or contrast colour 1); and Fisherman (CC2, or contrast colour 2).
-          darning needle for weaving in ends.


-          cast on 48 sts in MC. join round, being careful not to twist stitches. pm to indicate beginning of next round.
-          k 6 rows in 1X1 rib (k 1, p1).
-          k 2 rows in st st.
-          switch to CC1, *k6, m1* repeat to end of row (56 st).

next step:

-          follow chart (9 rows make up the chart). repeat chart for a total of 4 times. when doing repeats of an unfamiliar chart, I find it helpful to place markers in between each repeat to ensure everything lines up properly.  also be sure to knit loosely when doing colour-work knitting.













-          switch to CC 1 and k one row
-          switch to MC and do 4 rows st st. on the 4th row *k8, pm* repeat to end of row.

decrease rounds

1)      *k6, k2tog, sm.* repeat to end of round. (49 sts).
2)        k.
3)      *k5, k2tog, sm.* repeat to end of round (42 sts).
4)        k.
5)      *k4, k2tog, sm.* repeat to end of round (35 sts).
6)      *k3, k2tog, sm.* repeat to end of round (28 sts).
7)      *k2, k2tog, sm.* repeat to end of round (21 sts).
8)      *k1, k2tog. remove markers as you go.* repeat to end of round (14 sts).

break yarn, leaving at least an 8 inch tail. pull through remaining stitches on needle and then secure by weaving on the wrong side of the hat. weave in any remaining ends throughout the work.


this is my first pattern (and my first attempt at drawing out a chart) and i wouldn’t be surprised if it is utterly senseless. email me at if you have any questions. this pattern is for personal use only, please ask my permission if you wish to knit this hat for profit.