Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve. I think I like it even more than Christmas. The final preparations, the wrapping, the anticipation. I love it all. I've just finished the wrapping and I had tea this morning with my mamas, groceries are bought (not by me) and everything seems in order. So, I'm going to go poke around some stores. I know that sounds like the most insane idea ever, but I'm going by myself which is a bit of a treat.

Later this afternoon there will be cookie making for Santa Clause. Kate is very excited about the whole thing - although mostly the presents - which I only just explained to her today. Tomorrow will be super fun.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Random things

When I don't post in awhile, it gets harder to post because where do I start? I will start with a random list, rather than trying to tie it all together.

1. We aren't really doing the 25 days of Christmas thing, because Kate just doesn't care about opening an envelope every day to find a new activity. We are still doing fun holiday related things, just not on a one-envelope-a-day schedule. We'll do it next year when I'm sure she'll love it.

2. Last weekend we went and cut a Christmas tree. It was fantastic and will be our new family tradition.

3. Yesterday, Kate's preschool co-op did a Christmas concert. Imagine 15 two-year olds singing with actions. It was awesome. Our child was the epitome of the rule following girl. Video coming soon.

4. Christmas baking is in full swing. Freezer is filling up with squares and cookies. I only have three more things to make to round out a selection of eleven different baked goods. Brownies, ginger snaps and lemon square, oh my!

5. Baby number two is doing great. Midwife appointments are now every two weeks and I'm kind of freaked out that we're already at 31 weeks. Kate was born at just over 36. Yikes. But, I feel great and everything is going well.

6. I started taking real drugs for the heartburn. Totally changed my world.

7. Kate is having language explosions. She uses words like frustrated, actually and uncomfortable. Just out of the blue and uses them correctly. And she can type her name without help. She loves spelling out words on signs and then asking what it says.

8. On track for Christmas presents - even the knitted ones. I feel very on top of things, which means disaster is just around the corner, right?

9. There were flames in the oven yesterday. Maybe that can count as the disaster.

10. Tenure became official this week. Woohoo!

Ten seems like the right number for a list, right? Let's say yes.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Off we go!

Kate and I are heading to Ontario in the morning for a week at my sister's house. Yay! I'm super excited and will have trouble falling asleep, I'm sure. I didn't think I was going to be able to visit before the baby comes, but my dad is treating us to tickets through his frequent flier program. Hooray for dads!

We have lots of fun things planned. I will take pictures, but I'm not taking my computer, so I don't know when I'll get any posted. Maybe we'll just post them through Karen's blog. Go over there to see what we're up to.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

25 days of Christmas

This year, I'm really excited about Christmas, mostly because I know Kate will be excited. To add to the experience, I've decided to do the 25 days of Christmas. Go ahead and click on that, and see what it is, and then come back. Ok, are you back? So, that's my plan for December. And today I realized that December starts on Tuesday! But, I get off the hook a bit, since Kate and I will be spending seven days with my sister and her family (and they are doing the 25 days of Christmas project too). So, I have yet to make my envelopes, but that is on the to-do list. I have started our activity list though. The suggested list I looked at was definitely for older kids and a lot of things wouldn't work for a two year old. So, here is my list so far. I still need seven or eight more things, so if you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments. And consider joining us in the project. I think it's going to be fun.

- see the 37th street lights
- see the Zilker Park lights
- ride the train at the park
- get a Christmas tree
- decorate Christmas tree
- make and decorate sugar cookies
- wrap presents
- buy a present for Daddy
- get photo taken with Santa
- go to the library for Christmas books
- go out for hot chocolate
- luminaria display at the wildflower center

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey day!

Today is American Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays, and I love that we get two of them! Today we will spend the day with lots of friends and eat a lot of turkey and pie. There is so much I'm thankful for - Kate being amazing and healthy and funny, Graeme who is the best husband I could ever have, a new baby who is getting bigger every day, a great house to keep us all warm, lots of friends who have become my family when I'm far away from my real family, and my family who even though they are far away are never that far away.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Third trimester, round two

Pregnancy two seems to go much, much faster than pregnancy one ever did. I'm sure it's because my attention is mostly taken up by the two year old who is always around demanding something or someone or something else. But, whatever the reason, this weekend marks the beginning of the third trimester.

I feel totally fine. The usual complaints are beginning - occasional sciatic pain, heartburn, trouble sleeping - but really, I feel great. And the next six weeks should go super fast, since the holidays are upon us and between (US) thanksgiving and Christmas, Kate and I are heading to Ontario to visit family. Before I know it, January will be here and the pregnancy will be nearly done.

To commemorate the start of trimester three, a picture:

Monday, November 16, 2009

That's what it's all about

(Please note that we do, in fact, have clothing for our child. She just prefers not to wear any.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Breaking a habit

I have an expensive habit. Granola. Store bought granola is expensive, but I eat it nearly every morning for breakfast and although it seems like it should be so easy to make a good granola at home, that has not been my experience. When I have tried, it always comes out strangely tough, or bland or bleh. So, I give the store far more money than those oats are worth. Until yesterday. I found a recipe and although I think I need to tweak it a bit (not necessarily because of the recipe - I didn't quite follow it, after all) I think it may finally break my expensive habit.

Let's start with the recipe. I found it here and it apparently an adaptation of a Nigella Lawson recipe, although I haven't seen the original. I'll paste it in, and then I'll explain what I did and what I will change.

Makes about 2 pounds (1kg)
From David Lebovitz
Adapted from Feast, by Nigella Lawson

5 cups (450g) multi-grain flakes or old-fashioned rolled oats
3 cups (375g) almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup (125g) sunflower seeds
3/4 cup (100g) untoasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup (120g) packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup (180g) unsweetened applesauce (or another unsweetened fruit puree)
1/3 cup (100g) rice syrup
1/4 cup (80g) honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 300F (150C).

1. In a very large bowl, mix together the flaked grains or oats, almonds, sunflower and sesame seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

2. In a small saucepan, warm the fruit puree with the rice syrup, honey, and oil.

3. Mix the fruit mixture into the dry ingredients until thoroughly dispersed, then divide and spread the mixture evenly on two baking sheets. (If you have ones with sides, often called jelly-roll pans, use them.)

4. Bake the granola for about 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until the granola is deep golden brown.

5. Remove from oven, then cool completely.

Store the granola in a large, airtight container. It will keep for up to one month.

Ok, so there is it. If you read the original blog entry linked above, you'll see he states that using the fruit puree rather than oil, as most granola recipes do, gives this one the crunchiness of commercial granolas (and is the thing that other recipes have always lacked). But, of course, when I went to make it, I didn't have enough applesauce in the house, so I made up the volume with oil. It still turned out crunchy, but next time I'll use all fruit (or veggie puree. I wish I'd remembered that I had sweet potato puree in the freezer. I think that would work great.). I also increased the ginger a bit, since I love it.

I also didn't have enough sunflower and sesame seeds, so I made up that volume with pumpkin seeds. And I used walnuts and pecans rather than almonds, because, again, that's what I had.

The mixture ends up wetter than other recipes I've tried which I think is what makes a lot of difference. It's also a lot less sweet than commercial granolas, which is also nice.

So, how was it? Delicious. It's kind of annoying to have to stir it every 10 minutes, but it really is necessary to get it to cook evenly. And it gets dark really quickly at the end. I should have pulled it out a bit sooner than I did. But, I do think I will no longer be buying granola. This is really good. Kate even liked it and asked for seconds. Homemade granola with homemade yogurt. Just call us crunchy. Or granola.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A day in the life of Kate

Snapshots of Kate's life - a typical weekend day. (Minus eating and sleeping, of course)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Alive, not that you can tell from this blog

All is well here in the Reyburn-Henkelman family, despite the complete lack of updates here on the blog. Graeme's mom arrived today for a visit and Erika was here a week or so ago. So, we've been busy. Let's do updates as a list, shall we? That's always annoying.

- Kate is awesome. She sings all day, loves doing puzzles, reading books, the itsy bitsy spider, the hokey pokey, oranges, noodles, and is a total mama's girl.
- Graeme is travelling a lot between now and the new year. New York this week, France two weeks ago, England in a few weeks, and another one that I can't remember without a calendar. We're not going to make the same mistake as we did at the end of the pregnancy with Kate though - no travelling after mid-January.
- Speaking of the pregnancy, it's going great. He's getting more and more active, but is also putting more and more pressure on various organs. Which means that the heartburn is increasing. Bleh.

I guess that's the Reyburn-Henkelman family. Oh, Westley. He's the same as always - wishing for more walks and more snuggles.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


We're about to head to the surgery centre. Kate's surgery is scheduled for 8:30. We should be home for lunch.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A quote

Karen posted this quote on her blog today, and I love it.

Just as a woman's heart knows how and when to pump, her lungs to inhale, and her hand to pull back from fire, so she knows when and how to give birth.
Virginia Di Orio

Monday, October 5, 2009

Half way

This weekend marked week 20 of this pregnancy. That's the half way mark of a full 40 week pregnancy. I'm kind of hoping that number two decides to come a few weeks early, but I know that's unlikely.

This pregnancy has been great - no complaints at all. He's an active one, and I feel him moving around all the time. This pregnancy is different because while with Kate I was thinking about getting a baby, now I think about getting another person. I wonder what he'll be like. Kate has such a strong personality, so we wonder what he'll be like. One thing I do know: Kate will be a bossy big sister, but will love him completely. I can't wait.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wonky eye surgery #2

Kate had a check up with the opthamologist today. Maybe you remember that she had eye surgery seven months ago to correct her crazy wonky eye. Or maybe you don't. But, either way, although it was much, much better after the surgery, it's not totally better. It still wanders off, especially when she is tired. So, we had it checked today and the surgeon recommends we do the surgery again to correct it all the way. We have it booked for Oct 15th, which is only two weeks away.

It's much less stressful this time since we know how it works and that Kate responds well to the whole thing. She was back to her normal self later in the day after the first surgery, and I expect it will be the same this time.

Thank (insert diety of choice here) for insurance.

Phew, crazy week around here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Boy!

Yep, we're having a boy. We had our mid-term ultrasound this morning and everything is perfect. The right number of fingers and toes, a properly developed and function heart, kidneys, etc. And boy parts. Distinct, obvious boy parts. Of course, I knew I might have a boy, but I guess I never believed I would. I only have a sister and my mom only had a sister and my sister has two daughters. See, girls. Just girls. And now a boy. Either his sister and cousins will pick on him, or spoil him rotten. Probably both.

Even though it's pretty surreal, we're of course, very excited.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ah, right, the pregnancy

I started this blog way back almost three years ago when I was pregnant with Kate. I took weekly belly photos and reported on how things were going. Reading the blog now, you would never know that I'm 18 weeks pregnant. But, here we are. If this baby comes early like Kate did (unlikely, I know) then this would be half way. But, since it won't, I'm a few weeks from the half way mark.

This pregnancy seems to be going much faster, likely because I am distracted by a two year old who demands my attention most of the time. But, I am definitely showing now and next week we get a pronoun for the baby, which will be very nice. Calling it 'it' just never feels right. See, how that didn't feel right?

I'm feeling great. No complaints at all. They will come though, don't you worry.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kate's new room

Well, it's not new, it's just rearranged. This weekend we finally found a set of good bunk beds on Craigslist. We've been looking for awhile and last weekend we even went to a couple of furniture stores and looked at new ones. That convinced us to wait until we could find a used set. And we did! And they are great. We realized that it's furniture we're going to have for 18 years, so we'd better like it and it should be good quality. And it is. And we do.

We set up only one bed and the second one (they stack) is stored in the attic until we need it. I headed off to Target for bedding while Graeme and Kate set up the bed. I'm really happy with it, and Kate seems to love it.

Pictures of every angle:

The proud owner of a big girl bed:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kelly and Marissa's wedding

On Saturday, we headed out to the hill country for Kelly and Marissa's wedding. It is risky having a wedding on Labour Day weekend in Texas since it is likely hot enough to melt all your guests. But the weather was PERFECT. Cool(er), a breeze and some sun. It couldn't have been better.

The wedding was beautiful and lovely and full of all the things weddings are supposed to have - love, family, friends, good food, dancing, margarita machine, cake, and more love.


Our internet has been out all weekend for some unknown reason. I had grand plans to update the blog (no, really) but they were stymied. I will definitely do it later today since we have some weekend photos to post.

It was weird not having internet access while at home. At the cottage, it's totally fine but in Austin I depend on it for all kinds of things. Is the library open? Is it likely to rain while we're out tonight? What is going on around town? Any road closures I should know about (that one definitely got me yesterday. I didn't know there was a triathlon downtown.)? Maybe I need a phone book.

Anyway, photos to come later.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What is happening 'round these parts

Perhaps you think I had some sort of exam at the midwife by that strange title. Nope, I guess I'm just feeling a bit southern today. We had a lovely thunderstorm this afternoon that gave us real, actual rain. We've had a tiny bit of rain the last two nights, but not enough to even hit the ground underneath the pecan trees. But this afternoon it was real rain for more than half an hour. Now it's crazy humid, so maybe that's where the southern twang came from.

But what is happening around here? I went to prenatal yoga for the first time this pregnancy. I went at least weekly last time and really enjoyed it. Today was great. I was reminded of how lovely it is to be in a room full of pregnant women. I am going to go twice a week. This Thursday morning class is taught by my favourite instructor. Going to this class depends on help from some friends, so I'm really hoping it works out ok for everyone.

We have officially started potty training. Three times this week during her frequent naked time, Kate has declared she has to pee and has run off to her potty and done the deed. I have made no effort so far, but I knew I had to follow her lead. Yesterday I got some M&Ms as bribes and today I bought some big girl panties. (Actually, big boy panties because I refused to buy princess or Dora panties.) So far, we have only had one accident but it followed a very bad head bonk. We were snuggling and she peed on both of us. Oh well, we'll try again tomorrow.

I guess that's the main news. I'm sure there will be exciting pee related updates soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


For those not satisfied with just a picture announcement and who want more details, Baby Texan #2 (or Double Trouble as Howard is calling it) is due Feb 21, which puts me at 14 weeks, the start of the second trimester. I feel great. Better than I did when pregnant with Kate, but that might be partly because I'm not riding 30 miles a day to a full time job. I am definitely showing earlier. Looking back at the weekly belly shots, I'd say I'm looking like I did at 19 or 20 weeks, which kind of freaks me out. I'm planning to go get some maternity clothes today because nothing is very comfortable anymore.

I think I felt the baby move yesterday, which would be freakishly early but not unheard of. I felt Kate at 17 weeks which is very early for a first pregnancy. I won't be totally sure until I feel it again, but it is a rather distinctive thing.

We are having our anatomical ultrasound on Sept 30 and will find out boy or girl then. Names haven't even been thought of yet, we'll start talking about it when we know which gender we're getting.

Did I forget anything people want to know?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, sweet girl

Today you turn two years old. It has been an amazing two years watching you grow up from a tiny baby into an opinionated, joyful, smart toddler. You make us smile and laugh everyday. I have been amazed by you lately as you have suddenly grown up in the last few weeks. You are talking and learning and figuring things out and insisting to do things by yourself. It is so fun to watch you grow up and become a whole little person. And I really like the person you're becoming.

I've said it before, but you are the best thing we've ever done. We love you, sweet pea. Happy birthday.

love Mummy

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bike trip day three

Day 3: Gouda to dordrecht
On the third day we woke up to another sunny day so we put on the sunscreen and headed towards central Gouda.  It was Sunday morning so it was very quiet.  There were other people out on bikes but most of them seemed to be heading for church.

When we got to he central market area it was deserted except for the pigeons which Kate set out to chase.  I am sure the night before the square was lively and full of people since it is ringed by restaurants with outdoor seating.  We ran around for a bit before heading south out of town.

The next 10 or so kilometers were pretty boring, just zig zagging through pasture land so we picked up the pace a bit and sped through. (which does not mean that we didn't stop at the first palce that was selling ice cream.  This is vacation after all.). Pretty soon we got to the ferry to take us across the river to the Kinderdijk, the famous place where 24 windmills stand and still work.  It is a world heritage site and it was really amazing to see.  (It was my first world heritage site, I think.  And I also think visiting all of them would be an amazing bucket list.). We went Inside the one that is open to visitors and we were all really fascinated.   These windmills have been standing there for 240 years.  Through wars and amazing changes in the world .  But they are still here and generations of people make sure that they are all functional (for historic reasons. The pumping is all done with modern pumps now.). Really, it was rather humbling.

From the Kinderdijk we finsihed our ride to Dordrecht and arrived there mid-afternoon.  It was nice to arrive early enough to get cleaned up and then head into town for dinner at a reasonable time.  Dordrecht was really lovely with a huge number of old buildings.  Many of the buildings on the oldest narrow streets are designed with a wedge facade so that the buildings lean into the street a bit.  It is pretty freaky. Unfortunately we didn't get a good photo of it.

We found a tapas reetaurant on th square that looked good and since neither of us had tried it before we got a selection.  We loved it.  Enough to search out another tapas place later in the week.

We all got to bed a bit early and planned for another short riding day for day 4.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bike trip day two

Day 2: Amsterdam to Gouda

Everything looks better in the morning. The night before we were exhausted and had even talked about taking the bikes on the train for part of the trip to Gouda, but after an amazing breakfast at the hotel we set off south out of a-dam.

Once we cleared the suburbs, we were really glad we had gotten on the bikes. The scenery was beautiful. We followed the river amstel which was much less affluent than the vecht. Small houses, lots of farms and houseboats.

We also rode on some very narrow paths and in between canals so that we were surrounded by water, even sometimes below the water level in the canal next to us. It is hard to describe just how much water there was. In the towns it is as though every house is on an island just slightly larger than the house. Essentially, everyone has a moat. There were cows, sheep and horses everywhere. Then we reached the nurseries. Greenhouses and fields growing house and garden plants for the world.

We again got into Gouda pretty late and our hotel was on the edge of town so we decided to eat at the hotel and to explore the town in the morning since we would be biking through on our way to Dordrecht.

Day 3: Gouda to Dordrecht

Where in the world are the Henkelman/Reyburns?

(if you are reading this on facebook, you should go over to the blog ( since that is where the pictures are. And the pictures are really the best part)

Maybe you are wondering if fell off the planet.  Nope, we just fell slightly below sea level.  We are in the midst of our bike trip around holland.  We have been biking for three days and have two more to go. (well, we're done now. but I wrote this a few days ago.)

Day 1:  Utrecht to Amsterdam
We started on Friday morning just outside of Utrecht and headed for Amsterdam.  It was a relatively long day- 60 km, which isn't that far unless you are on very heavy bikes and stop all the time for snacks or to check the map or to have lunch or...  We rode alongside the river Vecht, which is lined by beautiful estates and full of people boating.  It was a lovely ride (until the last 10 or 15 km when we were getting close to a-dam and it got busy and less rural.)

We didn't arrive at our hotel until quite late but we really wanted to go into the city for dinner so we headed in.  We found some Indonesian food and wandered a little bit before Kate started to melt and we had to get her back to the hotel for bed.

We were pretty tired but we also knew that the next few days would be easier as we were figuring out the system of bike routes and wouldn't need to stop so often to check the map.  

Day 2:  Amsterdam to Gouda.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lurking in the tubes

I'm at my dad's house where there is an internet connection so for the past few days I've been lurking around the tubes, but keeping pretty quiet. I've really been enjoying a break from being online, and I'm not sure I want it to end quite yet. I'll lurk for a bit longer, I think.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Some cottage photos

It has been raining for four days now, but yesterday afternoon the sun came out for a bit. Most of us (except for me) went for a boat ride. Some photos from the boat ride and previous days: