Have you guys heard of the five love languages? It’s OK, I thought it was super cheesy too when my friend first told me about it a few years ago. There’s something, something, gifts, something, and something else. Just kidding. They are: 1). Words of affirmation (awww, baaabbbbeeeee….. you’re like, literally the cutessstt), 2.) Acts of Kindess (Awwww, thankkssss babbeeeee for like, totally unplugging the toilet!) 3). Receiving gifts (Thanksssss babeeeeee, for the toilet plunger, I like, totes LOVE it). 4). Quality time (Awwww, thanks babeeeee, for sitting here with me on your phone while I go on my phone too). 5). Physical touch (oh em gee, he put his arm around me and ALSO held my hand. Double score). Which one are you? Comment and let me know- I actually find it so interesting!
My love language to SHOW, so how I show people I love them, is gifts. People want me to draw their name when it comes to picking secret santa (I’m at least wanted in that sense, because I have a feeling people would not want my name picked to be on their team. For ANYTHING). There’s something about finding the perfect gift for someone that they mentioned they wanted 10 months before, and seeing their face when they realize you remembered. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been buying people gifts. And I absolutely love doing it.
Dane’s love language is NOT giving gifts. One time for Christmas, and this is not an exaggeration, we had been dating for almost five years, he gave me this little bag. It was tiny and pretty, and he even had a bow on it. I’m a woman and we had been together for FIVE years OK? What would any other normal woman out there think was in the bag? (or maybe HOPED would be in the bag?) You know what it was? Ready? A gift card. Wanna know the best part? It was to a Chinese restaurant. Yup. Dane gave me $50 to a Chinese restaurant for our fifth Christmas together. Because, and I quote…. “I thought you liked spring rolls?” I had to still wait two years longer for my ring. The worst part was I had to take him out for supper with MY gift card. So I didn’t even get $50 worth of spring rolls.
I love giving gifts. Gifts that mean something. Big or small. Gifts that you had to think about, not just ran to the mall and bought whatever was the first thing you saw hanging in a window display.
So of course I was excited when JORD Wood Watches reached out to me and let me choose a watch to gift Dane. If you know Dane, you know he loves working with wood. He loves to dream up furniture he’s going to build one day. He loves the smell of wood and pine trees, his jacket always smells of lumber. He’s always pounding a piece of wood with the palm of his hand to check the density, or hardness. I’m just assuming he is. He could just be doing it and have no clue what he’s doing, and I wouldn’t know the difference. So a wood watch for my wood and tree loving husband was perfect.
JORD believes that “the value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count. Moments are bigger than minutes and your watch should tell more than time.” JORD means land, soil, earth in Danish. So if you have someone in your life that loves the smell of pine trees, the sound of pine needles crunching underneath their feet, the feel of a piece of wood in between their hands, the way the grain of that wood maps out that trees life, a JORD watch would be the perfect gift. They offer a wide range of styles and colours, as well as personalized engravings.
You’re 9 months old today Olive, and I can hardly believe that soon you will have been in my life for a whole year. You cut two teeth, your bottom two middle ones. You’ve started to crawl (mostly face plant). You have learned to give kisses (getting you to do it is another story). You like to tense your arms like you’re flexing, and do this deep growl, and it might be my favourite thing you do. You let me know when you don’t like a toy (you glare at me and bat at my hand and grunt). You can laugh hard now, and it’s this tiny, deep cackle, and hearing you is the best sound. You like strawberry cereal puffs, you can eat almost a whole banana, you like mashed potatoes, and you love to drink cold water. You hate socks on your feet, you hate getting a shirt pulled over your head, or put on. When you’re angry or frustrated you chuck yourself back as hard as you can and wail (I’m waiting for the day you do this on something other than a bed. That’ll be fun). You despise having your nose picked, but love having the inside of your ears rubbed. You have discovered your lungs, and sometimes you just let out the loudest screech and then smile at me, clearly pleased with yourself.
You are the reason to my frustrations, my tired eyes, my long nights, my early mornings. You are why I have poo on my face, barf on my clothes. You are the months and months it took me to finish a book, you are the reason why my diaper bag has everything except the kitchen sink in there. You are shoulder pain from carrying that bag around, you are why my left arm could probably beat Dwayne Johnson in an arm wrestle. You are 20 lbs and something ounces of Olive Rose.
Olive Rose, you are my light. You are why I wake up in the morning (literally). You are my joy, my best gift I’ve ever received, my happiness. You are the reason why my eyes stung with tears when you leaned in ever so gently to give me your first ever kiss on the lips (a lot of slobber, but I’ll take it). You are the reason I open my eyes in the middle of the night and kiss your cheeks over and over again, risking my sanity in case I wake you up. You are the smell I crave, your scent is my comfort (and your dads cologne). Your toes and your stubby thumb are the cutest things. Your eyes and eyelashes are enough to make me cry when you look up at me with the sweetest, most humble look. Your smile lights up a person’s day. Your life Olive, has so much meaning, so much value. You are, without a doubt, my blessing. And I love you. More than you might ever know. Thank you growing in my belly, and thank you for being mine.
Wanna know how many times I’ve made these cinnamon buns in a week? FIVE. Five times. That’s 20 cups of flour, and a whole lot of yeast. The first time I made them, I forgot to put cinnamon in them. I know. I’m totally Amelia Bedelia. Then I made them a second time, and they turned out perfect. So I figured I could make them again, because I went from Amelia Bedelia to Gordon Ramsey pretty quickly. So I did. For the third time. I put them in the oven and went to feed Olive. You know where this is going. I baked them for a solid 10 mins more than they needed, which resulted in dry, hard…. crusty, nasty garbage. So then I thought, maybe third time isn’t the charm, but maybe the fourth time is a charm? Can that be a thing? I think it should be a thing for moms, cuz we deserve an extra chance over the average person. So I made these for the fourth time in a week, and my yeast must not have worked cuz my dough ended up in the garbage next to a poopy diaper. I’m not selling this recipe am I? In it’s defence, the three times they’ve failed, they’ve been my fault. Or my baby brain. Either way, don’t blame the cinnamon buns. On the fifth attempt I got this bright idea to put raspberries in them. And low and behold, the fifth attempt became legendary. Just kidding. But Dane is my biggest critic, and he said these were delicious. And somehow 9 went missing from 7:00 in the evening to when I woke up this morning… so that says something. If you’re a conservative, you can skip the raspberries. But you should take a walk on the wild side and try them, you might surprise yourself. You might even change your political views due to these little red berries appearing where they normally wouldn’t. You’re welcome liberals, I may have just gotten you an extra vote.
In a small bowl add your 1 teaspoon of sugar and yeast, along with your warm water. Let stand until frothy and you can smell the yeast, Approx 10 mins.
In a small saucepan, heat your milk until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat, add in your ¼ cup of butter, and ¼ cup of sugar. Stir until butter has completely melted. Set aside until it is room temperature.
In the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, combine your yeast mixture, your milk mixture, as well as your beaten eggs and 1½ cup of flour. Mix until the flour has been incorporated, and continue to add the remaining 2½ cups of flour, ½ cup at a time. Once the dough has come together, knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. (about 5-7 mins). Form into a ball.
In a large lightly oiled bowl, place dough and turn over a few times making sure all sides of dough have been oiled. Wet a dish towel so it is damp, and cover. Place in a warm area where there are no drafts (I always place mine in the oven). Let sit for at least one hour, but two is ideal. Or until it has doubled in size.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and with a floured rolling pin, roll dough out to a rectangle 18x14 inches. Brush with ¼ cup of softened butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, and with raspberries. Tightly roll up, brush the edge with butter and pinch to seal. Cut into 12-15 pieces, place unto cookie sheet/ or pan. Brush outsides of cinnamon rolls with any leftover butter, cover and place back in a warm, draft free area for another hour, or until doubled in size.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375* F, for 25 mins, or until slightly golden. Do not over bake or you will end up with dry cinnamon buns!
So I have this friend. I won’t say her name, but it starts with an “A”, and the last three letters are “ton.” And there is an “F” after the A. It’s Afton. Her name is Afton. She’s my best friend, and I love her to bits, but she has a problem. She’s a shopaholic. More than me. Her favourite phrase is “Ya But!” when she’s defending her last purchase to her fiancé, and “I could be tempted” when she’s trying to not full on say that she is going to buy something. I’ll give you an example. We’re at anthropology, and she sees a dress she doesn’t need, nor does she have the funds to buy it. “I could be tempted to get it….’ Or I’ll ask her if she’s hungry, “not really, but I could be tempted with a glass of wine…” But her “tempted” means she gives in to it EVERY time. Like she bought the anthro dress and had the glass of wine. But I love her, and I could be tempted to be her best friend forever. A few years ago we found a tank top at Lululemon with ruffles on the bottom. I bought one in black and one in cream because it’s the perfect under shirt to complete an outfit. So one day Afton and me are in Lululemon and she sees that they still have a few of these ruffled tanks still in stock. Ours are in perfect condition, and basically still new. But she is adamant that she should buy an extra one to have as “backup.” “Look Claud, they have more of our tank top… I could really be tempted to get another one.” If she hadn’t seen the tank top, she wouldn’t have been “tempted” to buy another one, but because she SAW it, she wanted it. What does this have anything to do with key lime pie? The other day I was in Save on Foods buying a cucumber. ONE cucumber. And off to the corner I see a bag of key limes. They are the tiniest, cutest little limes I’ve ever seen. I have no idea what to do with them, nor do I need them. But “I could be tempted” because they’re tiny and cute, and they don’t always have them in stock. So I buy not one, but TWO bags of key limes. And this is how this key lime pie came to be.
The Duchess Bakeshop is the most delicious bakery I’ve ever been to. It has the cutest decor and style, but best of all, the best pastries. Their key lime pie and florentines are my all time favourite thing to order. Or maybe their eclairs. Or their macarons. Their Paris Brest is pretty top notch as well. Everything. I choose everything. This is their recipe from their ridiculously awesome cookbook. Thanks Duchess, for making my jeans tighter circa 2012.
The creamiest, easiest Key Lime Pie you will ever eat.
Author: The Duchess Bakeshop
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 egg yolks
Zest of one lime
1¼ cups of condensed milk
½ cup key lime juice (regular limes can be used)
1cup of whipped cream
Preheat your oven to 300* F degrees.
To make the crust, in a large bowl mix together your crumbs, sugar and butter (I found that you could get away with adding more crumbs than the recipe calls for). Gently press into an 8" inch pie plate, making sure to go up the sides. Bake in preheated oven for 14 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Increase oven to 325* F
In a bowl whisk together your egg yolks, lime zest, and condensed milk. Whisk until well blended and smooth. Slowly pour in your lime juice whisking again until smooth. Pour into prepared pie crust and bake for 18 minutes. Allow pie to cool, then refrigerate for at least two hours. Serve with whipped cream, topped off with some fresh lime zest.
I dunno what to do. I wanna cry, I wanna yell at Dane for telling me having a baby was good idea, I wanna tell Tara to stop being so nice because it’s making it hard to be a cow, which is all I wanna do. I wanna tell the nurse that came to hang out that she should have been an anesthesiologist instead of a nurse, I wanna tell my mom to stop rubbing my leg, I wanna scream and tell Olive that she’s being a real brat and she needs to come out NOW. I wanna be doing anything but feeling pain. Which is crazy right? Cuz who doesn’t like feeling pain?
Tara suggests maybe jumping into the shower while we wait for Mr. “emergency C-section” to get his little behind in with the drugs. So I waddle over to the shower. I can’t stand anymore because the contractions are too strong and I wanna puke. So I lay down in the tub. Tara sits on the edge of the tub and with the shower handle pouring hot water over my belly, and It kinda helps. KINDA. Like a really big KINDA. But it helps. Then I get this brilliant idea that I’m gonna start pushing, but I know Tara won’t let me and tell me it’s a bad idea. So I tell her that I really want Dane in here for support. He comes in all not sure of what to do, and he sits where Tara was. Then I start pushing down and making who knows what kind of face. He looks at me like I’m insane and says “what are you doing?! I don’t think you’re supposed to be pushing until you’re completely dilated….” I give him my wife look, which basically every wife has (you know the look!) Basically means do NOT tell me what to do right now. I’m getting this baby outta me. So I try that for awhile, but no baby comes flying out. Tara comes into the bathroom around 11:30 pm and tells me that the anesthesiologist is going to be here soon, so I need to be ready, on the bed with my sports bra off. Having to get up and out of the tub, honestly, was one of the hardest things I had to do that day. And that’s not really an exaggeration. I have been in labour for almost 2 days, I’m exhausted, I’m scared, and I just want to sleep. But I get up. I go to the bed, and trying to take off a soaking wet sports bra, well flip, I might as well be having twins. Dane has to help me wiggle out of that thing, and if I wasn’t exhausted, and in pain, I might have almost cared. Because a 9 month old woman wiggling out of a wet sports bra very well could be the most unattractive thing you might ever see. Picture a hippo trying to do up a belt with only his teeth. Thats about as graceful as one can look.
The anesthesiologist waltzes in at 11:45 pm, all chill and I wanna punch him in the face. I’m sarcastic, I know I am. But my sarcasm got to a whole new level that night. He asks how I’m doing and I look at him and go “buddy, how does it look like I’m doing? What the heck took you so long?” He thought I was funny cuz he chuckled. My mom was horrified, because young, polite ladies don’t talk like that. I ain’t no lady today Momma. (Did she not see the hippo trying to do up the belt?) He tells me that I have to be extremely still while getting the epidural. Because if I move and he hits somewhere else I could be paralyzed, die, my husband would divorce me, my dog would probably get run over, and I could possibly lose all my possessions, blah blah blah, with some other side effects. So I tell him he better know what he’s doing, and he laughs at me again and says he’s done at least a couple before (Mr. emergency c- section is trying to be funny now). So I sit as still as possible, and then I feel the needle go in, and of course that’s when I get a contraction. So he pulls the needle out and tells me I need to be still. Dude, my contractions are less that 90 seconds apart, and you’re being slower than a turtle trekking through molasses, what the flip do you want me to do? He goes in again and it works. But then I see Dane’s face and I get scared. Because he looks like he’s about to pass out. (He told me afterwards that the guys hands were covered in my blood).
They tell me to lay down and relax, I’m hooked up to an IV now pushing fluids through me, and I can almost handle the pain. My contractions slow down and get further apart. It’s close to 1:00 in the morning now. Tara tells my mom and dad and brother to go home, get some rest, because I’m not having this baby till the morning, at least 7:00 am she tells them. So they say their goodbyes and leave. As soon as they go, my contractions start to feel super strong again, basically just like before. And I start to FREAK. OUT. “Tara, this feels just like before. I don’t think the epidural did anything.” She tells me I need another dosage because the first one wasn’t enough. She goes to the front desk to see if Mr. emergency c-section can come back. He comes back pretty quick- probably because he doesn’t anymore lip from me. He tops me up and leaves, and I start to relax in like 15 mins. And then in like 20 mins I tell her I’m ready to push. My parents have literally just left maybe half an hour before, and Dane is trying to get sleep because “I’m not having this baby till the morning…” At least we thought. Tara is knitting, and she doesn’t really think I could have dilated to the full 10 cm in that short of time. So she tells me to relax and get some sleep. So I grab the hand rails of the bed and start pushing like I have never pushed before. Not really the sleeping Tara had suggested. She rushes over and checks me, and her eyes go big. “Your mother is going to KILL me. I sent her home. You’re ready to push. Holy crap. Dane, call her mom, tell her to come fast.” Dane calls my family, they were just getting home. He tells them I’m ready to have this kid and they better come fast. They all jump in the bugatti (we’re loaded like that), and drive all the way back. My brother and my dad wait in the waiting room (for obvious reasons), and my mom comes stands at the end of the bed. Not even Dane ventures that way.
I feel every contraction. I knew when I had to push, I knew when the contraction was over. It was brutal. I swear that that epidural wore off, even though I’m sure it eased the pain. Tara coaches me on how hard I need to be pushing, when to ease off, when to go hard, all to prevent from tearing. It takes everything I have to not just bear down and give it all I have. I keep yelling at her that I feel like I’m taking the biggest poop, and she tells me I kinda am. It’s just a baby this time. Now is not the time for jokes Tara. I remember my mom saying she can see the babies head, and in my mind that means her head is out. I ask how much of her head they can see and Tara says “like the size of a toonie!” I wanna cry. A TOONIE?? I thought her head was out! I almost lose it there. I feel like crying, and I hear myself ask “can’t you guys just like…. pull her out??” The nurse, Tara, my mom, and Dane all laugh at me. I wasn’t trying to be funny. I legit was asking if they could pull her out.
I can go on about the pain, and the pushing, and I can get graphic, but here is the short, pretty version. I closed my eyes, put a damp cloth over my face because I knew my face about to do things that might possibly give Dane nightmares. I felt this strange wave of strength come over me. I knew that this was it. I knew that this next push was going to make me a mother. No more Dane and me. No more of just him and me doing whatever we pleased. This next push was going to be the most life changing push, and I closed my eyes and asked for a little help from above and I pushed. I pushed when I could feel myself getting light headed. I kept pushing when I wanted to stop. I kept pushing, and I kept pushing. I could hear Tara “she’s almost here. c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, you can do it, she’s almost out! You got this.” I pushed until I felt relief and I knew it was my baby, my daughter whose head I had just brought into this world. Tara tells me to reach down and touch her head, and I do. It’s soft an squishy, and slimy and warm. I close my eyes once more and I bear down and there it is. This swoosh of relief, of warmth, of adrenaline. I just brought a life into this world. I fall back and I wanna sleep. You thought I was gonna say I cried didn’t you? No. I closed my eyes, and the exhaustion is like not other feeling I’ve ever felt. They put her on my chest and she cries. Her first gasp of air that this child has ever taken, and it was on my body. That is something that sticks with you for a long time.
I don’t feel much of anything, other than relief and tiredness. Olive is sleeping on my chest, and she feels slimy and warm and like a baby bird that’s all skinny and dangly. I ask Dane for juice box after juice box. I chug 3 juice boxes in less than 2 minutes. They leave her on me for about an hour and half, and it still hasn’t hit me yet, that this life is my child. We lay there, Olive and me, and she starts to root looking for milk. How is it possible that this baby, only and hour and some old, already knows where she will get her nourishment from? I suppose the same way I know when I see them golden arches.
My labour plans didn’t go according to plan. I should’t be surprised, my plans usually suck. But she’s here, and she’s eight months old, and she’s the cutest kid I’ve ever had. If you’re expecting, do yourself a favour? Don’t be too hard on yourself if your plan doesn’t work out. And thank you for reading this if you read the whole thing. That’s pretty crazy. I conclude this very long post with “On May 24, 2016, after forty-four hours of labour, Miss Olive Rose Redel came into my life.”