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Monday

October 20, 2014

6am – A’s alarm goes off. Miraculously, the kids are still asleep. Oliver was up a lot in the night (last time at 4:30; teething has him restless) and I’m happy for the ‘sleep in’.

6:05 – A hops in the shower and I go back to sleep.

6:25 – A comes to kiss me and I inform him I’ll forgo showering and sleep until the kids get up. Cue the baby.

6:30 – A takes the baby downstairs and I gradually wake up. I hear Molly stirring and go to let her out. I get dressed and head downstairs.

6:30-7 – breakfast! Coconut oil and honey toast for me, honey and butter toast for Molly and buttered toast fingers for Oliver. He’s not a big morning eater. We all share a banana. Oh and I had a coffee. I never forget my coffee.

7am – A leaves for work. “I love you too daddy” says Molly.

7-7:30 – the kids play with me

7:30 – we head upstairs to get dressed. I put away laundry and try to tidy up Molly’s room while the kids play

8:05 – Oliver is showing signs he’s hungry and tired. I bribe Molly with Dora the Explorer and she happily goes off downstairs so I can nurse the baby to sleep. You do what you do to get through!

8:10 – I remember to text my sister not to call as she usually does around 8:20 on her way to work. Sometimes I forget and Molly comes running with the phone for me

8:20 – baby asleep

8:30-9:30 – I tidy the kitchen and prep lunch (tuna sandwiches) and dinner (crock pot chilli) while Molly play with Pom poms, tissue paper and glue (administered by me). We do some very serious work on the Lego railroad and putter with various toys.

9:30am – Monday is Molly’s Terrific Twos class at the local recreation centre, so I wake Oliver (or more specifically Molly does; poor guy never saw it coming) and we get ourselves ready to walk over.

9:45 – leave to walk over to the complex. It’s a rainy day here so I put the rain cover over the double stroller (side note: we bought a Peg Perego Aria double stroller at a consignment shop for $100 when I was watching my nephew. The rain cover designed by Peg Perego for this stroller is $80!! Jolly Jumper sells one that fits for $25. Guess which one I bought).

9:55 – Arrive at the complex.

10am – the door opens to the preschool room and we’re invited in. Molly’s been crying the last few times I left her but today there were only a few sniffles! I’m so proud of her.

10-11:15 – Oliver and I wait in the lobby. There’s a TV with a 24 hour news channel on, a fire place and comfy benches. I kick myself for forgetting to bring a coffee. But at least I remembered Mum Mums for Oliver. Note to self: if I ever run out of glue, Mum Mums are a great alternative! They have sticking power!

11:15 – door opens to the room again (it’s locked from the outside) and I go in to get my girl. She’s so happy to see us and excitedly shows me the paper jack o lantern she made

11:25 – we leave to walk home. Molly decides to walk

11:35 – still walking

11:40 – still walking

11:42 – I finally coerce her into getting in the stroller and I speed walk the last few minutes. I’m thankful I prepped the tuna before we left!

11:55 – settle down for lunch. Tuna sandwich, a yogurt tube and some pear for Molly. Wedges of pear and apricot yogurt for Oliver and a tuna sandwich (with liquid smoke added, yum!) for me. I also ate the skins from the baby’s pear.

12:30 – we head upstairs for nap. Molly starts acting up, pulling down her table lamp and trying to bite her brother. I lost my cool I’m sorry to say and yelled at her. It doesn’t happen often and I feel bad but it is what it is.

12:45 – we have a bit of back and forth with me leaving and coming back (I sit on her bed and nurse the baby to sleep while she falls asleep but will only stay sitting if she’s laying down. I leave if she gets up) but she and the baby are finally out.

12:46 – Yahoo!!!

12:47 – I make a coffee, grab some roasted cashews and head downstairs. There are a zillion chores to do but I want some me time.

1-2:30 – I get my geek on and play World of Warcraft. I’m just a beginner. I’ve been playing with A and enjoy it! It’s nice to do something with him and talk to him about. I was on my own today, trying to hone my skills.

2:30 – both kids are up a little sooner than I’d like. Now what to do for the next few hours…

2:35 – I call my mom and see what she’s up to. I suggest a trip to the store and she agrees. She’ll be over soon!

2:35-? – I didn’t notice what time my mom arrived but until then we played and I cleaned the kitchen. It’s never ending!

? – we head to Walmart. I prefer Target but A requested some buns he found at Walmart once so there we went. I didn’t end up finding them but picked up some bananas, cereal, ketchup, baby bath soap, Camilia, and bleach (the last of which was used the night before to clean the tub. There was an, um, accident).

4:15 – back home!

4:30 – Oliver is sleepy so I bribe Molly with Dora again and throw in some raisins for good measure.

4:50 – he had a good deed but didn’t go to sleep. The window is now closed since I can’t have him going to sleep too close to bedtime. We head back downstairs.

5pm – I do some more dinner prep (add tomato paste and rice to the chilli to thicken it, grate cheese) and play with the kids.

5:20 – I start this post

5:50 – A is home!! Molly runs to the door and screams “Daddy I miss you!” Cutest. Thing. Ever.

6pm – thanks to Mr Crock Pot, dinner is all ready and we sit down to eat. We all have chilli, including Molly. Oliver has steamed carrot sticks, some grated cheese (I’m trying him on dairy), some oatmeal cereal and some Baby Gourmet organic Juicy Pears and Leafy Greens purée.

6:25 – Oliver is done and super tired. I bring him up for a bath.

6:25-6:50 – bath and bedtime prep for both kids. Oliver is too tired for story so I give him the Camilia (fingers crossed it works! His second tooth is being stubborn – did I mention he got his first one Thanksgiving weekend? – and though he’s not screaming in pain, he is having restless sleep and is awake a lot in the night. A lot a lot. I’m pooped.).

6:50 – night nights are said, kisses are given and I leave A to get Molly to bed.

And here I sit now at…7:26pm. He’s finished nursing and is asleep on my nursing pillow. I’ll move him to his crib soon but am enjoying the quiet. I can hear A settling Molly still, so he’s not ready to finish our movie (we started the new Transformers last night). I’ll head down to do the dishes in a few minutes.
That’s Monday folks. I’m sure I missed some things. But there’s never a dull moment!

Another Kind of Remembrance Day

October 15, 2014

I was tidying up the other day and noticed the little crystal butterfly that sits on our fireplace mantle had toppled over. It’s not currently in plain sight, with a basket of wipes and diapers sitting in front of it, put up there so Molly doesn’t use them on her babies and buddies. Though I didn’t give it much thought, I made sure to tip it upright, because it holds a special place in my heart. My husband bought it for us to remember the baby we lost.

My miscarriage no longer holds the title of Most Traumatic Event in my life. That honour now goes to when Molly had her febrile seizure almost a year ago. The thought of it sends me into panic mode and I want to breakdown and cry. Thinking of losing our baby no longer does that to me but it’s not something I will ever forget.
Though I wouldn’t say I’m healed (I don’t think that a loss like that can ever completely heal), it definitely doesn’t impact me as it did once. Time, I guess, is a factor. And making it through two subsequent pregnancies without incident helped. But the clincher is probably knowing we aren’t having any more babies. My mind can now be at rest and not worry about something happening again. With both Molly and Oliver I didn’t completely believe they were safe until they were on my arms.

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I’m thinking of those of you who I know have experienced loss and of those of you who have chosen to remain silent. Always know, you are not alone.

Friday Ramblings

October 10, 2014

On Oliver…
I expect our little guy to have a tooth any day now! There’s a very evident bump on his lower gums. He’ll be 7 months on the 21st, which falls in line with when Molly got her first tooth (a week shy of 7 months).
He hasn’t been sleeping the best. It could be attributed to any number of things. When I mentioned it to my doctor she asked if I was still feeding him in the night. Uh, yes. And I’m not likely to stop. I nursed Molly in the night until she night-weaned herself at 14 months. I’ve never really understood people telling me my baby shouldn’t need to eat at night after a certain point. Who is anyone to say whether my baby is hungry or not other than my baby?
Speaking of eating, we started baby led weaning a few weeks ago. It’s going very well! He took to it like gangbusters and really, I expected no less. What I didn’t expect though was how frustrated he would be if he can’t grasp something or gum off enough to eat. So I’ve adapted our feeding philosophy and am offering oat cereal and purées. He’s actually kind of feeding himself the purées, as he grabs the spoon and I help guide it to his mouth.

On Molly…
Molly is a chatterbox. She has a running commentary going almost all the time! It’s really wonderful to hear but I’m happy for the quiet moments too. I am extremely proud of her manners though! Please, thank you, excuse me…I’ve been drilling them into her practically since birth. A lot of the time now she’ll use them without prompting.
Undaunted by the weather getting cooler, we take lots of walks during the week to the store or the park. She’s addicted to the swing right now and has become quite the climber! Unless other kids are around…then she stops like a deer caught in the headlights and stares at them.

On Me…
I’m soooo close to my first weight loss goal. Only a couple of pounds left! I may have to do a bit of careful eating next week since it’s Thanksgiving this weekend.
For the most part, I’m really enjoying my time with the kids. There are moments of course when I just want to pull my hair out and scream, but the good times outweigh the bad. It makes me wonder if I could be a stay at home mom for good (money wise it wouldn’t make a difference since most of my salary will go to day care). But then I think about my job and how I love it and look forward to going back to work in March. It gets confusing at times.

And that’s all I’ve got to say. I have a few projects on the go I’m hoping to share when I can. But as you can imagine, things are pretty busy around here these days!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Two and Through

October 7, 2014

My personal Facebook news feed is abundant with announcements these days. From weddings to pregnancy announcements to pregnancy updates and beautiful new babies, life is really happening right now and it has me feeling…wishful, I guess is an appropriate word…that those events were still on the horizon for me. Combine that with watching my children grow and flourish, particularly Oliver as he develops at an astounding rate, and hubby booking his appointment to ensure our family planning is complete, and on occasion you might just call me green with envy.
It’s a strange feeling to be moving on from the Build a Family chapter in the never ending story that is our life together. It was my focus for so long and for the past three years we not only got married but had two kids. A lot has happened!
When A came home from his consult regarding his vasectomy, we were both in a state of confusion and were questioning our decision to be “two and through”. Faced with such an irreversible decision, Did we truly want to stop after two? We make really awesome babies after all. Could three work for us?
We really didn’t question ourselves for too long. The reality? No. We don’t want more kids. The very real financial and space limitations aside, I don’t think I can handle being pregnant again. The physical pain I endured (darn ligaments!) and the emotional and mental stress of being pregnant after suffering a miscarriage with our first pregnancy…well, as much as I love and cherish my children, I just can’t do it again.
So two and through it is and you know what? There are plenty of reasons to be happy about that and plenty to look forward to. #1 on that list? Both kids sleeping through the night :-)
Sure, some pretty major life events are over but we now have the opportunity to really focus on nourishing and growing what we have. On being a family. And that is a very good thing.

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Cookbook Challenge #1 – Three Chefs: The Kitchen Men

September 23, 2014

I adore cookbooks. The pictures are enticing, the text is poetic and the possibilities are endless. I’ve built a nice collection over the years of books both new and old. But I have so many books that I’ve never actually used!
In an effort to do more things for me, I’m challenging myself to choose one of my cookbooks each week, make something from it and blog about it.
My rules:
1. Use ingredients I have on hand if possible
2. Must be cow-dairy free or able to be substituted with a non-cow dairy product.
If I was really on the ball I would set up one of those link lists and ask you all to join me, but let’s just take what we can get for now, ok?

The first cookbook I chose is one I bought on our first wedding anniversary trip to Niagara-On-The-Lake, at the Peller Estates Winery. The recipes in this book are amazing, the kind you would find in an upscale restaurant. It’s called Three Chefs: The Kitchen Men by chefs Michael Bonacini, Massimo Capra and Jason Parsons.

I ended up choosing elements from two dishes to create a yummy lunch. I was initially drawn to the Puréed Squash and Apple Soup because I bought a butternut squash at the store recently and the temperatures have been very fall-like, so a soup sounded warm and cozy. Then, a few pages down, I discovered the Baby Spinach, Spiced Pecans and Crunchy Mustard Dressing salad and was intrigued. I love nuts in salads! Unfortunately this one would have required a trip to the store. I was sad about not making this salad right away until I came up with an ingenious plan. The garnishes suggested for the soup were sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds. I can’t have sour cream right now and didn’t have pumpkin seeds on hand. I did however have goat cheese in the fridge and some pecans in the pantry. I could make the candied pecans from the salad recipe and garnish the soup with those and some goat cheese. Goat cheese and pecans are a lovely combo and would work well with the squash in the soup.

Sold!

A few adjustments were made to both recipes. The original soup recipe called for a specific kind of apple but I only had Gala on hand so I used that. I was also a bit lax on measurements, using half a butternut squash, one apple and one onion rather than measuring one cup of each. I also substituted olive oil for the butter, since I’m dairy free. For the pecans, I only had pecan pieces on hand as opposed to whole nuts, so I used those, and since I was hoping Molly would enjoy them, I omitted the cayenne pepper. I also didn’t have pumpkin pie spice mix, so I made my own using cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Spiced Candied Pecans
Adapted from Three Chefs: The Kitchen Men

For the Soup:
1/2 butternut squash, chopped
1 apple, chopped (I used Gala)
1 onion, chopped
Olive oil
Dash of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable stock

Mix the squash, apple and onion in a bowl. Add enough olive oil to coat the mixture, then add nutmeg, salt and pepper. Spread over a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes or until very soft.

Bring vegetable stock to a boil. Add cooked squash mixture. Using an immersion blender, standing blender or food processor, purée the stock and squash mixture until smooth. Season to taste and garnish with goat cheese (or sour cream if you’re able to have dairy) and candied pecans (see below)!

Candied pecans:
1/2 cup pecan pieces
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Combine honey and spices. Add pecans and stir to coat. Spread mixture over baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 min at 350 degrees F.
Allow to cool, then break apart as necessary.

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Five Years!

September 19, 2014

My blog is five years old! I can’t believe it’s been that long and I can’t believe what’s happened in that span of time. When I started blogging here I had just gone through a difficult break up. That was followed by 18 months of dating hoopla. Lots of first dates, a few that were a tad more than that but nothing significant. And then one snowy January, I met A and life forever changed. We blossomed quickly and by the time our one year anniversary rolled around we were about to be married and were expecting our first child. Flash forward to today and we’ve been happily married for 2.5 years and have completed our family with the arrival of our second baby.
Some of you have been around since the beginning and some of you are newer to this space. Regardless, I’m thankful for you all. Writing here helped me grow and develop beyond expectation and it was knowing that you were all reading that gave me the gumption to keep going sometimes. Thank you!

Happy blogiversary to me!

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Ramblings

September 17, 2014

Greetings friends! I know it’s been awhile since I last checked in. A lot is happening…where to start?

On Molly…

We are a full month and more into miss Molly turning two and boy oh boy are we ever feeling it! Within seconds she can go from being adorable and sweet to throwing a ‘toss herself down on the floor’ tantrum because we won’t let her do something that could cause bodily harm. She’s testing us from all angles. Sometimes we pass and sometimes we fail. I guess that’s parenting!
Tantrums aside though, she’s amazing. Despite the frustration of her behaviour sometimes, we’re exceedingly proud to call her our daughter.

On Oliver…

Our little mister is getting bigger every day! He’ll be six months in a few days. We haven’t had his 6 month check up yet, so I don’t have any stats but he’s currently wearing 12 month size sleepers and tops and 9 month size pants. He’s interested in everything he can get his hands on, enough that he’s developed some crawling moves that are part commando and part inch worm. It’s slow going but any day now I expect him to figure it out and really start moving!
We started him on solids this week, following the baby led weaning principles that we did for Molly. I had intended to start with avocado, as we did with her, but in a state of frustration the other day when he wouldn’t let me put him down at dinner (I think meal interruption bothers me more than lack of sleep), we gave him banana. We’ve since moved onto squash. So far so good!

On Me…

I’ve been sick. Like ‘101 degree F fever for five days’ kind of sick. No other real symptoms other than aches and chills and almost passing out at the bank (that was fun), so the doctor diagnosed it as a virus. Molly and Oliver both had milder versions of it over the past week. Of course being the mom and not being able to rest like I should, mine was worse and lasted longer. I’ve never been the type to push through when I’m sick, generally giving in to the malaise and letting my body recover as it’s supposed to, so it’s especially hard for me to be sick with kids and still be on the go.
But I’m on the mend now and feeling great! Part of that too is that I hit my pre-pregnant with Oliver weight! Yahoo! And I’m only 7 lb away from my pre-Molly weight, so I’m feeling happy.
I’m hoping to get a lot of walking in until the weather turns. That’s should be relatively easy because….

On Our Car Situation…

A’s beloved 2000 Honda Accord passed last week. At 14 years old, it was on it’s last legs and we knew it wouldn’t be long until the cost to keep it running would be too much but we didn’t quite expect it so soon. With A just starting his new job, we’re not going to over extend ourselves with a new car loan or add to our line of credit, so for now a single car family we will be! My Nissan Sentra is only 5 years old and in good shape. I can drive him to work when necessary and I’m lucky that my mom is retired and lives very close by. We can use her truck whenever we need to or tag along with her to run errands. And when the weather is nice, there’s a grocery store, drug store, heck, even a liquor store, only a 15 minute walk away! In a few months we might consider buying or leasing something else, but I’m curious to see how we can manage with just one. It would certainly make a difference as far as saving money!

On The Change…

I suppose the biggest change right now is that A started his new job on Monday. He seems to be enjoying himself as he gets the lay of the land. There are actually several people from his previous employer working there now (they transitioned before him), so he already knows people! That’s a huge comfort when starting somewhere new.
I will admit I’ve been apprehensive over the past couple of weeks knowing I would be taking care of the kids solo now during the weekdays. I’ve treasured having A’s help over the past six months and really relied on him to get through the days. Even with the two of is it was a challenge. How would I do it on my own? I was especially concerned when I got sick last Thursday. As I mentioned, I’m not a good sick person.
It’s only been a few days but so far it’s been not terrible! I’ve had my moments, particularly when trying to get the baby down for a nap with Molly underfoot (why do they make so much noise??), but nothing a little Bubble Guppies couldn’t fix! Almost as if they wanted to ease me into my new role, they napped at the same time for a couple of hours the first two days!

On a New Blog Challenge…

I’m creating a new blog challenge for myself I’m hoping to reveal in a few days, if not sooner assuming I can pull myself together. I really want to get back to blogging more. It’s truly a part of who I am and I miss it terribly. Stay tuned and thanks for being patient :-)

And that’s all for now folks. Have a great weekend!

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