Sunday, 27 February 2011

40 momths

Dear Gabe and Bea, Little Man and Beanie, Mister and Twiddle,

With every month that passes I can't believe I was bestowed the honour of being your mom. This is even more true now that you guys are an age that is SO much fun for everyone.  There are ages that are really only interesting to the parents and maybe some family but to the general public....meh..  This age is hilarious... in every way, the crazy stories, the 'let's peetend', the silly opinions on silly stuff and your imaginations are going like crazy. Every morning you wake to tell me stories I think must be crazy dreams but maybe they are just story telling.  Endless 'remember when' and I am amazed by what you remember....and am sometimes confused by the memory....did this actually happen?  Was this something you did with Daddy?  Is this a dream?
You love wearing some of Daddy's hockey equipment

In my lame attempts to wear you guys out without going outside with the weather being so grim we have started playing some silly games around the house.  The popular ones are 'red light, green light' and 'hide and seek'.  Both games in our house are weird variations of the real game.  Hide and seek is you two running off to hide while we ALL count loudly.  I stop counting to find you while the two of you continue to count loudly from your hiding spot.

This month was also kindergarten registration.  I still haven't come to terms with this concept.  How on earth is it time for you guys to start school?  As much as I am not ready to let go I am also acutely aware of how much you guys need it.  Along with knowing and recognizing numbers and letters, Gabe you are desperately trying to read.  Spelling out the words and then 'reading' them.  For a while everything was a meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner.....all letters spelled a meal
"Gabe how do you spell toy?"
"T. O. Y. toy"
"how do you spell boy?"
"B. O. Y. boy"
..."What does this spell Gabe?" I spell G.A.B.E.
"G. A. B. E. spells lunch
Your eyes at their worst pre-surgery
And more recently everything spells either 'Toronto', 'Maple' or 'Leafs' much to Daddy's delight.
This month was 'The Great Eye Surgery' and like all heavily anticipated events, the actual event was nothing compared to all the stress of anticipating it.  God did I worry!  I had myself so worried that I didn't sleep!  To top it off Gabe, you got sick the week before.  We went up to the indoor playground (you guys call it Jump and Play) and within 10 minutes of arriving you wanted to cuddle with me.  And then you fell asleep!  In that loud crazy place all curled up on my lap.  It was super cute but I also knew that you must feel terrible.  By the time we got home you had a fever........and like all well timed events IT WAS THE NIGHT THAT DADDY WAS AWAY IN BUFFALO WITH THE BOYS TO SEE A HOCKEY I stressed alone.  I knew the illness itself was probably nothing but we had been waiting to get the eye thing done and over with for so long that the idea of it getting delayed ......well it made me crazy.  By the day of the surgery all you had was a runny nose.

Into the operating room.  Daddy took you, I couldn't do it

I asked if one of us could take you into the operating room.  One of the nurses made it happen for us.  I wanted you to feel safe until you were completely asleep.  I chickened out knowing that I would cry the entire time and freak you out.  Daddy took you in, they could barely fit him into the gown and booties were torn to fit his feet.  He didn't fair much better.  He came out with one of the nurses and she rushed to get him a box of tissues. 
Thank God for Grammy.  Like all major life events, Grammy is here to keep some sanity.  We had to be at the hospital for 6 am so the plan was to sneak Gabe out and let Bea sleep.  Grammy would stay home and have a special day with Bea. I wanted to make sure that this wasn't a traumatic event for either of you.  It is easy to think that this is going to be scary and weird for Gabe but I wanted to be aware of how weird it was going to be for Bea.  Waking up to just Grammy in the house, knowing that Gabe was at the doctor to 'get his eyes punched'......Daddy and I kept saying 'fixed' you guys kept saying 'punched'....
Still asleep
Just woke up and the first time looking straight at you

In the wheelchair to go home

After all the stress, worry and sleepless nights as we loaded Gabe into the car to come home from the hospital he says "that was fun, let's do it again" I am hoping that you just meant the wheelchair....

We were home by noon and Grammy had taken Bea out for brunch.  Gabe it was like you had been drinking. Stumbling around the house.  They said some of it will be the change in eye sight and some will be the drugs. We gave you a little bit of time to calm down and eat something but felt naps were needed for ALL of us.

day 2

After naps and the drugs had worn off we became more aware of how different this was for you.  From across the room you looked at me and said "Look, two Mommies" then you slowly walked towards me and once close said "now one Mommy"

You healed up quickly and the doctor said at your post-op that everything looked great.  He seemed to downplay the correction saying that there could possibly be other minor ones in the future...something he didn't mention at any of the pre-surgical visits.  I hope in your case that you figure this out and no further adjustments are needed....I don't know if my heart can handle it.

Day 3

Gabe with all this to contend with you have had a very funny months

One night you got upset after brushing your teeth because you couldn't find your tooth. I asked you which tooth (you haven't lost any teeth) to which you replied "Da bowoun one, I lost it." I took a good look in your mouth, not only have you not lost any teeth you certainly don't have any brown ones but I looked for it anyway.  We then spent the next 20 minutes running around the house looking for your brown tooth.  We didn't find it under the bathroom sink or in your bed.

You love your pillow and have taken to carrying it around every where.  You think it is 'lovely', 'shiny' and 'squishy' and I have NO idea where this is coming from.

Day 4

One day you threw your arms around my neck and said " love love"

While flipping through a nutrition book I am reading you said "Inter-westing......verwee inter-westing".

One day you told me the bathroom lamp needed a new 'lightballs"

and on another day "the nine is funny because he is happy. The sixes are sad because they have a cold"

One day I asked you what your name is "it's Gabe" you said and then I asked "and what was your name in your past life?" "Oliver" you said matter of factly 

And through all this craziness is my tough as nails Bedo.  Lovey you are a trouper when it comes to most things. Truthfully it is the little things that infuriate you.  Yes you are terribly bossy at times, scream to get attention and can get physical when mad but when it matters, like around Gabe's surgery you are sweet and absolutely forgiving of all being about him.  You tried to kiss his eyes, would cry FOR him when we had to put eye drops in and would listen to any special instructions we had ie. we can't splash in the tub today because water can't get in Gabe's eyes.  In fact you would remind him!! Patting him on the back saying things like "Sweetheart are you ok?" clicking your tongue "Awwww".  You were so sweet and loving.

This month has been the beginning of you doing accents.  Yes we are that crazy in this house......but you have started talking about 'The Mole Sisters", a British childrens tv show, with a slight English accent.  Daddy thinks this is hilarious and makes you do it over and over.  You love to make people laugh

You can also be incredibly focused, much more than Gabe can.  Sticking with something until you feel it is done.  This is true of your painting and in this picture, putting tiny Toy Story stickers all over your Devil Ducky.  This took you over an hour and then you presented it to me

You had a funny month too with one hiccup of a couple of nights crappy sleep when you started climbing in with us claiming that monster with long hair was tickling your tummy. Later the story got longer and this monster had scary eyes and long finger nails......but you weren't never came into our room crying, just awake.  After a few minutes of cuddles Daddy would take you back to bed and tuck you in again.  As much as I hate being woken up I loved the cuddle.  With all the attention Gabe had been getting I understood that you needed some one on one and am always happy to give it to you however you need to claim it
You also said some really funny stuff this month
"I gotta a ouchy on my foot when I was showin off a little"
Tidmouth Sheds according to Bea "Spencer is da Daddy, Emowee is da Mommy and Thomas is the BAYBEEEE"
You were dancing around so I ask you if you needed to go to the potty. You climbed up on the chair beside me, pulls down your pants and stuck your bare bum in my face and said "I dunno, do you see poop in dare?"
You have also taken to singing a lot which I love. The video is just an example of all the singing.  And as always my loves.....I love you more than you will ever know
Love Mama

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Worth the read

 Really worth the read and makes me beg the question.....then how do I raise a MAN

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Mighty Life List

I post this list for the first time in June of 2009.  Now two years later this is how much I have accomplished.  I have added to it since then.  There are a few things that you will notice are only partially crossed off.  These are things that have been done 'in part', have been started or are a life time of learning

There has been so much talk about "living your best life" and ways to do it. I like a few of them ie writing your obit if you died now and then write the obit you want to have. In thinking about the one I would like to have I started this.....It is my Mighty Life List

I will add to it as I think of stuff. My only concern with starting this venture is that I spent all my time thinking of things to put on my list and putting them on my list that I don't actually do them....

1. Travel Asia
2. Get health issues under control, be healthy again (Stopped eating gluten helped, still some more to go)
3. Grow most if not all of my vegetables (grew slot this past summer, planning on doing more ever year)
4. Safari in Africa
5. Take French cooking classes (Le Cordon Blue)
6. Have 'the house', with 'the kitchen'
7. Have another baby
8. Have a big wedding anniversary party
9. Volunteer somewhere (TPOMBA)
10. Get my drivers license (I have my learners permit)
11. Write and get published 'the cookbook'
12. Learn to sew, get sewing machine
13. Be a valued member of a community
14. Learn to be a better gardener
15. Get a university degree
16. Start running again
17. Be able to cross money issues off my life list of worries
18. Go to a yoga retreat
19. Learn to speak fluent French
20. Completely restore old family house
21. Be able to spend long holidays at old family house
22. Learn to live in the moment more
23. Get a bicycle
24. Start doing Yoga daily
25. Get off the Grid
26. Be brave and eat French food without wondering what part of the animal it is
27. Spend a day at the spa getting EVERYTHING(ideally I would like to do this a couple of times a year)
28. Run a half marathon
29. Learn to follow through and finish what I start
30. Take singing lessons and sing out LOUD
31. Pick something and stick with it
32. Learn to make cheese

Sunday, 20 February 2011

What did your family have for dinner?

Today for dinner we had Tomato Caper Trout..........yummy
Sorry for the bad photo...I started eating and decided a pic was needed for the post

It is a easy recipe and the kids will eat this, usually without the Tomato caper Sauce

Here's how you do it
Preheat oven to 375
In a bowl mix together

1 cup of sliced in half cherry tomatoes
2 diced shallots
2 sliced cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of capers (drained if in brine, rinsed if salted)
Zest from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon (approx 3 tbps)
A generous pinch of pepper

Pour over 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of trout fillets (this is generally the weight of two large trout fillets) in an oven safe dish.  Throw into oven.  Bake until the flesh of the trout flakes when pressed on with the back of a fork.  This is pretty close to the same timing as it takes to cook 2 cups of basmati rice and steam some broccoli.

The kids love this just without the sauce.  The trout has so much flavour from the tomatoes and capers that nothing is really needed on it but you can add a squeeze of lemon for the kids if desired.  To quote Yo Gabba Gabba, "Try it, you'll like"

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Stuff that hurts

I don't think it matters how old you get. There are things that hurt just like high school.  I guess it doesn't matter how mature you get, you can still care what people think.  I may not outwardly seek approval or really care what people think but when they do something hurtful it is amazing how much it can still hit you like a teenage cut.

I had something happen this week that hurt me like that.  It is total stupid and truly meaningless in the grand scheme but it hurt none the less and I am embarrassed to admit it

My ex-husband deleted me as a friend on Facebook .  Stupid I know!  And it isn't like we were in contact on Facebook other than the first few weeks after he 'friended' me but just knowing that there was some connection between us eased some of the pain of our split.  It helped add to the idea that we were both good people just in a bad situation and the only way out was to cut our loses and carry on.  In fact I needed to think that's what happened.  I needed it to be that way so I wasn't a fool, tricked, deceived, or a victim.  He needed to be a good guy with big problems, problems so big that it destroyed something inherently good.

But the further away I get from that time and the more I got to know him now, the more I had to come to terms with the idea that I was not just a victim and fool then but that I was still a fool trying desperately to give him the benefit of the doubt even though he had never deserved it. I was deceived, tricked and fooled then and I hate him for that but being tricked, fooled and deceived now! I hate myself for that. And now to add insult to injury - deleting me on Facebook just seems a low blow. It is probably good for me that he is now completely out of my life (again) but could it once, just once be on MY terms!?!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Sugar free, Healthy Oil, Totally Yummy Granola

Oh Granola how do I love thee......

I love granola and since being declared 'Gluten Free' it has limited the buy-able options. Suddenly I have to be careful of the quality of the oats and if there are 'wheat puffs' or some such....

I have always been told that making granola is easy but have never really tried it so this summer I started testing some recipes out. Gah! They can be terrifically sweet!! I want to stay away from refined sugar, corn syrup, vegetable oil and obviously gluten. After a bunch of tries this is what I have come up with

Pre heat oven 350 degrees
This is:

6 cups of rolled oats (certified gluten free)
3 cups of nuts (I like 2 cups of almonds, and one cup of hazelnuts. I buy raw nuts, soak them for 8 hours, rinse and then pulse them a couple of times in the food processor to 'chop')
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds (in this case black)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cinnamon

I like to use a roasting pan for this. It makes it easy to stir without the worry of any spilling into the bottom of the oven.

In a large measure cup mix together:

2 tbsp coconut oil (you are going to have to warm it to make it liquid)
1 cup of Maple Syrup

Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and mix well until completely combined

Put in oven and let toast, stirring every time the top browns. Keep toasting and stirring until it is all nicely browned and dried out. Times will vary depending on depth and size of roasting pan. You may want to test a nut and make sure it is nice a crunchy. They take the longest to toast. It usually takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour. This could take a little longer depending on how small you chopped your nuts (har har)

I like to add the dried fruit at the very end. If they are added too early they can toast too much and get bitter and hard. You can add them for the last 10 minutes or as soon as the granola is pulled out of the oven. Add a total of 2 1/2 cups of your choice and mix and match.

Some great ones are:
Dried Blueberries
Dried Cherries
Dried Cranberries
Goji Berries
Grated Coconut (make sure to add this in for the last 15 minutes in the oven so it has a chance to toast too)

Store the granola once it has cooled in an air tight container

And then eat it.......