Sunday, 27 March 2011

41 Momths

Dear Bea and Gabe,

This month was a strange one of trying to keep busy, keep moving and wait out the end of winter.  We have been getting the occasional nice day when the sun shines and although it might be cold and there is still snow on the ground it is nice enough to bundle up and go play in it.  We are also getting many days of what people are calling 'slaining' when it rains, snows and sleets all at the same time.  Those are the dismal days....the days that I struggle to keep you busy....the days I wish I did drive and could take you somewhere.  We are all getting cabin fever.

I now have finally realized why so many moms I know complain about winter and the bloody snow suits.  This winter has been the worst for us so far in that you guys are a good age to enjoy playing in the snow.  Often I would bundle you up one by one throwing you into the back yard to play while I watched from the backdoor window.  This only started when I realized that once I got you both bundled up and out and then myself ready, whoever had been sent out first would be ready to come in before I made it off the back steps.  Gabe always lasted longer so I started bundling him up first.  It just got easier for me to stay by the door and make 'hot chocky' for when you were ready to come back in.  One day I got adventurous and tried to take you guys to the park.  We got dressed, I did the dishes, got bundled up, Bea needed to pee, snowsuit off, bathroom, snowsuit on, go outside, Gabe filled his diaper, snowsuit off, new diaper, snowsuit on, go outside, Bea falls into a huge puddle, snowsuit off, change clothes, different snowsuit on, go outside, load Bea into stroller, Gabe slips in same puddle, gets soaked. Cancel trip....

Poo Penny
This month started with a big scare.  One morning the game was emptying out my purse and wallet.  I don't really care about messing this stuff up and really, it gives me an excuse to clean out my purse.  You guys dumped out the change in my change purse and used it to fill toy cups and Bea you dumped it into your play purse and walked around with your 'honey'. ( It didn't matter how many times I said 'money' you would look at me and say 'honey'.) Even though you are well beyond me worrying about you putting things in your mouths, Daddy mentioned that 'money doesn't go in your mouth'  A couple of minutes later Bea was full on chocking. Bea we turned you upside down and pounded on your back.  It didn't come out, but you swallowed it.  

A bunch of tears, yours and mine, later we had a very serious talk about how nothing goes in your mouth.  I then spent the next couple of days on penny patrol....looking through your poo every day.  It reminded me of a clip from one of the 'funny video' shows on tv when a father ran a metal detector over his youngest and it picked up on the coin she had swallowed.  He did it everyday  and everyday it had moved a bit further down her system.  The final clip was her holding the coin. Two days after swallowing the coin you excitedly called me into the bathroom to show me your 'circle poop'.  Gabe and I went running in and there it was......a penny....completely separate from the rest of the.......ahhh errrrr ....'movement' "Look a circle poop" you said. "No Bedo, dats a poo penny" Gabe corrected.  We flushed it away and had another serious talk about putting things in our mouth.  Two days later I saw the penny in the bottom of the toilet...unable to be flushed away....staying with us even longer.....to you the 'poo penny'....to me the 'stress penny'.  So again to make sure that my place in the world is reinforced I reached in the toilet and grabbed the poo penny......it now sits proudly (and all clean) on the mantle to be seen by who ever asks.....and many do......or should I say do do..

finally figured out a proper 'cheese'
Bea you have just gotten more agreeable all the time.  And sillier. And smarter. And funnier and holy cow so many things that make you more and more fun to be around all the time.  There was a stretch there in your terrible two-ness that I really worried about what kind of person I was raising...I asked many other Moms with older kids and they all said there is 'that' stage.  I was thankful for the reassurance.....and that you aren't going to be an axe murderer after all.

You have a wonderful sense of humour whether you mean to or not.  Some of the best from this month include: 

You run up to Big Daddy, interrupting our conversation by giving him a big kiss and announcing "I make you happy Daddy" Big Daddy "yes Bebe you make me very happy"  

I caught you licking her hands, when I asked you what you were doing you announced that you are a cat 

One morning you wouldn't get dressed "Don't wanna get dwessed, be with my body" I ask "you want to be with your body? you mean you want to be naked?" you say "yup I love my body"  Glad that you haven't already started picking up on weird body issues.

One morning you climb into bed with me, "Good Morning Mummy" "Good Morning Bedo" "blech I don't like mummy, you liddle bit stancky" (morning breath) On the way downstairs, "Mummy I ride a horse today ok" As I pee "I wanna watch teebee (TV) while you make me pancakes ok Mummy?" I laugh (no plans for pancakes) You get very mad "I said ok Mummy, you hear me? No whaffing Mummy NO WHAFFING AT ME!"

And then one of our prouder moments: 
Your first major haircut (yes you have had one trim in your life last fall) and we cut enough that it could be donated to Locks of Love.  It takes 8 inches to make a donation and by the end of it they took close to 10!  I didn't think you could get any cuter but this hair cut is so perfect for you and it solves all the brushing your hair fights that we have been having lately
After cut lollipop


Gabe you are the more challenging of the two of you right now.  Trying to put your foot down and have opinions on stuff but it all comes out as a whine.  As much as I want you to have a say in stuff.....the way you are saying it makes it very difficult.  You are still generally a very easy going guy but when you decide you are going to melt down about something you really commit to it.
Every night I tell the two of you grab whatever you want to take to bed with you.  For Bea it has been the same things for years.  "Horsey" a weird purple and pink unicorn, "Elwefint" a weird blue vinyl elephant and 'carewit' a stuffed carrot.  Gabe for you every night is different and daddy and I have had to set some limits because really....there isn't any room left for you.  Tonight was: medium sized plastic Buzz Light Year, large plastic Thomas the tank engine, 4 pieces of wooden train track, 5 Matchbox cars, a train book, a CARS book that has a magnetic sketch board attached, very large stuff horse, 4 pillows of various size.  Tonight we denied: the Toy Story Jesse doll, a huge fire truck, the two pillows off the rocking chair in your room, a tool box, and a few other things I can't remember.
I have started singing to you guys at bed time.  I don't know how or why it started but I do remember loving it when I was a kid.  Grammy use to sing what I called 'climb up ladder' song which is an old The Band song called 'All a Glory' and it is a great sleep song so now I sing it to you.  I think Gabe you like it best and every night say in a whispery voice "sing Pidder Padder Mummy" so I do
You have also had a funny month.....but I think this age almost everything you guys say is funny
Gabe singing the alphabet "Ehh, Bee, Cee, Dee, Eee, Eff, Gee, Acha, Eye, Jay, kay, Lemmo, Emmo, Pee, Que, Arr, Ess, Tee, Oooh, Pee, Double You, Ex, Why, Em, Zee.
"Gabe you're so goofy" Gabe "I'm not Goofy, I'm Gabe"
You told me we need to get a baby and that we should name it "chocolate" 
One morning while waking up you told me that you were "thosty". I told you to go downstairs, Daddy was making Babas "OH" you said "Dat sounds dewishous" and you ran off downstairs 
Since the surgery I have had to remind you to use both eye when looking at things, the habit of one at a time is still there. This is what you do when I say that and then you announce "my eyes all better Mummy"
Even with all the challenging behavour  from you this month I did get a glimpse of the kind of person you really are and he is still the sweet boy I remember from younger days.  One day we were at 'Jump and Play', you two were running around like crazy people and one boy there was being very naughty.  He had already had a speaking to by a couple of the other mothers there (but not his own...go figure) before he ran over and gave you a good shove.  This boy was at least a year older but didn't manage to knock you down.  You just stood there and looked at him like he was crazy and then ran off to play. Your response was so perfect in that he didn't wreak your play time but it completely infuriated him that you didn't respond.  I, in perfect Mama Bear fashion, did have a talk with this kid. Because I 'got yer back' and I always will.
 
I love you my monkeys
mama

Saturday, 19 March 2011

The Food Lady

So much in life is learning the fine balance of.....well....life! I have never really struggled with the balance of how I want to live my life.....or what is important to me but I have struggled, and still do, with how to express that to the world.  How do I live staying true to my values and choices while not offending or some how threatening others? I don't know.......I have watched others who I admire and do it well, honouring themselves without offending but often when their backs are turned they are called names and eyes are rolled. 

I know that I have made choices in my life that are not mainstream.  Everything I am told to do, to take, to own, to buy, to ingest, I take with a grain of salt and then research it myself......I do this with foods, medicines, all products and life style choices.  I am in life a researcher (but not by profession) and tend to do my due diligence.  In a world based so heavily on money and wealth, on disposable and not quality, on instant gratification and not well thought out investments......on perception and not reality, I stand with a small group of people who have decided to 'not buy it'! Actually and philosophically.


I am taking the honour and gift of this life, and my children's lives seriously. I am not a religious  person but I am a person of great faith, I believe in something bigger than me (I am not arrogant enough to think otherwise) I just don't believe it is a person.  I believe in souls, I believe in energy, good or bad, I believe in the power of Mother Earth and a greater good. I believe I should be thankful for these things everyday. But I also believe that our health and our  impact on the earth and others is our own responsibility and can not be deferred to and dependent on someone else. As frightening and overwhelming as it might be, these things are our own responsibility. I also believe that if I am doing the best I can, I have to believe that so is everyone else.  In the words of Oprah (although I don't believe anything she says is actually her words but made famous BY her) "You know better, you do better"


So in living this way I try to be respectful (without always having respect for) how others have chosen to live their lives. Where this becomes difficult is now with my (somewhat self imposed) title of 'The Food Lady', when being asked my opinion on something.....how do you finely word that I don't give my children milk to drink and never have when being asked for advice on what fat percentage of milk to give your kids? How do I walk the balance of advice without a perception of judgment? How do you inform without offending?  What makes this all the more confusing is that it is only some that are offended or take my choices and ideas as some sort of judgment on them.  How do I know who and how? And how do I do all that and honour myself?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Mmmmmmmmuffins

I have always loved to cook but going gluten free has forced me to learn a whole new language of food.  I have loved the challenge.  Although there seems to e no evidence as of yet that the kids have to be gluten free, we eat most meals sans gluten....because I do all the cooking.  This morning when I asked the kids what they wanted for breakfast Gabe said he wanted muffin.  I haven't made muffins in a while.  When the kids were younger, and still eating mushier foods, I often had a stash of them in the freezer to pack in the diaper bag when we were on the go or for those tired blurry mornings when making something seemed like and impossible task. Here is one of many of the gluten free muffins I have been making but it is one of my favourites

Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar Free, Bad Fat Free, and 'Gum' Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Makes 12 smaller muffins

1 heaping tsp of ground flaxseed
1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored, and coarsely grated
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Sliced almonds

PreHeat oven to 350° F. Prepare a small muffin tin with 12 baking cups.

Place flax seeds in a medium-sized bowl and mix with 2 tbsp boiling water to make a paste. Let cool and then add apple juice, coconut oil, agave syrup, vanilla, eggs, and grated apple. Whisk briefly to combine.

In a separate medium bowl, combine flours, oats, tapioca starch, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon. Pour wet mixture over and stir until just combined. Divide mixture between 12 baking cups, sprinkle each with an equal amount of almonds, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Midnight Snack

The twins are now old enough that they can sit with us for dinner at dinner time.  It is a very early dinner (5:30 or 6) but it is nice to have another family meal on the schedule.  When they were younger we were having breakfast and lunch together but the way their feed schedule worked a family dinner was hard to get organized.  I love having these early dinners with them but I am hungry again before I go to bed.  I don't want to sit and have another meal, it's just unhealthy to eat that late but lately I have been having a piece of  toast and a glass of this
Not only is it sooooo yummy, it fulls you up.  It also makes fantastic hot chocolate or as the kids call it "Hot Chocky"