Wednesday, 27 July 2011

45 Momths

Dear my Loves,


We can celebrate that we love summer.  What a fun challenging difference this summer is from the last.  This one is much more about keeping you guys busy and wearing you out while last summer was more about small outings to preserve naps.

We have been to every park within walking distance (mine), had picnics, snacks, bike rides, games of 'it', temper tantrums, and melt downs in every one of them.  We are enjoying summer.

Water Baby A



















Water Baby B














Back in March when I was signing you guys up for school I had real second thoughts about whether you would be ready, whether I was ready to let you go and whether you two were ready to be separated.  As the summer progresses, the more I realize how much you guys need school and some time away from each other.

Bea takes her own picture with the webcam
Bea you're more of a challenge than ever this summer and I can't wait for you to start school.  Not because I want you away from me but because I think you need the stimulation more than ever.  You are the craziest drama girl and as hard as it is to parent that sometimes (sometimes I just have to get out of your way) it makes for some really funny moments to.

You had to take off your over night diaper fast because apparently it was very uncomfortable or as you said "It's killin me.

One day you leaned back on the couch, put your hand on your forehead, sighed and said dramatically "mummy I need a break" 

You wiped Gerties nose with a tissue. Saying it is yucky and all wet. 

"no mummy I don't want to be a nice girl, I want to be a HAPPY girl" 

While looking at a picture of a family with 4 kids you said "There is the Mummy, and the Daddy and those are all the sweethearts?" 


Gabe you are such a weird little egg.  Such a focused little dreamer. So busy.


To Mini (our cat) in a squeaky falsetto "ooooh lovely kitty, you're so silly and soft, soft like a pillow, a pillow wif feeeeeeet." 

One morning "I wanna play wif cars not a widdle while BUT a big while" 




















 

There was one big expense this month that we love but still question how good an idea it was at your age.  We bought a new stroller.  You guys had met the maximum weight capacity for the old one and it is a hard and heavy stroller to push around with 80-90 pounds of kids in it.  We decided it might be time to finally spurge on get the stroller/bike trailer that we had always wanted.  Not only does it hold a lot more weight but it has more function for us at this stage.  I would like to say that you guys are too old for a stroller but it's not true when your mom doesn't drive and runs errands with you in tow.  It's not just about whether you guys can do the walking but who is going to carry all the stuff?  Even trips to the park to play in the pool requires an enormous amount of stuff.  A blanket, towels, snacks, drinks, dry clothes, sun block, a book for me, drinks etc.  Even if I just throw that into the stroller while you guys walk it is helpful.  It is also invaluable for getting tired kids home quick, a load of groceries or a kid that has decided they don't want to go home.  We also thought it was a smart buy in the long run because it can be used for one when (and if) baby number three ever arrives.  A bit big for one but I will still have two other kids and all the stuff that that entails.  And oh boy do you guys love riding around in it as a bike trailer.  One interesting bit of information.....at all your check ups over the years the doctors have always said that Gabe's head circumference is off the charts or in the 90th percentile.  I thought you might have grown into your head as time goes by but when we bought you guys the helmets, Bea easily fit into the kids sizes while Gabe needed a 'youth' size.....at 3 1/2 you have a youth size head!!!

 You two are the craziest, most nuts, biggest weirdos, most loved little people in the world and I wouldn't have it any other way

Love Mama



Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Dinner Last Night: Sick Soup

I first wrote about this soup (see bottom of post) last year in the fall as cold and flu season was starting up. During the recipe development I made numerous pots of it and ending up freezing about 8 litres of it.  Almost a year later we have eaten all of it and now with fighting a round of summer colds it called for a fresh pot.

This is by far the best 'sick soup' I have ever had.  There is nothing in it that can contribute to mucus production (wheat, dairy or eggs) or stress your immune system.  This is all supportive and very yummy to boot.  I don't know if I have ever written the recipe out in full here and I did manage to take a picture.

Now here is how to make it 
Get Well, Stay Well Soup

About an hour, including prep, of casual cooking and makes enough for 2 family of four meals. It freezes beautifully

3 tbsp             EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) or unflavoured coconut oil
2 Cups            Diced carrots, for soups I cut them into quarters lengthwise and then slice making ¼ moons.
2                      Medium diced yellow onions or 3 leeks
4                      Cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp.           Minced ginger
1 Cup              Brown Rice (I like the nutty flavour and chewy texture of brown rice with this recipe and it holds together not getting mushy but brown basmati could also work. I’m not a huge fan of white rice and it is nutritionally poor. I don't recommend couscous because it can cintribute to mucus production but I do recommend quinoa. Add it pre-cook in the very end)
3 Cups            Peeled Cubed Sweet Potatoes (1 lg or 2 medium potatoes)
8 cups             Chicken Stock (2 946 mL Tetra pacs)
4 cups             Water
2                      Skinless/boneless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp            Dried Parsley (or fresh is better)
1 Tsp              Dried Thyme
½                     A lemon juiced (and the zest is a nice option)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Chillies (optional for the adults)

Over medium heat in a large soup pot heat the olive oil and sauté the carrots and onions (or leeks) with a pinch of salt . Stirring until they are soft and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Don’t let them brown. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until you can smell them, usually about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and thyme and then add the chicken stock and water. Turn up the heat to Medium-Hi til it comes to a boil.  Add the lemon zest and rice stirring for a minute or two so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom.  Once it starts to simmer again turn the heat back down and put the lid on and let cook for 10 minutes. 
Add the sweet potatoes and the whole rinsed chicken breasts.  Let the whole pot simmer lid off till the chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes then pull them out and let them cool for a couple of minutes.  For younger kids, dice or mince this chicken with a knife.  For older kids and adults I recommend shredding it with two forks which is easy to do even if they are hot. Add the chicken back into the soup pot and let simmer until the rice is fully cooked (5-10 mins depending on your choice of grain) Once done add the lemon juice and the soup is done. I started serving this soup to the kids not as a soup but pulled out the contents with a slotted spoon.  As they have gotten older and more proficient with a spoon they now eat it themselves.  The adults can add more salt and pepper if they want.  We like to add dried chilies to give it some kick.  I feel better already!

Monday, 25 July 2011

What is doing, undoing.....not getting done and getting framed

So I have been busy...and slightly sick

My parents came to spend 5 days with us which is always super fun and super busy. But it also doesn't give me much time to sit down and write and what little time I did have I had to finish up a double bill article that will be posted in it's two parts sometime in the next month. Kate at Modern Alternative Mama is about to have baby #3 and is stocking up her posts from Contributing Writers for the first few weeks after the little one arrives.  That's why there I don't have an exact date yet. Baby is due any minute.......good luck Kate!!  I will post a link here as soon as they are up.

To intensify the week we are also fighting colds.  It started a couple of days ago for the kids with runny noses and a bad case of the grumps.  Sick kids are incredibly demanding and make getting anything else done almost impossible. So here, this place, has taken a back burner.  Hopefully I can be back in full force in the next couple of days even though that now I am fighting 'the worlds silliest cold that never really happens'.  I now am the one with the runny nose and a case of the grumps.  It isn't a bad cold but it is a few days of feeling like you are about it get a bad cold and all you want to do is sleep.

So there we are and here I am not......


oh and I got framed! I have reached the age of reading glasses (oh dear)....
Just a webcam photo but getting a decent picture of yourself taken by you is almost impossible.  That and I just woke up and have bedhead and no make up on...but check out my new 'geek sheek' shades!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Writing

Struggling through an article for Modern Alternative Mama.  I think I have all the bits and pieces it is now just finding a way of putting them all together.  It is hard with so little down time....so little quiet.  The kids have been on a crazy schedule lately that keeps them up late on the days they nap or makes them almost impossible to be around any time after 5 on the days they don't.  There is a lot more time to yourself on the 'no nap' days because they have a much earlier bed time but that down time is usually spent 'wining' to recover from the 3-4 hours in the afternoon of whining.

Today I was given the gift of Daddy taking them out for a bike ride.  I might just be in love with our new bike trailer/stroller.

 Not only did I get a bunch of writing done but I thought I would pop over here and say hey!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Breakfast this morning: Po-tay-toe

I love the combination of potatoes and eggs.  Because I don't eat toast....generally speaking...(being gluten free) I have become a bit of a potato whore when it comes to breakfast.

This morning I make Rosti. (I think there is suppose to be the double dots over the O but I don't know how to do that.)

Rosti is yummy and easy to make.  Unfortunately but also karmically the one time I take pictures of it is the messiest stupidist attempt I have had at making this.  So bare with the pictures....it still tasted great

You need:
5 or 6 peeled potatoes grated (I almost always Yukon Gold)
1 medium sized onion diced
6 tbsps oil (I used unflavoured coconut oil)
salt and pepper

You don't have to peel the potatoes but these ones had gotten a little eyed so they needed to be peeled.
All peeled and ready

I always cook with coconut oil


Then grate on a cheese grater and dice a medium size onion




















Heat up a good size fry pan to a medium heat and add the oil.  Evenly spread it out like a pancake (depending on the size of your pan you may want to make two separate rostis, don't let your 'pancake' be thicker than 3/4 of an inch)
Let it cook for about 3 minutes so it starts to brown on the bottom then put the lid on the pan and let it cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Putting the lid on makes it steam a little letting the potato in the middle of the 'pancake' cook and retaining a little the moisture makes the 'pancake' lift easily from the pan.  My pan is very big so I could do it all at once BUT that being said I had to cut it down the middle to flip it
and it fell apart a little....because I was taking pictures to post.......grrrrr
Do the same on the other side.  IF you find it is burning a little turn down the heat so that it doesn't brown so fast but still has the time to make sure the middle is cooked.

I LERV this with an over easy fried egg.  The runny yolk with the crispy slightly salt potatoes is heaven to me but it is also nice as the 'french fries' to go with a burger or with a beautifully roasted chicken and pan dripping......or just with a bit of sour cream (or yogurt) or just plain ol'ketchup.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

To Do List: Saturday July 9th 2011

One of the big lessons on being a stay at home mom is recognizing when Mama is going to go postal and make plans to get out.......or in my case this time,

 
......thanks Meaghan and Toni xo

Friday, 8 July 2011

Because I love it

There are a million things that I think are a total waste of money and I hate that these things are sold to us like we couldn't live without them.  A good one is the idea of all the baby crap that we are told is necessary when you have a baby.  Most of it is useless or maybe helpful for only a few weeks making it something that would have been better to borrow.  Collectables drive me crazy....

BUT that being said........I ADORE the ridiculous!! Kitchy Cha Cha Nik Naks Collectable Chochkys.  Mind you I wouldn't waste a dime of my money on any of it but I love that someone thinks that someone will......and maybe someone besides Michael Jackson does or did....

For this kind of crazy I tune in to skymall

(I have to add at this point that before the internet, as a kid I use to steal the Skymall magazine off the airplane I loved it so much.  It was actually weirder THEN)

Often this site makes me laugh harder than any other site...because they take it all so seriously

Like these items,

for the cat in your life that has everything...only $80

This 'klassi' fountain only $1750.00




Who doesn't want this side table? only $159.99









A steal at $1850.00















This outstanding storage solution $895.00

It's a stool and I hate to admit I kinda lerv this
















For those days when your feeling 'kicky'

To make this Canadian girl feel right at home for $1350.00

But we need a piece to really anchor the room and pull it all together.......you know....encase there was any question of the 'look' we are aiming for
ONLY $225.00!!!
IF you just can't see it...it's because the film reel table comes in other colours....