Thursday, October 27, 2011

Craftery from an Uncrafty Mother Part Deux - Hallowe'en

You might remember this post from back in April.

I'm about to go there again....aren't you lucky?

I am fully aware that I am a most uncrafty type of Mother. But for some reason I just can't embrace it.  I feel the compulsive NEED to do something crafty with my children every holiday or season.  There's this little awful gremlin-type voice that puts the countdown on me when it gets close to Christmas, Easter, or the Summer Solstice (okay maybe not the Summer Solstice) and it nags and nags that I am a horrible, neglectful Mom if I don't get crafty right this minute until I research online frantically to find something that involves minimal mess and as little 'craft-like' utensils as possible.

So this Hallowe'en I did a few crafts...(chest puff).  And I would like to share them with you all.

Of-course they did not all turn out as I envisioned...actually none of them did.  But that's okay.  I did it and that evil gremlin voice is now gone...until Christmas that is.

I found one craft that involved white glue, a straw and black construction paper.  PERFECT!  I had all 3.  It was to make a spider web by simply squeezing out some liquid white glue onto the paper and blowing the glue around to make a spider web type picture.  Easy right?

Uh.  No.  It glopped onto the page and was completely unco-operative when Adrian and I attempted to blow it into a 'spiderweb'.  Instead I ended up dumping out all of our crafty-like things on the table and this is what my son came up with...

Yeah...I think it's creepy enough to be a Hallowe'en craft don't you?
It might have something to do with all those EYES. 
He informed me it was a clown.
Yeah.  I'd say that's the scariest freakin' clown I've ever seen.
Great job bud!

While he was making the scariest clown picture ever, I found some pipe cleaners (I know, I have pipe cleaners...that must mean I'm one awesome crafty Mutha).

And I made a pumpkin...


And a ghost....

Pretty impressive huh.  I asked Adrian what it was and he
seemed to actually know. So. I figured it couldn't be THAT horrible.
(Yes, it is)
And then I made a bat with some specific instructions from my 3 year old...

Specific instructions were the ears and the yellow feet.
A meltdown of epic proportions would be happening
if that bat was sans yellow feet people.
And the piece de resistance?  My spider.

Now this...THIS little guy stole my heart.  How cute is he!?
At this point after falling in love with a faceless spider made out of pipe cleaners it was obviously time to move on.

To bigger and better projects.

My son loves dressing up.  He also has a thing for skulls and skeletons.  So I thought this next project he would absolutely love.  Of-course it involved nothing of his doing and all of mine as I yelled, "Get away from this...your wrecking it!  Just wait!  I'll be done in 2 minutes!  Stop jumping on me!  Okay! you go!"

He loved it (see how excited he is!)and wore it all of 30 seconds.
However, being that he would live nude
for the rest of time if that were allowable he had to "get it off now!"

And so.  I put it on.

Oh yeah.  You like that pose?  Very skeleton-like isn't it?
I'm pretty proud of my son though.  He took this!
See that forced smile through the blur of my crappy phone picture?
That's me trying to be as patient as possible as he turned the phone
around, upside down and all the ways he shouldn't have it until he got it right.
I love that kid.  I really, really do.

A Small Window to our World

I am about to let you all take a peak into the wacky world of me and my best friend.  We've been best friends for over 16 years, know pretty much everything there is to know about one another and could not be more different...except for our sense of humour.

We don't talk as often as we both wish to.  Frankly it's impossible to have any kind of conversation with two rambunctious boys jumping, yelling and causing havoc around me.  By the time they crash at night I am ready to curl up into a fetal position and start rocking back and forth.

Here is a typical text message conversation between Erin and me.


E: There is this major kid's attraction here called Richmond Farms and they have an annual Pumpkin patch thingy....with all these mascots walking around.  There is a fuzzy pumpkin mascot...etc...and there's this gigantic corn thing called Corny-Corn-Corn (for real) and it is the freakin' scariest thing I have ever seen.

J:  Really?  The Corny-Corn-Corn?  That's original.  Btw...why are you at a giant kid's attraction?

E:  Don't be so nosy.  There are may reasons I could be here.  You don't need to have kid's to have fun, you know.
Maybe I am scoping it out for my niece.
Maybe I am here buying a pumpkin.
Maybe I'm hanging out here to see if I could actually handle having children - you know, like field research.

And then she sends me this picture:

J: Just a suggestion...a fall fair is NOT the best place to be doing "field research" especially when it comes to figuring out if you want children.  The outcome will most definitely be skewed more toward the  negative axis.

E:  Did you SEE that corn!?!?!  WTF!?!?!

J:  Uh. The strawberry is far more frightening in my opinion.
IS that a strawberry?  And why do they have ginormous fruit at a fall festival?!!  Is that an orange or a a pumpkin?

E:  I think it's a pumpkin.  It looks more like a stunted carrot.  The strawberry looks like it's on a bad acid trip.

J:  Yeah.  I think someone in the costumes department needs to get fired.  

Iiii know!  (regarding the strawberry) Those EYES.  Freaky.

E:  But the scariest part about the Corny-Corn-Corn is the way it walks.  It kind of just sways around and waves its arms up and down at different a corn-zombie.

J:  Is it blind?  What's with the sunglasses?

E:  Couple that with a baby-corn phobia (we both have them - that's why we're best friends you see) and the whole situation is giving my clown fear a run for its money.

J:  {ROTFL emoticon}


J:  WHAT?!

What are they!???

Endless black holes for eyes?!!  WTF!?

E:  That's what I mean!!! His pupils are THAT big.  Why do you need pupils that big if for no other reason that to stare directly into my soul?

J:  I totally get it now!  (the irrational fear of the Corny-Corn-Corn)

E:  I'm considering starting a blog about freaky shit like this.  And how it hampers any wish for offspring.

J:  You totally should.


Don't you think she totally should?  I mean, it's not like we need anymore kids in this world right?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

He's Got the Moves Like Jaggah

It's another MOMent time over at My 3 Little Birds...the last of the month.  It's been a lot of fun contributing and actually winning something (I never win anything!).  I've thoroughly enjoyed truly tapping into the sweet, fleeting MOMents with my children.  And I would like to thank ML for encouraging and celebrating such moments.  

The video at the bottom is the same...for some reason it downloaded on the bottom and one on the top.  I've tried to delete one but I can't.  Double the fun I guess!


It's a little past their bedtime, we've read many books as is the usual nighttime routine, but the boys are still in our king bed with me.

I'm not sure when or which one of them turned on the bedside clock radio but it plays the tune of a song I do not recognize.  It's a dance song...on a station that plays Top 40.

When did I become so uncool that I do not recognize a Top 40 song??

"Watch me Mumma!" my 3 year old dances manically atop our bed watching himself in the mirror adjacent.

"You've got the moves like Jagger buddy!"  I tell him as I lay comfortably with my youngest who's feeling the effects of the busy day, curled up beside me, his tired head resting on my chest.

Yes, that song I am familiar with.  I haven't become completely uncool I suppose.  Yet.

But, my son's moves?...are not entirely like Jagger.

More like a standing seizure with the random leg kick, and an occasional raise the roof.

Okay, so maybe a little bit like Jagger.

It's pretty incredible to watch.

Quite the entertainer, this sweet child 'o mine.

"Who's Jaggah?"  he asks.

"The lead singer for the biggest rock band of all time.  The Rolling Stones."

I'm not sure that he heard me as he continues to jab his elbow out to the side, hopping on one leg now, still intently watching himself in the mirror.

Oh this kid?  Clearly did not get his rhythm from me, of that I'm sure.

"Mumma...who's Jaggah again?"  He stops his convulsive like dance moves.

 The unfamiliar song has now ended.

"Mick Jagger.  He sings in a rock and roll band."

He flops down onto his hands and knees, crawls over to us and gives his little brother a loud smacking kiss on the cheek.

And it hits me.

I'll take uncool any day.

'Cause this Motherhood thing?  Is pretty much the coolest job in the world.

This was obviously not when the above event occurred,
however, this is a prime example of how the dance off's 
go in our house.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flash Forward

I've been peer pressured to link up at Lovelinks this week.  This is a fabulous site so check them out and as many other blogs as you possibly can! 


We sit at the kitchen table, it's too early to be awake but alas, he was hungry.

The only light on is the soft glow over the stove.

I sit and watch him eat his beloved cereal.

This child?  Would eat cereal morning, noon and night if I let him.

He sits up on knees, his back perfectly straight, his small hand splayed beside his bowl of cheerios to keep balance.

I run the tips of my fingers along the four dimples of his knuckle line.

He looks at me and smiles then returns to the serious business of cereal eating.

He fills his spoon with an even amount of cheerios to milk ratio, his mouth open wide to receive it.

He chews, his dimple peeking out with each deliberation, milk dribbling down his chin.

I sit in the early dawn and watch my littlest son.

At once my mind travels forward in time 15 years from now.

Perhaps we're sitting in a different kitchen, probably at this same table.

It's a good one.

I watch him as a teenaged boy with a beautiful head of golden hair bent over his bowl of breakfast.

His one arm on the table, forearm guarding his bowl, his other shoveling the food in quickly.

Perhaps he's running late for school...

Football practice

Meeting his friends

A girlfriend

Once finished he jumps up from the table grabbing his jacket from the back of his chair, his phone from the kitchen counter, tucking it in his back jean pocket.

"See ya later Mum.  Love you!"

And I watch as he turns and out the door he goes...

I wonder what kind of teenager he will be.

I hope a good one.

I wonder what kind of Mother I will be to two teenaged boys.

I hope a great one.

This has been the way my mind works since the birth of my sons.

In twists and turns, always fast forwarding in time when I least expect it to.

I pull my mind to the present,

Willing it to stay in the here and now.

He's moved on to the sweetened milk

The little hand that once laid purposefully on the table now has tipped the bowl toward himself to scoop  the honey flavoured milk out spoonful by spoonful.

And there my mind goes again...

I wonder if he'll always love his cereal so,

If he will always drink his leftover sugary milk.


A link up at check some more blogs out!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ten Tips for New Mother's

I'm all about another list today over at The Good Life with Stasha.  Ten Tips for New Mom's.  I wish I read blogs when I was a new Mom.  They certainly would've helped me feel better...that I was not alone...that I was, indeed, doing just fine even if I felt like I was, at times, losing my mind.  Which, by the way, you will most definitely feel at some point or another.

Here we go again...enjoy!

1.  The battle of the boob or the bottle...formula vs breast pump or exclusively breast feed?  So many questions.  I hate these questions and all the guilt it entails if one decides to bottle feed because of reasons of no one's business but their own.  I had so many issues trying to nurse my first born. I stressed myself out to the point of tears everyday because I had it in my head that it was the only way to go.  It isn't.  Please, new Mom's, if breastfeeding is not for you or you simply cannot do it due to nipples that feel like their falling off or mastitis or inverted nipples.  Don't feel like your world will come crashing down as I did.  I did end up breast feeding for 6 months with my first and I breast fed and supplemented with my second.  It's OKAY.  Do what you feel is best for your baby and you.  You love your baby.  That's all that matters.

2.  Invest in a good quality sling or front carrier.  Or both.  I used a front carrier for the first 3 months with my boys and a sling up until about a year.  Best inventions EVER.

3.  Watch all the Ellen, daytime soaps, MTV that you can right now...pretty soon all you'll be able to watch is annoying crap like Caillou or Toopy and Binoo.

4.  Learn when to say no when it comes to friends and family wanting to bombard you with visits.  If you're okay with that and welcome the company than good on you.  I was very stressed the first few weeks of being home.  Having so many visitors gave me terrible anxiety coupled with the feeling of  needing to clean and entertain didn't help at all.  Give yourself some down time.  If they love you and especially if they've had children of their own, they will understand.

5.  When your friends and family ask what they can do to help, tell them to bring food.  And lots of it.  Believe me...part of the reason it took so long for my milk to come in was because I wasn't eating enough.  Or at all, really.  I had a very 'spirited' baby who took up all of my time and energy, I simply couldn't cook.  And I love to cook.

6.  Do not overdose on Milk of Magnesia.  As much as you may be tempted because attempting to poop with stitches all up in that area is not a good time, don't do it.  I could tell a really hilarious story at the expense of my dignity.  But I won't.  You get the picture.  (sorry about that picture)

7.  Communicate with your spouse.  You're in a whole new dimension of your relationship right now.  Chances are, he thinks he's helping when he's doing the dishes while you're tending to your adorable but cranky baby.  Simply ask him to take the baby and immerse yourself in those dishes if you so feel the need.  Or don't.  If you need to have a break, talk a walk, or go into another room to breathe, read or have a nap.  God knows you deserve it.

8.  Forget all about what 'they' say.  'They' say you're not supposed to rock your baby to sleep.  'They' say not to hold your baby while they're napping all swaddled and delicious.  'They' say you must wake your baby every 3 hours to feed.  I don't know who 'they' are but I picture a bunch of expressionless gray faced people in a dull room staring at each other with monotone voices.  Do what you want and if you feel what 'they' say works for you then do it...but if it doesn't, don't stress.

9.  You cannot spoil your child with love and affection.  Smother that sweet face with kisses, smooch all of their yummy chubbalicious rolls, rub your cheek along they're ever soft bellies, bite their bums.

10.  If you feel like you might be losing it, even a little, talk to someone.  Anyone.  But preferable your doctor.  You are not alone and you are not weak for needing some help.  Reaching out means you're strong.  And you are.  You can do this.  You are never alone.

Friday, October 21, 2011


This week I'm living on the culinary edge people!


I made fish tacos!  And not just that...I made the corn tortillas too!  From scratch!

Alright.  Enough of my bragging.

This is a version of Art Smith's "The Best Fish Taco's".  If you haven't heard of him he cooked for Oprah at the highest point in his career.

So his recipes MUST be amazing right?

If you like fish and you like eating south of the border cuisine you will love these.  My kids devoured the corn tortillas.

Not so much the fish.

It's a process.

They love salmon, however, the jury's still out on tilapia.

BUT WAIT!  Before you get all Iron Chef up in your kitchen you must ensure you have the following:

Cast Iron Pan - 6 inches is perfect
Rolling Pin or Tortilla Press
Wooden tongs (metal just won't do here)


First make sure you have the right ingredients...this is what you need:

I'm no professional foodie blogger.  Clearly.
On the bag it tells you how to make the dough.

It's simply 2 loose cups of Maseca, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 1/2 cups of warm water.  Mix for about 2 - 3 minutes to make a soft dough.  (My son had a great time doing this...just ensure hands are just don't know where your 3 year old's hands have been....or you do and that's another reason to insist that HANDS ARE WASHED!)

Divide into 12-16 golf ball sized balls (another way to get your child involved - Adrian became a pro) and cover with a moist cloth to make sure the dough does not dry out.

If you have a tortilla press you pretty much already rule.  But if you don't, you don't really need one, it's just a little more work.

Now don't get discouraged!  Hang out with me on the edge for a little!  I separated a medium sized baggie and placed one beneath and one above the dough ball, then used my good old fashioned rolling pin to roll it out all Little House in the Prairie like into a 6ish diameter (sort-of) circle.

Okay, this is when the dough starts getting a bit bi-polar on you so handle with care.  Carefully peel the plastic away from the flattened dough and then again on the other side.

Have your cast iron pan heated between high and medium.

Place the uncooked tortilla on the pan and wait for about 50 seconds.  Flip using the wooden tongs (only use wooden tongs - they can fall apart if you're not kind to them) and wait another 50 seconds. There should be some black spots (or fire spots as my 3 year old says).

Transfer upon completion, using your wooden tongs, onto a clean, moist cloth napkin or towel until chow time.  Make sure they are covered entirely.

One gorgeous looking tortilla if I do say so myself.


3 tbsp of mayo
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
2 cups of green cabbage finely sliced (and diced if your so inclined)
2 green onions chopped, white and green parts
2 tbsp cilantro (or if you have the paste, which I do - 1 tbsp is good)
Salt and pepper to taste


Mix the mayo, lime zest and juice in a medium bowl.  Add the green cabbage, green onion, cilantro, S & P and mix well.  Let it sit and marinate and move on the the fish!


1 lb of tilapia fillets (Art uses cod - I'm not a fan so I used tilapia) cut into 6 equal portions (I didn't cut it but it was fine)
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt


Heat olive oil in a large skillet (not the cast iron one!! - that one is for the tortillas) over medium heat until the oil is hot but not smoking.

Combine the seasonings and flour and coat the fish.  Shake off any excess.

Add to skillet and cook, turning once, until lightly browned.  About 6-8 minutes.

Transfer fish to plate.

You can break the fish up into smaller pieces with a fork on your corn tortilla.

I just put the plate of fish, tortillas and condiments all on the table for self serve.

You can serve with guacamole and tomatoes, hot sauce or salsa.  Whatever suits your fancy.

It seems a bit finicky but I assure you totally worth it if you have a bit of time.  I know we're all short on it but...such is life.

Now go!  COOK!  EAT!  ENJOY!

There you have it.  The finished product.  Mmmmm.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Out of the mouth of my 3 year old

My son Adrian.  He's is a pretty funny kid, he is.

He's always been advanced in the language department.  I don't remember much babbling coming from him besides when he was a baby, baby.  There was a short period of time around a year that he sounded like he may have picked up some Arabic from the woman that took care of him mixed with a little bit of Spanish from his obsessive Dora stage.  But after a few months he seemed to simply start speaking in full (English) sentences.

Even when he started saying words, he was very good at enunciating.  He made sure every single syllable was said perfectly.  The only 'flaw' in his speech so far is a slight lisp when he says his 's's.  And quite frankly, it's the most adorable thing ever....I make him say the word sassafras at least half a dozen times a day.  Because it just makes me smile.


Basically, what I'm trying to say here is that my child is a genius.

Okay.  So now that I've got that out of the way, not only is he a genius, he says some pretty radical stuff too.  I've mentioned some herehere and here.

But those are just a few.  I've taken notes once in a while when he says something that blows my mind at such a young age.  He's 3 years and 8 months, but most of which I'm going to share with you have been over the past year...starting before his 3rd birthday.  Some things he says are funny, some are cute, some are pretty darn heart melting and some...are just plain outrageous.

On dinosaurs:  "I love dinosaurs.  They're my favourite.  They make me howl."

On great ideas:  "Mumma, we should put our pj's on and make popcorn and watch Toy Story when we get all cozy comfy on the couch.  Isn't that a great idea?"

On getting irritated at him for not listening at the grocery store: "You need to calm down young lady!"

On calling my husband 'love', he turned to me and said, "I thought I was your love!"  I told him I was a lucky lady because I have 3.

On being a big brother:  As he helped Finley put on his rubber boots he gave him a hug and said, "I love you Finley. You're my best friend."

As he sat beside his little brother eating dinner he exclaimed, "Finley, look at you!  You're eating like a champ!"

Calling down the stairs as I washed up the dishes after lunch, "Mumma, Finley and I are just upstairs if you need us okay?"  Now this one threw me for a loop.  Properly placed pronouns and old is he again?

On taking care of me:  "Mumma, if you hurt your knees or your shoulder or your elbow, I'll kiss it better for you."

Walking through the woods this past chilly week-end he asked me if I was cold because I wasn't wearing any mittens.  I told him I was a little chilly but I'd be fine.  He took my hand between his mitten clad ones and rubbing them over mine said, "It's okay, Mumma.  I'll keep you warm."

On announcing that his bladder or bowels must be emptied (it's a compulsion of his and I have no idea why but he feels the need to tell us every.single.time. he has to go poo or pee):  "I have to go poo.  Can you get me something to read?"

He must also be in the know when I am going to the washroom too.  Whether we're in the safety of our home or embarrassingly at a public washroom.  "Mumma, are you going pee or poo?"

On the sounds of a near empty squeeze bottle:  Laughing hysterically, "Mumma!  The ketchup just farted!"

And perhaps one of the most random things he's ever done and said was this:

"Mumma, look at my hands...they're little orphans."
I have no idea.  Really.  I wish I did.  Or not.

So there you have it my friends.  Just a little peek into the world I live in with Adrian.  It's always full of surprises, laughs and a lot of love.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Thousand Kisses

 I'm linking up over at My 3 Little Birds again for Mary Lauren's MOMents. Mary Lauren is one of my favourite writers/bloggers who's pieces fill and light up the soul.  Pay a visit.  You won't be disappointed.


We had some time to ourselves on a beautiful fall early evening.

"Just you and me baby boy." I said looking down at you as your Dad and your brother drove off down the street.

I asked if you wanted to take a walk.

You looked up at me, deep blue eyes full of sparkles.

"Uhh-huuuh.  Yaahh."  You answer in your soft lilting voice that has just recently come to fruition.

And there we went.  Down the road and around the bend.

"You want to hold Mumma's hand?" I asked as we walked side by side, my longer legs taking one step for every 4 of your own.  Your adorable jean clad sturdy legs determined to keep up.

Your answer was placing your soft little hand into mine and there we continued.

It never ceases to fill my heart with tenderness and wonderment when my children reach for my hand.

Every few steps you bend down to pick up a leaf or five trying to hold them all in your tiny toddler hands.

A rock.

A twig.

More leaves.

I smile and repeat the objects back to you...thanking you for each gift.

"A rock!  Oh thank you."

"A stick!  Thank you so much."

And then we came to a tree where an abundance of maple keys lay scattered on the ground amongst the leaves.  You pointed and babbled something that only I would understand.

In response I sat down on the slightly chilly concrete sidewalk in front of the house of a family we did not know and you stood in front of me at eye level as the familiar friendly man across the street sat on his porch, watching in amusement.

I pulled apart the seed of the key where the sticky substance lies and stuck them to the bridge of my nose.

You laughed....delighted.  Giving me more.

Then you moved onto the next item of interest.

Four stuffed scarecrows in a row in a garden along the driveway of the woman we've seen before but do not know.

The woman that scared you so when she slammed out of her house.  Who glared.  Who seems so full hostility.  For reasons unknown and of no business of ours.

I kneeled by your side, softly speaking words of comfort ... I knew only partly why she was the way she was and I was certain she didn't intend to look so angry.  These were the words I spoke to you. Everyone has a story and most will never truly know it's entirety.  You'll never remember that conversation, for that I'm sure.

But I want you to remember this.  

Everyone has a story.

And for that, try to leave judgement aside.

Then we moved on, turning the corner.

Until your little legs became too tired to walk anymore.

Your arms reached for me, your sweet baby voice declaring 'Up.'

I swung you up onto my hip and as you settled safely there, we walked the rest of the way home.

And I kissed a thousand kisses on your cheeks, pink and cool from the autumn evening air.

Friday, October 14, 2011

FOODIE FRIDAY - On the Sauce and feeling Saucy!

I went grocery shopping this past week-end.

I know that's pretty exciting news for you all.

I was doing the shopping during the week with the boys however after an incident that involved a tug-o-war, my 2 boys and a large bag of trail mix and ended with me threatening to take out 3 precious dollars from their piggy bank for wasting all those delicious nuts and dried fruit, I've been moving towards doing the food shopping on the week-ends.

There are other reasons too.

Such as:

1)  I get to peruse the aisles at my leisure without having anxiety that one of my boys is either going to: have a meltdown/has to go pee at the furthest point possible from the washroom/is attempting to climb the shelves/is trying to climb in/out of the cart/is trying to eat their way through the unpaid for food/are tormenting each other by pinching, pulling hair or hitting when my back is turned which leaves me uninformed as to who to yell at

2)  I get an hour away from the boys (I love them...but I spend enough time with them as it is ... 21.5/7 to be exact)

3)  I can buy a chocolate bar at the check out line and eat it without someone reaching/whining/begging for one too.

This particular day, as I'm standing....waiting...and waiting in line (you see, this is the downside of grocery shopping on the week-ends) I check my bb for....twitter, facebook, bbm's.

There is a text from my husband.

He made lunch for the boys while I was enjoying an hour of bliss to myself.  (yes, how sad that an hour in the grocery store is considered bliss to me...sad.  Oh so sad!)

I've mentioned a time or two before that my darling hubby doesn't like to cook.  BUT he makes a mean KD with ground beef and delicious perogies.

Unfortunately that's where the list of gourmet talent ends.

Unless you count chicken fingers.  And fries.

I love to cook and do so 98% of the time (the other 2 % we either don't have food and take out is on the menu or I'm feeling pissed off that I do all the cooking and decide to strike for a whole night (oh my, I really showed him!) OR we have Kraft Dinner mixed with beef or Perogies)

John made them chicken fingers and fries, which is a rare meal in our house but perfect in a pinch.  Especially when I'm not around.

And then this conversation happened around the kitchen table as they sit down to eat lunch...which is what the text from John involved.  (whew-that took a while to get here)

Adrian, "Mmmmm. Daddy this is really good.  You're a better cook than even Mummy."

John, "Really buddy?  Why's that?"

Adrian, "You're like a're like a Mommy Daddy chef all in one."

And then I'm sure my husband had a hernia laughing so hard.

I admit.  I might've guffawed a little bit in the grocery store line up.

But.  It was a bittersweet guffaw.

All my hard work, slaving over the stove, cooking healthy meals, sauces from scratch and it all goes out in a poof when my husband puts frozen, processed food on a tray and places it in the oven.

Which brings me to the elusive Foodie Friday recipe.  I've been sorely lacking in this department the past couple of weeks but I'm feeling lackluster in the kitchen as of late.

But'm going to share with you my tomato sauce.  This sauce can be used for spaghetti, lasagna, chicken parmigiana.  Whatever Italian dish suits your fancy.   But if you ARE Italian and happen to be reading this, be aware that I am NOT so don't be all 'that's not the traditional Italian way of cooking tomato sauce' with your hands waving around all crazy Italian like.   Because I'm not.  Italian, that is.  But I do love you.  Tanto mio amico.  I have no idea if that makes one bit of sense in Italian.  But I'll blame Google for that.


2 cans of good quality tomatoes
1 large onion - diced
5 cloves garlic - chopped
1/2 jar of julienned sun dried tomatoes in oil
1 can of tomato paste
3 tbsp brown sugar
a pinch of cinnamon
1 tbsp dried basil (or a handful of fresh)
1 tbsp dried oregano (or a handful of fresh)
Salt and pepper to taste - please ensure that you DO add salt and pepper.


Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large 2 handled pot (I don't know what these are actually called so I hope you know what I speak about).

Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent.

Add the herbs and stir around with a wooden spoon.

Add the tomatoes but the key here is...if you are making it a few hours in advance (which I recommend) do NOT drain the juices.  BUT, if you will be serving it within the hour drain the juices.  It makes for a thicker, richer sauce.

Stir everything around for a few minutes.

Then add the tomato paste and sun dried tomatoes.

Stir, stir, stir.

Add the brown sugar and salt.

Stir, stir, stir some more.

If you are serving within the hour puree with a hand blender...if you do not have one go NOW and buy one.

If you are going to let it bubble away in contentment and make your house smell divine do NOT blend now.  Blend about 20 minutes before serving.

*TIP - add fresh ground pepper at the end otherwise it can make your dish have a bitter aftertaste*

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Complicated Conversation

My son said something to me today that was out of the ordinary for him.

It was something that made me stop, pause and think.

Really think (and panic) before I responded as best as I believed I could.


I'll begin by saying we have relatives, friends and neighbours from all over the world.  From South America to the Middle East and scattered all around Europe.  My eldest son at 3 years and 8 months has never, not once, made an observation about skin colour or accents.  That being said, I don't want to raise my children 'colour blind'.  Because although the colour of skin does not matter in terms of the fact we are all human beings who feel, love and emote the same (okay, so nobody on earth is all 'the same' per se but we all have a soul, a spirit and we all, everyone, wants to be loved), their background, language and culture is something to take interest in.  Learn from.  Celebrate.

I've been teaching him the map of the world since a very young age....before age 2.  He knows where all of the above countries are and many, many more.

(Kazakhstan, Greenland, Iceland, Australia, Africa etc).

The idea of teaching my sons (and myself - I was completely ignorant when it came to geography before I had Adrian - it is true that your child teaches you more than anyone else) world geography came to me when he was a mere bean in my belly.

Mostly because my husband is a world traveller.

It's important for him to know where in the world his father is working, sleeping, eating.

He also is aware he is Canadian and our world neighbours are "The United States of America." (he refuses to believe it's called the United States or simply the U.S.  I have no idea why but clearly it is terribly important that no one leaves out 'of America' part)

I never thought he 'noticed' the difference of skin colours in the world around us because he's yet to mention anything of the sort to me or his father.

Until today.

As we sat in our local community center and library eating a snack of bagels and muffins my son was, unbeknownst to me, observing a family.

"Mumma, that boy and those people...he's not the same as them."  He also said something to the effect of them not being a 'family' because they weren't all the 'same'.

I looked over my shoulder as discreetly as I could and noticed a little Caucasian boy about 4 or 5 and the couple that was sitting with him, doling out apple slices, speaking with a father and son beside them and looking extremely joyful.  The couple was Asian although their exact origin is not something I'm very good at telling.  They very clearly adored this little boy and although there could have been many different takes on who exactly they were to him, I decided to take the horse by the reigns and see where I could go with this.

My heart started to beat a little faster, my mind quickly working to verbalize what to say and what not to say.

(I write mostly because I'm terrible at verbalizing.)

"Bud, have you heard of the word adoption?"  I don't even know why I asked the question...of-course he hadn' was a delay tactic for me to think about what on earth I was going to say.

"No...what does it mean Mumma?"

I took a deep breath.  Still unsure what I was 'supposed' to say. (this is where a parenting 'how-to' book would come in very handy) 

Simplify, simplify, simplify.  I kept telling myself.

(I took another deep breath and held onto those reigns for dear life praying that I wouldn't fall off.)

"It means that a baby's own parents were not able to take care of them....for different reasons.  So they give their baby to a very special place where very special people can take them home and love them and care for them.  Just like Mommy and Daddy love you."

He kept looking over at them.  I could see his little mind working a mile a minute.

"Or they could be his babysitters.  Yeah.  I think they're his babysitters."

"Or they could be his babysitters.  Okay!"

And that was where the horse stopped.

I figure we'll hop back on at a later date.

But for now.  This horse was tired.


For my dear blogger buddy, Laura, over at An (un)Common Family I thought about you the whole time...I hope I did right by you.  

And for all my wonderful readers...if you haven't swung by her blog are missing out.  She is funny, intelligent and insightful.  Go now!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Rare Moment

 I'm linking up over at My 3 Little Birds again for Mary Lauren's MOMents. Mary Lauren is one of my favourite writers/bloggers who's pieces fill and light up the soul.  Pay a visit.  You won't be disappointed.


Your brother was napping and you asked to go outside to ride your bike.

I usually ensure that the 2 hours your brother sleeps we have some quiet time, but today, for the reason simply because, I obliged.

You strap on your helmet and off you go calling out behind you, "Watch this Mumma!"

I watch you.

As you speed down our quiet road, your small yet muscular legs pumping furiously fast.

You quickly skid to a stop, the back tire swinging out to the side as you plant your one leg down to the ground, your other foot remaining on a pedal.

You beam.  So proud.

I smile back at you.  My little trickster.

You continue to ride around as I stand and call out the occasional, "Wow bud, look at you go!"

You bike over to me at the curb, where I stand in front of our house and state dramatically, "My legs are so tired Mumma.  I need a break."

I laugh at your precocious words and we walk back to our front steps.

It was getting a little cool so I quickly stepped inside to grab a jacket.

It happened to be your Dad's.

My husband.

A warm grey fuzzy liner that is much too big for me.

"Is that Daddy's?"


You walk over to where I sit on the top step, open up the jacket that I had wrapped around my front, turn around to sit on my lap, putting your little arms in each sleeve where mine are.

I pull your hands through the hand holes then zip the jacket up around us both to make us 'comfy and cozy' just as you like.

"We're like a cocoon."  I say my cool cheek next to your warm one, enveloping you with our arms.

I look around at the elongating shadows of the trees and homes in front of us, the bright autumn sun behind us, the clear blue cloudless sky above and feel completely quiet inside for the first time.

In a long, long time.

You sit with me as the time ticks by.

I keep waiting for your ever active body to spring up and run from me onto the next adventure.

But you don't.

You sit with me.

Just as still.  Just as quiet.

No distractions. No buzzing background noise.

Just the simple sounds of nature...a bird chirp, the rustling of leaves as the gentle breeze tumbles through the tree in our front yard.

A few yellow leaves drift aimlessly from our front yard tree and I am feeling ever so grateful.

For this life I lead and take for granted all too often.

I hold you closer and still we sit, seeing through different eyes but eyes that are so similar in colour.

Looking in the same direction. Seeing a different view.

In life.

One as a 33 year old Mother.  Another as a 3 year old little boy.

My son.

It's just us.

A rare moment.

A perfect moment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Get Well Soon!

I awoke feeling miserable which was compounded by the fact that my dear husband was going golfing on this beautiful holiday Monday.

I was simply dealing with a common cold but of-course having to take care of my sweet, adoring off-spring (who certainly were NOT acting sweet and adoring this day) instead of him as I stayed in bed made a teeny tiny part of me hate him.  (of-course I don't really hate him!...I love you honey!  kiss kiss!)

Off and away he went, whistling with a skip to his step I'm sure, as I stood bleary eyed, red nosed, snivelly and greasy.

I was getting no sympathy from my boys except for the occasional "Bless you" from Adrian as I sneezed 80 times in a row.

Or my 2 year old would look over at me after my marathon sneezing session and ask softly, "Uhkaayyy?"

To which I would answer, every time (because how can you not, that's so cute.) "Yes, buddy, I'm okay.  It's just a sneeze."

They ran around like maniacs, throwing toys, yelling, screaming and torturing each other as I merely looked on from the kitchen table.  Too tired to do a thing.


I stood in the middle of the kitchen as my boys took sips of their juice and spit it out.

On the floor.


I have no idea where this fabulous idea came from but I was abhorred by it.

My children don't do crap like this.

No, really!

I smacked my hand down on the table between them and yelled in my pathetic nasally voice, "That's ENOUGH!"

They laughed.

So I resorted to begging.

"Please do not do this to me right now guys.  I feel terrible and sick and I simply do not have the energy to deal with this right now."



Adrian, "Mumma, where are my scissors?  And some paper?  I will make you a card.  It will make you feel better and you will stop sneezing."

My heart may have melted a little bit.

I found his scissors and he picked out a blue piece of construction paper as I opened up our massive container of crayons.

He stood at his table and peeked over his shoulder to make sure I wasn't looking.

Finley joined him.

Then they proudly brought over my first 'Get Well' cards to me as I stood blowing my nose raw for the thousandth time that morning.

And the rest of my heart turned to mush.

All was forgiven.

As it always is.

I've titled this one myself.
"Slash and Burn!" by Adrian 3 yrs 8 mths

This reminds me of a spring perhaps?
I have no idea....the child isn't even 2.  I'll give him a break on this one.
**I do believe the artwork tells a bit about my sons personalities no?**

Friday, October 7, 2011

And there was blood.

He was close enough that I could see him.

But far enough away that I couldn't hear him.

Riding up and down, up and down.

On his bike on the concrete ramp at the park.  He'd sped ahead too fast for me to yell at him to stay close.

But he'd been here plenty of times.  I told myself.  Shrugging off the sense of uneasiness.

I turned for a moment to my little one who's small legs weren't taking him as fast as I was encouraging.

He had insisted on riding his Strider bike.  He wanted to be just like his big brother.

But after 5 minutes of going .000001 km/hr he became frustrated that he wasn't going, really, anywhere.

So here I was with what felt like a 10 lb Toy Story back pack filled with the necessessties.

Wipes, snacks, diapers, water bottles.

(But no First Aid Kit - when will I learn?!)

Plus a helmet, a bike and an almost 2 year old who, despite my gentle encouragement to get a move on was lollygagging through the massive soccer field.

The moment I had turned my head.

The second my attention was diverted...

I turned back and he was down.

No biggie.

He is his Father's son (and mine for that matter) after all.  Falling is second nature.

Usually it's a dust off the ol' pants and he's off again.  My 3 year old?  He is tough.

And then I saw a Mother walking toward him from the playground area.

He wasn't getting up.

Then 3 ladies were running.

Toward him.

In a millisecond I scooped up Finley and started to run.

Fast.  Faster.

I couldn't get there fast enough.

My little guy giggled in my ear as the wind sailed past his ears, his hair flying off his face.

Bounce,bounce,bounce.  Upanddownupanddown.

Unbridled joyful laughter of my 2 year old as my 3 year old's screams became louder.

And louder.

A dichotomy of sounds for a Mother if there was ever one.

The hand of fear rose up through my belly, stopping and squeezing the heart in my chest.

The screams won out.

I dropped everything.

Yes, my 2 year old too. (well, I was a little more gentler with him of-course)

I ran as fast as my legs could take me...which still wasn't fast enough.

I could see the blood.

It was coming from his mouth.

The wadded up ball of tissue one of the mother's had given him to put to his mouth was soaked, little pieces sticking to his wound.

Bright red.

I arrived and grabbed a hold of him looking closely as my stomach turned, muttering, "Oh shit."  (Great.  Not only am I being judged for being negligent I am now a parent that uses curse words in front of my children.)

Blood of any kind makes my belly quiver.

Blood from the mouth?



No matter how many times this has happened to him (and it's happened a few) one can never get used to the blood and the painful howling of their child.  I suppose none of us do.  Ever.

One of the Mother's retrieved my little one as the others gathered with me trying to get a good look at my son's bloody mouth.

No chance.

But I could see that he still had his teeth.

That was a relief.

His upper lip was puffier than Anglina Jolie's 2 lips put together.  And his little chin looked pretty scraped up too but it didn't look like a trip to the emergency room was required.

I gathered him in my arms, along with all the other stuff that comes with trips to a park with children.

I glanced around frantically to find Finley standing precariously and proudly on the 2.5 foot high concrete wall.

Oh great.  Just what I needed.

I coaxed him down as one of the helpful Mom's provided her assistance back to my truck.

The truck that now seemed so, so very far away.

The whole way to the parking lot my arms burned and my chest remained clenched as Adrian wailed.

And wailed.

While Finley walked behind us holding hands with the sweet little girl of the lovely, helpful Mother.

My poor sweet tough guy.  He's feeling much better now thank God.
But really.  How pitiful is this picture.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Summary of Ratatouille by a 3 year old and other random observations

Driving in the truck, my eldest completely out of the blue - and when I say completely out of the of the blue I mean that we had been driving for 15 minutes and he hadn't said a word -  says, "Mumma, in Ratatouille a blue rat climbs into Linguine's hat and he makes things.  He has a brown brother that's really round and fat.  And a Dad."

Confused by the randomness of this but thoroughly entertained as always, I respond,  "Yes.  Yes he does."

Adrian, "Yeah.  The brown rat is really squishy like this.  Really, really squishy."  I look in the rearview mirror to see him putting his hands together, one on top of another, arms stretched out in front of him flipping his hands around and around.

"Like this Mumma, see?"

I saw.  I just wasn't sure what exactly it was I was supposed to be seeing.

"I see honey."

"And Mumma?"

"Yes bud?"

"You should get your hair cut."

That Was No Sneeze

As we sat around the kitchen table, someone expelled an audible sound from the opening of the lower end of alimentary canal.

Elementary speaking, someone farted.

(I won't reveal who - I assure you it certainly wouldn't be me *ahem*)

Adrian, "Gusundheit."

Finley, "Ewwww."

5 points awarded to the little guy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In the (Mom)ent

Today I'm linking up over at My 3 Little Birds. Mary Lauren is one of my favourite writers/bloggers who's pieces fill and light up the soul.  Pay a visit.  You won't be disappointed.


When the chaos of the day emits a feeling of charge and chase

When there are a million things to do and a thousand places to go

I want to stop and sit





Memorize every little bit of who they are

Right now

More often lately I do

An overused catchphrase, the saying 'they grow up so fast'

Though the truth of it often rings too clear and too bright

One day they lie swaddled, fitting perfectly in your arms

Peacefully asleep, your breathing attuned to theirs


Time slips by unnoticed until you wake up one day and they've become too heavy to carry

They want to dress themselves, pour their own milk

Speak in full sentences

It's startling, catching me at a heartrending glance

Making my heart seize and capsize all at once

Like a slip of a breeze through the window of time


                   and there it goes

With those infuriating days where you wish for the day to end, for bedtime cannot come fast enough


I watch them at their craft table, sunlight streaming through the window as they sit closely, heads tilted toward one another, their sweet voices chattering

My eldest reading to his little brother by soft lamplight in his room as I get their bath ready

In the tub taking his baby brother's toes gently in his big boy hands and singing "This little piggy went to market..." as my youngest smiles eagerly, chin tucked and turned in anticipation for the tickles

I take a mental snapshot

I don't ever want to forget it

In the reaching for the camera, at times the magical moment is broken

In a world where cameras, phones, technology are constantly at our fingertips we forget to simply embrace our senses

And enjoy

Each sweet moment for what it is

Sometimes it's just the remembering of those cherished times that can bring back the scent, the feeling, the deep heart of it all

Thinking back to some of my favourite childhood memories

There are no pictures for them

Just the sense of being




Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A January Winter

I breathe in

It almost hurts

The cold



Darkness has blanketed the world around me

But pure white strikes through it

The light of the moon ricochets

And sparkles abound

It's quiet


But the squeaking crunch beneath my heavily clad feet

I breathe out

A small puff of cloud dispels the darkness in front of me

I look up

An opal sky filled with diamonds

I breathe in

The smell of wood ablaze fills the air around me

The scent of nostalgia

I breathe out

My face feels the frigid air

My body does not

I trudge on

Write On Edge

Monday, October 3, 2011

And then he....didn't kiss me.

So,  I pretty much smother my kids with affection.  Like most Mothers do.

I munch on their toes, kiss them all over their faces, bury my face in their delicious little necks, nuzzle their chubby bellies (well, Finley's belly - my 3.5 year old has a six pack somehow already), and basically eat them up every day.  Which is funny because I've never really been an overtly affectionate person.  I suppose a lot of things change when you have children.  Me?  I've become a big pile of mushy goo.

I'd like to think they love me as much as I do them.

My 3.5 year old is as affectionate as they come.  He's constantly sitting on my lap, giving or asking for hugs and kisses a million times a day.

He'll take my hand if we're walking (anywhere) and give it a kiss.  And yes, he even opens doors for me, and says "After you."

Fact - chivalry is not dead.  We just have to teach it to our sons.

Today, he was sitting with me on the couch, one cushion over (unusual as he's usually in the crook of my arm) and as he was watching his morning cartoons out of the blue jumped over to me and said, "I just came over to give you a hug and a kiss Mumma." and then went right back to watching his cartoons stuck to my side beside me.

I'd like to think I had something to do with that of-course.

But sometimes...I wonder.

Will Finley be just as loving as I smother him to death am towards him?  Did I simply get lucky with Adrian?

He was sitting on the counter as I was getting some lunch ready for him (yes, *gasp* sitting on the counter).  I was standing in front of him and I asked him as I always do a thousand times a day, "Kiss?"

I usually get a big pucker and a sweet juicy kiss.


I got a big bad "NO!"

Um.  Pardon?

So I did what I do best when my boys hurt my feelings.

I fake cry.

They do it to me.  All.the.time.  What's good for the goose is good for the gander or something like that.  (what does that even mean?)

Then.  Because I manipulated him made him feel bad...

He takes my face in his delicious little hands and says, "Okay."

He brings my face thisclose to his.  His big blue eyes are sparkling, his smile coy.

And then.

He turns his cheek and leans in.

Dissed by my 23 month old.


Not the best picture (another phone pic) but I love it.
And I love those sweet baby faces.