Monday, January 31, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday: green and beige

my lovely friend tamsin reminded me that i have not done a muffin tin monday post in forever.
so i was inspired to get at it again.
here was today's masterpiece:


Top row: sugar snap peas, lucky charms, french fries
Bottom row: banana, baby cucumber, popcorn chicken {or as Noah calls them, baby chicken popcorn}

I did take out the lucky charms before giving this to him because I knew he would eat them all first and then not eat anything else. And it worked. He ate everything! And was quite pleased with his reward of lucky charms afterward.
Seriously, some days I feel like I can't get enough food into him. Other days he eats next to nothing!

Three year olds. Honestly.

reegs

today had a bright spot in it {to be honest, the last part of the day kinda sucked. big time. i might blog about it later. we'll see.}.
my dear friend, regan, celebrated her 30th today. she didn't know she was going to celebrate it today {since her birthday is on the 3rd of february} when she woke up.
reegs {and her beautiful family} live in windsor so we don't get to see each other as often as we would like. 
but she was in town and this surprise party was co-ordinated and so i went to see her and it was lovely.

happy birthday you beautiful lady!

regan and her daughter keziah and regan's brother russ who also shares the same birthday as regan.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

winter hike

sometimes i have these grand ideas in my head. 
like today i wanted to go on a "family hike" down this path.
i knew it would be all wintery wonderful and we could bring the sled and get all bundled up.
seconds in, noah refused to walk and wanted to sit in the one-child sled. 
then he wanted to walk.
then jude didn't want to ride in the sled. {he's not so much into the cold weather - he just gets kinda miserable.}
and then noah didn't want to leave.
and i felt

frustrated.

but then we worked it out. 
noah and i kept hiking and exploring our winter wonderland and jamie and jude went back to fill up the car with gas and get a {much needed} car wash.

sometimes life isn't what you hope for, but it's definitely what you make of it.
i just need to remember that more often.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

sleep

lately while jude naps, i'll read in my bed with noah. he "reads" his book, and i read mine {currently re-reading harry potter and the order of the phoenix}. after he's done with his book he'll quietly whisper or sing to himself {today he was doing some sort of bed-gymnastics} and then he quiets down and falls asleep within seconds. {jealous.}
it's really sweet. 
i enjoy these quiet moments with him.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

double fisting

today was a different, but really good day. 
jamie was up and out of the door before any of us were awake {and the boys got up at 7:30 so that's saying something}.
i ran 4 miles. {yay me!}
dropped off a meal for a good friend who just had her second baby.
brought lunch on campus to eat with jamie and the boys.
both the boys really liked it.
i reminisced about my working {on campus} days.
then we went to visit the Tim Horton's lady in the cafeteria. 
she loves our boys and they each got 2 free timbits.
the boys sat on the "grey stairs" and enjoyed their timbits.


we all took naps in the afternoon.
got up, went to starbucks {i needed a grande nonfat latte}, dropped off some books at the library and then met jamie for dinner {a special treat at McD's}.
came home and jamie left again to go back on campus for the big event tonight.
noah and i watched madagascar after jude went to bed.
and then i spent 1.5 hours looking up all sorts of wonderful crafts on the internet.
good golly there's a lot of fun things to do out there!

today turned out to be a really good day.
and now i am going to organize my bedroom. 
hope you had a good thursday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jude speaks!

Jude's been picking up words like crazy these days.
Today it was:

My bad.
(I'm so serious.)
Pear
and
Ouch!

And for the last part of the day he walked around crying

"boo-beh! boo-beh! boo-beh!" because all of his blueberries were gone and I wouldn't give him anymore. (Have you seen blueberry poop!? You would hold back too, if you had. Trust me.)
He's such a little parrot and copies sounds and words quite well.
He can be so unbelievably cute and sometimes I feel really bad at how little one-on-one time I get with him - especially compared to how much time I had for Noah at this stage. It's hard!
How do you get one-on-one time with each of your kids?

passive aggressive

I'm not sure where he got it from, but lately this is how Noah's been talking:

Mom...? I want to w-w-w-w-w-w-w-wa-wa-wa-wa-...


You want to wa-? (full well knowing what he's trying to say)

I want to w-w-w-wa-wa-wa-watch - tee-tee-tee-teevee!


Right.

Often I'll just get frustrated and say something like,

Noah, speak to me normally. Just tell me what you'd like.

And usually it has to do with watching tv. Because he loves watching tv. He pretty much always has. So I really work on not letting him watch too much tv simply because he is so inclined toward sitting and watching all.day.long (if he had his way).
But anyway, I have no idea where he got this passive aggressive form of asking for things from, but for some reason it seems familiar to me. I seem to recall my friend talking about teaching her daughter to ask directly for what she wanted instead of saying,
"I'm hungry" or "I'm soooo thirsty." or just plain hovering around waiting for someone to ask her what she wanted.

So we're working on it. That and so many other things right now.

Three is tough.

little hands

i made a {healthier} meal plan and then went grocery shopping yesterday. 
i bought loads of fresh fruits and veggies. 
today jude pointed at the pears on the counter and said "peah! peah!"
it was really cute. 
{but they're not quite ripe enough to eat.}


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

muffins

today i had a mother headache, a 3 year old with major anger issues {wonder where he gets that from?}, 
a messy house and a ridiculous bill from the dentist {oh and i have a bunch of cavities. boo.}
so i made muffins tonight.


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Pioneer Woman's Artichoke Dip

I got The Pioneer Woman Cooks for my birthday and I have been slowly cooking my way through it.

I came across this beauty when I made it for a friend's baby shower. It was an instant hit and I seriously could have taken Ree's {that's TPW's name, folks. We're on a first name basis here.} words to heart:

"...serve with blue tortilla chips. Or button mushrooms. Or a spoon."
No lie, I could have spooned that delicious dip right into my mouth. Yum.

Anyway, I've promised many people I would post the recipe so here it is:


Warmed Artichoke Dip 
by The Pioneer Woman
1 8oz block of cream cheese {i used light cream cheese and it made no difference to me}
1 cup of real mayonnaise {again, we only have the light variety of mayo in our house}
2 cans of artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup of Parmesan cheese {use the good stuff, you won't regret it}
 2 green onions, chopped
cayenne pepper, black pepper & salt, all to taste

So combine the cream cheese, mayo and 1 of the cans of artichoke hearts.
Add in the cayenne pepper {i am a fan of heat, but be considerate of your guests} and then the green onions.
Blend it all up in a food processor or use an immersion blender like i did.
Next roughly chop up the artichokes and add into the dip along with the Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and then throw it all in an oven-safe dish.
Heat at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes and enjoy while hot.
So.Stinkin'.Good.

And I've really enjoyed it with the blue tortilla chips but button mushrooms or a spoon would go just as well.

Enjoy!

play date!

this morning we had a play date. 
noah & hannah are such great friends and they play so well together that it actually is less work with more kids.
{there were 5 in total.}


sixty feet

today i watched this video:


Nathalie from Sixty Feet on Vimeo.


then i posted this on facebook:

i lay in bed thinking about these children, this country and what my role in it all was.
i think the thing that got me was that this week, the image of that child laying on that woman's bosom was a distorted image of what i experienced with jude. 
he's been sick since wednesday and i've spent large amounts of each day with him. nestled into me. 
the reason that image is distorted is because in my life, that child {my jude} is clothed. he has been given love every day of his life. despite fighting the flu, he is healthy and has access to plenty of food. and medicine. and clean water. he is free from spiritual oppression and has a loving mama and daddy who pray for him every day. 
and that is the reason i wept when i saw that little baby girl. lying there. staring with empty eyes and a scarred body. 

i've been thinking and praying {a lot} about what God has for me in uganda. 
{thinking and not sleeping}
why now? how do my passions and burdens and desires play into our journey to this beautiful and hurting country? 
how can i best be used? 

{please use me...}

there is more to come in this story. i just don't know it yet.

Please check out Sixty Feet, read their story, watch the videos, pray, give, go

will you do something {anything} with me?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

sonnet 116

let me not to the marriage of true minds
admit impediments. love is not love
which alters when it alterations finds,
or bends with the remover to remove:
o no! it is an ever-fixed mark
that looks on tempests and is never shaken;
it is the star to every wandering bark,
whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
within his bending sickle's compass come:
love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out even to the edge of doom.
if this be error and upon me proved,
i never writ, nor no man ever loved.*


*William Shakespeare

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

create


another day house-bound.
too cold to go out with a sick baby.
too many movies aren't good for the soul.
so we create.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

more funnies from Noah

Tonight while reading a story where he was to identify the seahorses he called them snail horses. Too cute.

The other day we were heading to his friend Hannah's house. He said to me in the car,
Hey! Hannah B and Hannah W are like the same!
Me: You mean, they have the same name?
Noah: Yeah! *pause* Except their heads don't match.
Me: You mean they look different?
Noah: Yeah.


Cutie.



sick day

yesterday Jude had the runs. then he puked everywhere. then we put him to bed and he puked all over his sheets and his beloved bunny {again}. and then he puked all over the pack 'n play. and more runs. 
today he's got a fever. and is generally cranky.


it's a sick day.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

cheeks

I love this kid. Little Jacob is Suzanne's son and this kid cracks me up. He's adorable and happy and - he loves Noah. It's really cute.
Oh and have you seen his cheeks?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

underpants! v. 4.0

After Sunday's fiasco the potty chair "disappeared" by Monday morning {it got cleaned and put into a bag which I promptly put in the trunk of our car to give back to the friend I borrowed it from}.

And after a somewhat rough start to our day, Noah succumbed to the potty seat that fits on top of the toilet. And since then we've had no problems. Except for using public washrooms; while he's a champ about being willing, how on earth do other Mothers deal with the "point your pee-pee* down!" issue? Tonight at McD's he peed on the toilet, but for the first second or two it ran straight down the front of the toilet all over his underpants and pants.
I'm wondering if standing is a better option?

Anyway, I'm proud of my little {big} guy. He's potty trained. {Daytime only. Every night he complains about having to wear a diaper, but until he wakes up dry, he's not going to sleep in underpants. Fin.}

*Funny story. So I've alternated between "penis" and "pee-pee" but apparently "penis" has stuck. We were at a friend's house the other day {a little girl} and Noah and his friend were playing with Play-Doh and stamping them into letters. He happened to make a "P" and proudly showed me: 
"Look Mom! A "P"!"
I said: "Yes! You're right. That is a "P"! What is "P" for?"
Noah: "'P' is for penis!"
Me: "Er. yes. Or peanut? polar bear? petunia?"
Good times.

frosty


It was the perfect day to build a snowman. 
Mild and slightly drizzly so that the previously fluffy snow became perfect packing snow.

Crafty

We were feeling especially crafty and non-tv/non-computer (except for right now) today:

the beginnings of Valentine's Day decorations:


DIY paper candies {with an old Quality Street tin, wrapping paper and tin foil}


and Frosty! {Noah was a bit disappointed that he didn't come to life after we put his hat on and sang "Frosty the Snowman". It kinda made me sad, too.}


I also started training for my 1/2 marathon in May. 
And worked a little bit at Starbucks.

I love *productive* days. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

underpants! v. 3.0

Today I had my "I've had it!" moment with potty training.

Well, all things considered, Noah is doing awesome with it. I mean, he literally potty trained in 2 days. So much more than I could have expected.

But he will only go in his potty chair. So this morning in our rush to get out of the house to church after Noah's prolonged tantrum about putting on his boots and coat and then finally getting him buckled into his car seat and pulling out of the driveway he announces

I HAVE TO GO PEE!

Me=anger!anger!anger!

So in we went and I told him {in my anger} that today was the last day for his potty chair and tomorrow it was going to go away and he would have to use the toilet seat {we have a little insert to make it easier}. He seemed okay with this, not thrilled, but fine with the idea.
Then he peed his pants at church.

So tomorrow will be phase 2 of potty training. So we'll see how it goes.

Also: I have anger issues.

jude reads

One of the many ways that Jude is so very different from his big brother is that he usually doesn't have any interest in books. I've tried to read to him every night but it usually ends up in him squirming on my lap and violently shutting the book.
Until this week.
Last year a friend gave us a bag of some toys her kids have grown out of and in this bag were some books. I sorted through and kept this one book by Mercer Mayer called "Where is Kitty?" - a lift-the-flap book. I don't remember which boy found it on our book shelf, but this week Jude stumbled upon this book and it was magic.
Jude.Is.Obsessed.

He LOVES this book and I'm thrilled {me being a self-professed book-worm}.
This is a video I caught this morning of my interactions with Jude and this book - enjoy the absolute CUTENESS of it:

video

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

underpants! v. 2.0

Potty training is going really, really well. He was pretty much trained yesterday. This is day 3 and he initiates on his own, pulls down and up his underpants and his pants {although he's been going jogging pants styles even though I'm partial to my kids in jeans...but whatever makes potty training easier, right?}, he woke up this morning and had "saved" his pee for the potty instead of filling his diaper {this is huge!} and he did a poop in the potty today {yesterday I tweeted this:}

...which as you can see is a vast improvement on where yesterday's poop ended up.
We've gone to Starbucks, grocery shopping, outside to play in the snow and I think because I just prepare myself for accidents, I'm pleasantly surprised at his ability to hold his pee and his ability to let me know when he needs to go before it's dripping down his leg.
This morning as I had just turned on the car {both boys strapped into their car seats} to take Jamie to work, Noah said, "I have to pee!" so out he came and I took him in to pee. A bit of a setback on a normal day, but for us in the midst of potty training - this is huge!
He was very ready for this, I just needed to make the first move. 

So proud of my big guy.

Now...to get him to pee in a toilet. Any thoughts? Advice? {He is adamant about only going on his "potty chair".}

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

underpants!


So potty training is going well. Noah initiates on his own and when he tells me he's usually got enough control to hold it until he's on the potty.
We attempted an outing to Starbucks this morning and he did great! Didn't have to pee, but guzzled a whole glass of "Starbucks water" {aka tap water in a Starbucks cup.} and had an accident once we got home but managed to get to the potty somewhat in time and then peed again 10 minutes later in the potty.

Anyway, it's going well. I'm thinking he could have been potty trained months ago, but I'm glad we waited until now. I'm ready {and determined} but more importantly he is ready.

It's amazing the things you are proud of when you're a parent.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Potty Training Game plan

Potty training deets:

First three days:
1. movie watching in the kitchen {to help him stay put in a non-carpeted area}
2. lots of juice - he's a guzzler and loves juice so this isn't hard. {to stimulate lots of pee "feelings" to help him get used to going on the potty}
3. treats! every time he goes on the potty he gets to pick one treat - either an M&M or a jelly bean {to further motivate and reward going on the potty}
4. underpants, not pull ups {to help him feel the wetness - kids know pull ups are diapers.} and no pants {to make it easy to whip the underpants down at the slightest inclination of having to pee}

I'm not into the whole "train your kid in 3 days" but I am doing the first three days a bit more intentionally so as to kick start the whole process and help Noah to have lots of practice feeling the urge to pee and actually going.

I do have pull ups for long car trips and I think I'll try using them for overnights (although Noah is a heavy wetter/pooper at night} in the hopes that he'll learn to pee mostly during the days.

Essentially after the first few days he'll have a better idea of what he's supposed to do and then we'll hopefully just go out and about like we normally do and hope for the best. I fully anticipate accidents and set backs, but at this point I've set my mind on potty training and so we're moving forward and hoping for the best.

I'm totally open for advice and ideas if you've got any!

Cake Pops for Beth Part II

The cake pops were a success! Everyone really loved them {or at least everyone I heard from} and most importantly, Beth really liked them. So I say, Success!

Here are some naked cake pops:


Some naked cake pops and some with clothes on {really glad I opted for a combo of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate}:


And a close-up:


I am happy with how they turned out and had I not had so much on my plate I would have done more {I was thinking of putting little bow ties on them or something}, but as it was, they were simple and tasted delish.

A cake pop success!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cake Pops for Beth Part I

My beautiful friend Beth is doing this amazing thing.
For her birthday she's putting on an art show that combines photography and poetry and is inviting all her friends to come and share in what she's calling: 26 Secrets.
What a fantastic idea and I'm so proud of her. {It's tomorrow night!}

So when she asked me if I'd contribute to the night by bringing something - maybe, possibly cake pops - of course I said YES!

So I hunted around on the interwebs and thought about it because these could not just be any old cake pops. These needed to be classy and artsy and downright delicious.

And then I found it; an old link I had saved in my bookmarks.

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream


Perfecto!

So I whipped up the cake



And I even used my David's Tea Cream of Earl Grey loose tea. I pondered whether I should grind up the tea or not, but in the end, opted for leaving them as is.
I baked and crumbled up the cake



And then made the most amazing lemon buttercream you've ever tasted. I mean, SO GOOD.

Lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. So. Lemony. *I die*



And then probably the most time consuming part. Mixing and rolling the cake into little "pops".
And I didn't take a picture of that because it was almost midnight and I was tired and Noah had been crying on and off for about an hour.

Tonight I'll be dipping the pops into chocolate and hopefully get to bed at an earlier hour.
Here's hoping!

{And bring on the coffee!}

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pork Tenderloin in a Rosemary-Apple Marinade

If I were American, this is how I would start this entry:

Oh my gosh, y'all! I just tried out the most amazing new recipe for mouth watering, tender pork tenderloin.
So.Good.

{Okay so the only American part of that sentence was the "y'all" but I felt it really needed a "y'all" to drive home my point of how good it was.}

Anyway, so for my birthday someone gave me a card and it had a recipe on the inside for this pork tenderloin. I cut out the recipe and tacked it to my cork board outside my kitchen.

3 months later...


Tonight we had someone over for dinner so I decided to bring the pork tenderloin out of the freezer and try out this recipe.
Except it was a grill recipe. And I, for one, was not about to stand outside in the freezing just to grill some tenderloin. So I adapted the recipe and added a few ingredients, and substituted a few and voila! Deliciousness!
I did take a picture after the fact, but really, it didn't do it justice. It's a pork tenderloin, folks. It doesn't really look all that different from other pork tenderloin pictures you've seen. Besides, the recipe card didn't have a picture and it sounded so good that I tried it anyway - and that's saying something! {I love recipes with pictures.}

Pork Tenderloin in a Rosemary-Apple Marinade
Marinade
1/2 cup apple juice
2 tbsp honey mustard - now I didn't actually have honey mustard, so I used a rosemary mustard marinade and added about a tbsp of honey. You can use what you have.
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion. minced {or if you're lazy like me, you used dehydrated onion flakes, a generous shaking - worked for me}
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin {I used a package of 2 good sized tenderloins and had more than enough}

So you wanna whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl and then pour the marinade over the pork in either a glass baking dish or a large ziploc. Turn the pork to coat it evenly with marinade. Marinade for at least 2 hours.

Then on med-high lightly brush some olive oil in a large pan and heat. Sear the tenderloin until browned on all sides and then place in an oven {in your glass baking dish brushed with olive oil} set at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Boil the extra marinade for a minute on the stove {I just put it in the large pan and added a bit more apple juice} and then use it to baste the tenderloin a couple times while cooking.
The inside should still have a trace of pink when it's done. Let the pork rest for 5 minutes before carving and then slice into 1/2 inch thick slices and enjoy!

Seriously. This was the most tender and tasty tenderloin I have ever tasted. It was Gooo-Oood. Make this for your next dinner party. Or Sunday lunch. Or for Valentine's Day. Do it.

*adapted from a recipe from Crazy Plates {I think}

the one where you see our usual breakfast happenings

Jude is definitely making some strange noises these days. Or perhaps they're just typical boy noises. Either way, here's a sampling of what our breakfasts (and meals in general) look like:

video

Monday, January 3, 2011

questions

Noah: {looks into the sky and sees nothing but blue} Where are the clouds? Are they are on the ground?

Me: I'm not sure. Where do you think they are?

Noah: Um, I think they're hiding in the grass. Or in my cup.

midnight play date

i switched noah's bed around so the head board is against the wall. i like it better this way.

jude woke up at around midnight last night, crying softly.
i was just getting ready for bed {because i have yet to make it to bed before midnight this year} so i went in and almost fell over from the stench that hit me as i walked in the door.

now which boy to check?

i guessed it was jude since he was quietly crying. i picked him up - he was burning up - and smelled him. bingo!

so i lay him down to change him and he was happy enough, talking quietly and pointing to a toy train that he saw.
after i gave him some tylenol for his fever and put him back in his crib.
i settled noah and then left and went to bed.
i lay in bed and could hear jude talking away:

mama! yeah! dada! ah! *giggles* 

noah was quietly talking {i later heard him saying he wanted a kleenex so i had to go back in} and i thought, 

what is this? a play date in the middle of the night? 

but it was so sweet to hear them happily talking to each other instead of wailing away. 

it's official. we are one sick household. but at least the boys are in good spirits. so far jamie and i have escaped it, so we're loading up on liquids and vitamins in the meantime.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 in pictures



Snow, buzz cuts,

new life, and love
I got to throw an engagement party for my dear friend, Tamsin who has been living in the UK for over 2 years now and was visiting Canada briefly.


*photo credit to yellow barn photography






The beginning of my cake pop obsession, the end of winter and the start of warmer weather {hoorah!}.



Hilarious conversations, ridiculous cuteness 



Saying good bye to my brother for 7 months {serving with the military}, 

enjoying the balmy weather, the "big boy bed





*photo credit to Deb Wong

*photo credit to Deb Wong

*photo credit to Deb Wong


Family beach day, 


and a decision to GO.


My solo trip to the UK





 we get the "go ahead", my dear friend Elisha has twins {!},




Getting colder, new friendships are formed, 


and Jamie scouts out Uganda.


Time with family and friends.





And now looking on to 2011 with hope, joy and a peace in the God who has proven Himself faithful before and will continue to do so.

Happy New Year!
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