Friday, October 29, 2010

Spooky Treats

Last night I made witch fingers and eyeballs for my work Halloween potluck lunch. I got the ideas from Kraft Canada's website, but I didn't exactly use their recipe's. I made more of a sugar cookie rather than using their cream cheese recipe. I used sliced almonds for the finger nails and whipped up a small batch of butter cream icing for the blood. The eyeballs weren't on my original plan...but I couldn't stand making one more finger. I improvised and used raisins for the middle and used toothpicks dipped in food colouring for the veins. I'm not a very creative person, so I'm happy with the result!

Ta dah!

I made a ton so I sent some to work with Hubby. What good wifey I am :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting into the Halloween spirit

I've never been a huge Halloween lover, but having a child changes everything. I can't wait to show of his adorable little costume :)

A colleague and I organized a Halloween potluck in our office for tomorrow. It will be interesting to see the funny costumes and I can't wait for all the themed treats. Tonight I will be making witch's fingers to bring. I hope they turn out :)

We are also excited to carve our very first pumpkin as a family tonight. Little E was so excited when we picked the "pumk-a-tin" out. I can't wait for his reaction to the carving and gooey-ness.

Last Saturday, little E and I were invited to a Halloween party. It was a cute little gathering of friends that we met at playgroup. There were 7 costumed children in total and all the moms brought little snacks to put in each of the kids treat bags. I struggled with what to bring after the Mom organizing emailed out a list of allergies in the group. Little E has a sensitivity to dairy and soy and other children's allergies included peanuts, eggs and sesame. There aren't too many Halloween treats that don't include these ingredients! I wanted to give something healthy, because little E doesn't eat candy yet so I ended up bringing individual apple sauce cups and boxes of raisins. They seemed to be a hit with the tots.

Here is a snapshot that Hubby took before we headed off to our party:

My little horse and Mommy as his Cowgirl

Only 3 more days til Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Poo Poo

I could be jumping the gun here, but I think little E is ready to start potty training. I've been reading up on the basic readiness signals and can answer yes to all of them.

I purchased a potty on sale about two months ago and I set it up in the bathroom. Little E loves to play and sit down on it, especially when his Daddy is in the bathroom with him. I asked him one-time a couple weeks ago when Hubby went to the bathroom, "Where did Daddy go? " and he answered while tilting his head, "Daddy poo poo?" He caught me so off guard, putting these two words together, that I burst into laughter. Since he got such a great reaction from me, he continued to say it for days.

I've been noticing that he will stop in his tracks and grab his diaper when he goes pee. The other night when walking home from the park he stop and grimaced and as I was about to ask him if he had to go to the bathroom he looked up at me and said "poo poo". So, I think that means he's ready.

I mentioned these signals to his daycare provided last night and she said she's also been noticing his interest in the 'big boys' going to the bathroom. However, she said most boys that she's had in her daycare haven't been trained until 2 or 2 1/2. Little E is 18 months.

I could be really naive in thinking that if I jump on this now it would be easier to train him than when he is a bit older. I think I'm going to start making an effort in training him soon - as soon as I'm done researching everything to do with potty training. I'm an information junkie like that.

It's worth a try - I guess we'll soon find out. I like a good challenge :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mommy, book!

I love when little E follows me around the house saying "Mommy, book!". He loves his books and reading is our favourite quiet time activity. I've been reading to him since day one and one of our favourite places to visit is the library.

Hubby used to laugh at me when I would strap little E in the stroller when he was only a couple weeks old and march off to the library. I would come home with a stroller weighed down with books. We only had one car during my maternity leave (we've got a second since then - hallelujah!) and Hubby needed it for work. The library was one of the closest places for me to walk to when I needed to just get out of the house. Anywhere I went with baby was with the stroller or the baby carrier and I would walk my little heart out. Actually, I can probably credit the library for my quick baby-weight loss.

Our first mommy and baby group was Babytime at the public library. At three months old I would strap him in the Baby Bjorn and off to the libray we would go. This free program was my favourite. We met a lot of friends at Babytime and he loved the bouncy songs.

I am fortunate to have found a day care provider that shares my passion for reading. She has an amazing collection, especially of the Berenstain Bears. Usually on Fridays, I pack one of his favourite books in his bag to share with his friends. He loves showing off and pointing out all the things he knows.

Now, we head to the library every three weeks when the books are due and stock up. We'll be heading there tonight (thank goodness - we have been reading these ones over and over again!). In the evenings, before Hubby gets home from work, and I'm trying to get dinner ready, I read one page at a time as he pulls at my leg in the kitchen saying "Mommy, book!". On the weekends we bring books into bed first thing in the morning to put off getting up as long as possible. Before bed we read atleast five books. Some of our favourite bed time reads are Love You Forever, Mortimer and Rock-a-Bye Farm. Then, we always finish with Time For Bed, which I can recite with my eyes closed. We have always had this bedtime routine and he knows that once this book is done it's time to go to sleep.

It's time for bed, little mouse, little mouse...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dinner Diary - Week of Oct 25

It is really important in my family to plan our meals in advance because of our hectic weekday schedules. Both Hubby and I work full-time day hours and play sports a couple times a week in the evenings. Hubby also coaches hockey. What works for us is planning our meals out before we go grocery shopping on the weekend. It also helps us keep to a budget at the grocery store - the one place that I could spend hours at! We love food :) We usually always post our meal plan on the fridge and it helps to keep it as a reminder to prepare things the night before.

My goal now is to also post my dinner plans here to keep me on track and motivated to stick to our plans!

This week's line-up:

Monday - Chicken fajitas, brown rice and homemade guacamole
Tuesday - Crockpot lasagna with ground beef and homemade bread
Wednesday - Bacon omelettes on whole wheat wraps
Thursday - Ginger chicken and vegetable stirfry and orzo pasta
Friday - Salmon and sweet potato cakes and quinoa vegetable salad

I prepare the bulk of the meals the night before and left overs are perfect for lunches at work the next day. 

As little E says, "Nummy!"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Family Photos

I love the fall and I've always wanted to get family pictures during this beautiful season.

I was referred to Claire Ross through a couple mommy friends and we met at a beautiful conservation area for our family photos last Saturday. Claire keeps a blog of all her work and posted some samples of our photo shoot today. I am thrilled with how they turned out!

Have a look - isn't she amazing?!

Claire Ross Photography - "Alicia and her boys"

Friday, October 22, 2010

Monkey Chatter

Last night, little E and I met up with some friends at Two Monkeys Coffee & Teahouse in Barrhaven. It was our first time there and we really liked it! I've been wanting to check this place out forever, but since returning to work, weekends are too jam-packed and weeknights are nearly impossible in the short time frame between dinner and bedtime. We really had to plan ahead.

I put a call out to our friends a few weeks ago since we hadn't got together in so long.  One is a long time childhood friend from back home.  It's a shame that we don't meet up more often - every time we do I feel like we are two young girls chatting and giggling on the school bus ride home again. It's really neat that we both ended up marrying and living in the same city and I love how we still have so much in common. It's always fun catching-up on each others family updates and of course a little hometown gossip :)

The other is a mutual friend.  I randomly met her when little E was around 6 months old at the Ontario Early Years Centre Infant Playgroup.  Her little man is just a few months younger than mine and so we shared a lot of mommy advice when we met up at playgroups, at the library and swimming.  I love how we also share a lot in common including natural childbirth, breastfeeding and homemaking our baby food. We have kept in contact through Facebook, but I was excited to see them again since the last time was right before my maternity leave ended - 6 months ago!

The little boys played while the three of us had our hot chocolates. Little E loved the ride on car and attempted to make a get away to the front of the store on more than one occasion.  His little friend was loving the kitchen and was cooking up a storm just like his Daddy does at home - lucky Mommy!  It was fun to see how they have developed since the last time they were together when they were only crawling. 

It's so refreshing to talk to women with similar views and family values.  I hope we can meet up more often from now on.  Two Monkeys really is the perfect place for a quiet chat and especially because the tots can't wander too far out of your sight, but at the same time can keep themselves entertained with all the toys and activities on hand. We can't wait for our next visit. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm doin' me

It's funny how things happen.

I had been thinking so much about starting my own blog - but was having such a hard time taking the plunge. Yesterday morning, I wrote my first post. Yeah for me!

On my lunch break at work I picked up the Ottawa Citizen (which I rarely get around to reading) and read the cover page of the Life section. I read a great article about Erica Diamond titled “Stop Existing, Start Living”. Hey! That’s what I’m trying to do! The article was about the launch of Erica’s book, “The 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before ... Starting Their Own Business”. Erica also writes a personal blog, which I immediately had to check out and add to my blogroll ( I love her blog - so inspiring! (Side note: I love that she quotes "Oh! The Places You'll Go" - one of my favourite reads with little E).

I have been dreaming about starting my own business for some time now. Pre-baby I had dreams of being my own boss and of financial freedom. Post-baby I often dream about being a Mompreneur and being able to spend more time with little E. I’ve had countless chats and laughs with friends on how to achieve this goal and I think I may have a couple ideas up my sleeve…

It’s funny how things happen. Yesterday, I took my first step and immediately after, Erica Diamond gave me a little push (unknown to her – thanks Erica!).

Although I don’t know the exact direction of this blog yet, I do know why I am blogging - for ME. Not for little E, not for Hubby, just for Me, Myself and I.

So as Canadian rapper, Drake, would put it, “What am I doin’? What am I doin’? Oh yeah, that’s right, I’m doin’ me”.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My New Adventure

I have been blog-hopping for weeks now and I’m finally coming out! I am interested in keeping a journal and connecting with other women in the blogging community with similar interests.  I am a busy mommy striving to lead the best life for my family. I have a particular interest (and experience) in natural pregnancy, birth and parenting topics. I am also on a mission to make our small townhouse more of a home for our family and I have found so much DIY inspiration in the blogosphere.

One of my favourite blogs right now is Kids In The Capital and they have recently started a stream of blogging tips and information on their Social Media Mondays. I have always been a very private person, but I have been so inspired to join in the fun.

Here’s to my new adventure…blogging!