Thursday, November 29, 2012

Note to Self # 3

Do not feed ice cream to child who has just said "My belly hurts."

Friday, September 28, 2012

Note to Self # 2

Do not use finger to check if diaper is dirty (borrowed from a friend, but come on, we've all done it).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Wonderful Ways We Find "The Way"

I'm sorting through my blog posts and remembered that a couple of years ago I wrote a guest blog for (that's Christian Stay-At-Home-Moms).  I gave them the rights to the post and they requested that I not publish it on my own blog but hey I can post the link!

Click here to read it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Note to Self # 1

Do not put shreds of toilet paper (courtesy of your 18-month old) in the toilet mid-pee.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Green Eggs and Ham

I made this once before for my kids with great results.  This time I thought I’d actually record the recipe and share it with you all.  It isn’t exactly the green eggs from Dr. Seuss so you may have to cook with your kids so they believe it’s really eggs!  My son said “Mom, it’s really more like an omelette.”  To which I replied “Well, some people would say it’s more like a quiche or others a frittata but guess what?  They are all eggs.”  I don’t know how you would make a yolk green like the book other than let it sit out of the fridge for a few weeks :).  This is the next best thing, and better yet, it’s healthy and will get your kids eating something they may never have consented to before:  SPINACH!  This recipe was shared between me and my 4 kids and was just enough for us so I would it say serves 3-4 adults.  You’ll note the “ham” pictured below isn’t quite ham … it’s a “leftovers” mixture of ham, pork and sausage from our deli.  See notes below for additions and substitutions100_3024.  Here’s the recipe:

Add 1 tbsp of margarine (or oil) to oven-proof skillet (approx. 8 inch).  Heat just until margarine is melted and covered bottom of pan.  Pre-heat oven to 400 deg. F (see below for stove-top method).

Blend in food processor or blender.
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk (whole or evaporated is best)
2 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese


Add most of egg mixture to skillet, reserving approx. 1/4 cup.  Add following ingredients to reserved egg mixture.
1 handful fresh spinach (approx. 2 packed cups)
1/2 tsp salt
A few dashes of black pepper, garlic and onion powder to taste

Process or blend spinach mixture until nearly pureed.  Add mixture to eggs in skillet and mix until well blended and eggs appear green.  You may discover a few whole spinach leaves at this time which you should remove.  Bake in 400 deg F oven for 20-25 minutes.  Meanwhile fry slices of ham in skillet on medium heat until browned. Eggs are done when they have puffed and are starting to slightly brown on top.  Cut eggs into pie slices and serve with ham.

-My little guy doesn’t like eggs and cheese so I opted out of too much but if you are big egg and cheese fan add up to 1/4 cup parm or 1 cup mozza or cheddar.
-The first time I made this I used thawed spinach.  I think maybe 1/4 cup of the thawed stuff would be enough but I’m not 100% sure.  This would also be good with cooked broccoli but I’m not sure if it would give the same color.
-I like to use the oven because once it’s in there you don’t have to bother with it until it’s done.  If you don’t have the time you can do this on the stove with similar results in less than ten minutes.  Cook on low-medium heat.  When egg begins to firm along sides, use spatula to loosen edges and allow uncooked egg to moved to the bottom of the skillet.  Repeat this until eggs are nearly cooked through with top being a little moist.  Place in oven under broiler for 1-2 minutes until eggs are fully set.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Do it your way

As I was looking for something interesting to do with chicken legs I was thawing for supper I came upon some conclusions.  Not having potatoes I couldn’t rightfully make “cooked supper”  (chicken legs and carrots just wouldn’t do).  Not wanting to do rice or noodles (again) I went looking online for a recipe with chicken and evaporated milk.  I don’t know why evaporated milk, that’s just the mood I’m in:  some good old home-cooked Newfie comfort food.  Chicken and dumplings was the main idea that sprang up and I browsed through a few recipes.  I ventured to Canadian Living magazine and typed in my ingredients… Same thing chicken stew/dumplings/pot pie.  Before I did my browsing however I watched a short clip of Mayim Bialik, of “Blossom” and more recently “Big Bang Theory” fame, answering questions about her new book Beyond the Sling: A real life guide to raising confident, loving children the attachment parenting way.  This is how the internet can so easily consume so much of our (my) time because then I started reading a preview of her book on Amazon.

Basically, I could be considered at attachment parent.  I breast-fed on demand well past the age of one, co-slept, carried (though didn’t sling) and on a small level attempted to do the whole Elimination Communication (although not nearly to the degree that Mayim seems to have -- remember I only skimmed the limited pre-view).  She seemed to really emphasize parenting instinctually and insists we all know how to parent by way of instinct.  Is this way of parenting something worth labelling and writing a book to encourage others to try?  Maybe, but I know many wonderful, loving parents who did only some or none of what I did when raising their little ones and they have perfectly normal healthy kids.  Do I agree with or would I do myself everything I see other parents do?  Definitely not.  Honestly, there are days I just shake my head at some people.  However everyone does things differently and this is where I get back to chicken and dumplings.

For me, chicken and dumplings is a no-brainer.  Cook some chicken however you want, add some milk, chicken stock, salt, pepper, onions and whatever veggies you like to a pot and boil it up until the veggies are cooked.  Then find a dumpling recipe (this one you may have to follow more precisely) or use a store-bought biscuit mix, and boom ya gots some Chicken and Dumplings.  But for some people, things need to be more precise.  How much chicken?  How many carrots?  Boiled chicken or baked?  One particular lovely sister-in-law comes to mind when I write this :).

It’s the same way with parenting.  Some people seem to know how to parent instinctually and absorb information naturally as they encounter new circumstances.  Others need to pore over books and find the best “way” for them to parent their children with each issue that comes up.  Some go with the flow while others need routine.  I don’t really know what sleep-training is from sleep-walking but I didn’t really need to find a way to help my babies sleep.  Two of my four children slept through the night at 2 months old and the other two would only wake to feed and go straight back to sleep (usually in my bed).  I have a wonderful friend who had her babies asleep every night at 6 pm probably by some form of sleep training or another or maybe just pure luck!  It wasn’t me to do that; I let my babies nap when they wanted and go to bed when they wanted.  While my friend was enjoying many calm, relaxing evenings, I was (am) sometimes rushing to get my little ones to sleep at 10 pm so I could go to bed!  But that’s fine.  That worked for me and it worked for her and our children still got their needed 10-12 hour sleep.  Many women I know breast-fed and sadly didn’t particularly enjoy it but they did it because that’s what they felt was the best option for their child.  The reasons I found beneficial and ideal  (constant free food supply and therefore frequent need to nurse), some women find tiring and confining.  I may feel a little pity that you didn’t find the joy and satisfaction that I did with nursing but you may feel a little sad for me to always have been “stuck” to my child.  That’s okay.  The point is that we all find a way to parent that is best for us and our children and unless it causes actual physical or emotional harm, what’s the big deal?

I guess what I am trying to say is glean from all the advice you hear and read with an open-mind and take what works for you and your child.  Sometimes I have to check myself not to be too critical or judgemental because what I do now may change drastically in the years to come or with each child because each one is different.  Most importantly don’t allow anyone or any book to cause you to feel shame for how you parent your child.  Notice I didn’t say guilt.  I recently read or heard someone speak about the crucial differences between guilt and shame (I can’t remember who).  You may rightfully feel guilt about some way you have been parenting or one mistake you made in parenting your child.  Guilt can be beneficial to learning, growing and change.  Shame however is entirely different.  Shame produces similar feelings to guilt – disappoint with oneself, embarrassment, and/or regret but feelings are internalized, focussing not on what we did but who we are.  Or in terms of parenting, negative feelings not from what parenting decision we made but who we are as parents.  Shame is often caused by criticism from outside sources- our own parents, our peers, healthcare professionals or as mentioned even books.  You may even be very confident that the choices you are making are the best for you and your child (ie you are not feeling guilt about your decisions) yet you feel so much pressure from these outside sources that it makes you ashamed to freely express the way you parent your child.  Although we may always have to walk on eggshells around certain toxic individuals, never allow those opinions to create in you a pervading sense of shame and inadequacy as a parent.

In some cases, shame is entirely fabricated within oneself.  You may or may not have done something wrong to produce feelings of guilt yet you are overcome with feelings of shame.  In cases of victimization, the wrong was done to you yet you are left feeling like you are the wrong one.  In my case, I felt, what I now recognize as shame, because I did not nurse my first child for as long as I had wished.  For many reasons, the main one being that I had to go back to school the week after he was born, I did not have a good milk supply and by six months he no longer wanted to nurse and I essentially had no milk.  It’s truly amazing and an accomplishment really that I was dedicated enough to nurse him for as long as I did but that did not mitigate the feelings I had.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had somehow let him down by not nursing him for longer.  I know!  Dumb huh?  But these are the types of irrational, unfounded fears that shame creates and we so desperately need to avoid.  I made a deal with myself that I would nurse my second child 6 months beyond the age of one to make up for the 6 months that I missed with my first.  I don’t know if it was nursing my daughter to 18 months or just a maturing of my spirit but the shame eventually receded.

I’m sure there are moments for all of us when we see how other parents do things or we have a controversial conversation in our mom's group or we have a run-in with the in-law’s that make us step back and think twice about what we are doing as parents.  For myself, I avoid reading secular parenting magazines because I find little encouraging information in them.  My elderly neighbour was mistakenly receiving a popular Canadian parenting magazine and she would forward the copies along to me.  It seemed that in every issue there was an article on children with mental illness or some other equally depressing topic.  Rather than find good advice for problems I may have been having with my little ones, I would most often be second-doubting a decision I made or needlessly worrying about my child someday having an anxiety disorder.  I finally threw out all the copies I had and I try to avoid reading them even in the doctor’s office.  I’m not advising to go it alone and never seek advice from other parents or resources but be confident that the job you are doing is good, learn from your mistakes and yes, when you find yourself in a situation which you really don’t know what to do, seek encouraging, life-giving advice from a trusted friend or resource.  Keep up the good job parents!

By the way, this is how my Chicken and Dumplings turned out...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The most obvious yet ignored piece of advice you’ve ever heard

It’s taken me 32 years… night after night of my dad yelling at me during my teenage years… and groggy morning after groggy morning of my adulthood but I’ve finally got it… GO TO BED!!!
For years I’ve been lamenting about how tired I am.  Why do I feel like I need a nap almost every afternoon?  Why do I never wake up on my own?  Why do I feel so groggy 10 even 20 minutes after I’ve been awake?  How come I feel like going back to bed after getting my kids to school nearly every day?  I’ve finally figured it out.  I haven’t been getting enough sleep.  You kinda go on the standard advice:  Most adults need 6-8 hours of sleep every night.  Okay, then I should be able to go to bed at midnight and get up at 7:20am and feel rested, right?  WRONG.

The last month or so I’ve been aiming to get to bed at around 10:00pm and at the latest 11:00pm.  And guess what?  I’ve often been waking on my own around 7:00 am.  I may not get out of bed until the alarm goes off at 7:20 but I get up and I don’t feel like a walking corpse when I do.  I haven’t been going back to bed in the morning until my younger kids wake up.  I’m able to go all day and not have that 3:00pm slouch.  As a result I’ve had WAY more energy.  Now when I’m tempted to stay up watching a marathon of episodes on Netflix I think about how crappy I’ll feel in the morning and how wonderful I’ll feel if I just go to bed now.

Some of you may thinking “10:00pm??? That’s a little early.  I have so much preparation; laundry; chores in the evening.  Not to mention some much need relaxation.  I can’t get to bed until way after 11”  I understand.  As I rarely have my kids in bed earlier than 8:45 (I aim for 8:30 but it always seems to be pushing 9 before they are settled), it’s a rush on to get to bed before 10.  That means by the time I get the younger munchkins to bed, who often have incredibly long naps and may not be tired at 9, then it’s all I can do but to brush my teeth and hop in the sack myself.  It may take some sacrifice but it may mean feeling more energized in the morning to get up 20 minutes earlier to make lunches or put a load of laundry in the washer or even get to work a little early to get a head start on your work day!  I just know it’s been working for me and if you have been feeling way too old and way too zonked than maybe it’s something you should try.  If you can keep your sleep stores up on a regular basis than you can manage to slip in an occasional later night without feeling totally drained.

So consider the most obvious advice ever and try to get to a good night’s sleep!

PS If you've been waiting for another post about "Believing God".. it's coming soon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Believing Lies

So a few days ago I read an old letter I had written to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association thanking them for a free book they sent to me entitled Believing God by Beth Moore.  If you’ve read my blog before you may remember me writing about this book.  I wouldn’t call myself a scholar by any stretch but I’ve read a number of Christian books over the years and this one is probably the only book that actually gives specific instruction about how to increase your faith, and it does so with results. I thought “I need to read this book again,” so I pulled it down of the shelf and began.
It’s been I think maybe almost 5 years since I last read it so it’s kinda of fresh to me again.  For some reason I feel compelled to write about what I’ve been learning . I haven’t felt this way in a while so I thought I should heed the call.  I may do this throughout the re-reading of this book so keep checking in on me, won’t you?
From the very first chapter I was challenged.  I realized that I had a core lie that was interfering with my belief in God and what He can accomplish in my life.  The idea of core lies comes from the e-book of the same title by Sarah Mae.  Basically a core lie is something we believe about ourselves that is untrue and contrary to the way God sees us.  Sarah states them as a bunch of “I ams”:  “I am bad,” “I am not good enough” and so on.  I realized that not only do we have lies about ourselves, but perhaps many or even all these lies have reciprocating lies about God. I won’t go into the very personal core lies of my own but for example you may have a core lie of “I am un-loveable.” If you believe you are un-loveable than you probably deep down have the lie embedded in you that God does not love you. You may just say to yourself “I am so un-loveable” but the lie about God is that “I am so un-loveable (that God could never love me).”  Of course, it can be refuted again and again in scripture that this is not true, and both authors and certainly myself will say that the best way to refute lies and build faith is by strapping on the belt of truth and arming yourself with the Sword of the Spirit, that is God’s Word.  So as I pondered this (that what I believe about myself is actually a lie about God), then I started to think differently about the situation.  I don’t want to believe lies about God.  I don’t want His word and His power to be nullified in my life because I am choosing to believe something that simply is not true.  While de-cluttering my book shelf yesterday, I found my printout of Core Lies, and sure enough right there at the bottom of the list of core lies that Sarah had compiled I had written own my core lie.  Not in exactly the same words that Beth described it but there it was “I am . . .”  But now I see it more than just a lie about myself; it’s a lie about God and that does not sit well with me.
So I’m putting on some armor, and lifting my sword and shield, and I’m excited to see what happens next!

Monday, April 23, 2012

On not living in the fullness of God’s promises

It’s like buying a house.  God has a house for you but you can’t afford the mortgage.  Jesus pays the mortgage for you, hands you the keys and tells you today is the day you can take possession.  And we hold the keys but never take possession.  We brag we own a house, after all Jesus gave it to us, but we never live in it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Totally forgot I wrote this

I found this poem I wrote on my facebook notes...

Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 11:46am

One Stone: A Lament for the Lost
One stone stands different
One word, one date
Both birth and death together
No dash to separate

One word to name him
One date to mark his life
Both death and birth
In a single strike

No body to lay here
His mother his grave
But to keep his memory
The stone she gave

No body to lay here
Just remnants of his soul
His mother now bears
That terrible hole

"Please forgive me" she whispers
And somehow hears "I do.
But now, dear Mommy,
You must forgive you."
This poem is an adaptation of a book called "Tilly" by Frank Perretti.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines are we.


This is a pic of our Valentine’s Day supper at home, while the kids were snug in bed. I often wonder what life was life before we (I) felt compelled to expose every rapturous, sordid and boring detail of our lives to hundreds of people via blogs, facebook, messengers etc. etc. Anyways this supper was so good I just had to post it. In case you can’t really tell what this, here’s a better look:


This is my husband throwing on another raw steak filet to cook on a hot stone. There are scallops to the side, and the steak on the left is the one I’d been feasting on, one medium rare morsel of juicy goodness at a time. We’ve had a hot stone for years and just used it for the first time tonight. My husband was raving about a restaurant he recently visited that served their steaks on a hot stone and I think tonight’s was just about as good as that. I topped off the evening with lava cakes from scratch with cream-can you say RICH?

Anyways, I have to go to bed with my husband now and you know . . . sleep.

Char-ness, out!