Saturday, 31 December 2011

Coming July 2012.....


Here it is, the big announcement post.




You see where I'm going with this right?

Yes, it's true.  We're having another baby!  And no, it's not because we wanted a girl.  I'm already sick of the girl comments.  When we decided to add another child to our family, what we really wanted was a healthy baby.  Just thought I'd get that out of the way first off!

So we will soon be parents to 3 instead of 2.  Are we crazy?  Perhaps!  Sometimes I wonder how I can handle 3 when the 2 I have are handful enough.  I don't look forward to the early months, the sleep deprivation (I am not going to pretend I think this new baby will sleep through the night much before a year!), the constant feedings, the potential for another refluxy, colicky baby, or any of the other less glamorous things that come with having a tiny baby. 

I see how much easier things have gotten with my boys after they passed the baby stage and I think, we must be crazy to go through all that again.

But it's just temporary, and we know this.  Whenever I would think about adding a new child to this family, thoughts of the baby and toddler days aren't all that would enter my mind.  I would think of 3 children, growing up together, having each other to play with, and looking out for each other.  I would think of the future, of all the love and joy each child brings to our family.  I would think of when they are adults, and have families of their own, and the big wonderful clan we are growing here.  It's not just about wanting to be pregnant, or wanting another little baby, or anything like that.  It's about wanting a family.

Tyler and I both come from families with two children.  No complaints from either of us there.  But whenever I would see my friends or cousins who had many siblings, there was something there that I just never had growing up.  There is a closeness between all of them, very special bonds.  My brother and I are very close and always have been, so I can only imagine how much more amazing it could be if there were even more of us in the mix.  Sometimes in life, your siblings are the people closest to you, who know you the best.

I am so excited to be starting on this new venture.  Am I scared of the lack of sleep that is inevitably going to be upon us?  Am I wondering about how I am going to wrangle 3 toddlers by myself when we are out and about at the park and playdates?  Am I slightly scared of all the whining, the fighting, the difficult times?  Of course I am!  But it is an adventure we are fully willing to take on, because having our children has been the best thing we have ever done, and I can't see how adding one more would be any less great.

The estimated due date for this bubs is still up for debate.  It should be around July 9th, but at the ultrasound I had today the tech put my EDD at July 2nd.  As much as I'd love to be a week ahead of what I thought, I think I will stick with the first date for now since it makes the most sense for me.  Not that due dates are set in stone, still it is nice to have a general idea of where I am at.

This pregnancy has been great so far, much like my other ones.  I am a very lucky pregnant lady, free of morning sickness, nausea, heartburn, digestive issues, or any of the other yucky aspects of being pregnant.  I haven't even been that tired through the first trimester and have managed to keep up with life as usual, whether that has meant chasing the kids around or hitting the gym.  I have felt great, and feel very fortunate that I can say that because I know so many ladies aren't so lucky with their pregnancies and don't get a chance to enjoy it the way I do.

The cat is out of the bag and the official announcements have been made.  We are the types of people who tend to stay hush hush for the first 12wks while we process everything and make sure it's on track.  I did tell my friends almost a month ago now as we had a girl's holiday night and they would have known anyway when I wasn't drinking.  For our families we saved the big announcement for Christmas as we thought that would be a fun time to share the news.

To announce it to our family I made the boys shirts that hinted about the new baby.  T's said 'Leader of the Pack', and F's said 'Monkey in the Middle'.  I thought they were clever and obvious enough, but not for everyone I guess as some people still needed to be told the news despite the shirts!  Everyone seems excited though which is great as I had been worried we'd get a whole lot of 'Really, a third?' sort of responses.  Here is a pic of the shirts (I wish I had one of the boys wearing them, but trying to get both to stay still together long enough for a picture is a near impossible task).


The boys don't know what is going on yet.  I haven't really felt the need to explain anything to T as it is still so early and July is so far away.  Kids don't have any conception of weeks or months so I'm worried that if I get him excited about the baby too soon, he'll start getting impatient.  F is still too young to understand I think, though we will start to explain more to him as time goes on and he gets older.

It's hard to believe though that when T was F's current age of 20mos, we were just about to have another baby.  It was tricky having them that close.  This time the age gap between F and the baby will be 26mos.  I'm still not sure though if that will be much easier!  Still, we are up for the challenge.

This baby is going to be a surprise.  We found out with both the boys what we were having as I was just too impatient and needed to know.  This time I don't feel I need to know, and since it is likely our last we have decided to go for the whole experience.  It doesn't matter to me what we have, though I know Tyler is kind of hoping for a girl!  In my mind, there is no point wishing for a boy or a girl.  It already is what it is, and we will love it all the same.

Needless to say this is very exciting news for us, and we are very happy about adding another to our clan.  We look forward to this next year, and all it has to bring.

So long 2011!

A lot can happen in a year, so it's not surprise when there are good and bad to look back upon.  For some there may be more of one than the other.  Hopefully for you there was more good than bad.  I seem to be hearing a lot of mixed reviews about 2011 through FB and other such mediums.

So how was 2011 for us?  Well, let's see.

The first several months of the year did not shape up too nicely.  Early in January Tyler lost his beloved Aunt Lisa very suddenly, and her passing was shocking and devastating to us all.  Within a few months we lost two more special ladies in my family, my Aunt Rachel lost her battle with cancer, and my great Aunt Gisela (known affectionately as Auntie) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly the same week.

Earlier this year as well a special friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 30.  She fought bravely and her strength was not to be overcome.  I am happy to say she is now cancer free, and I hope that she goes on to be that way for many many years to come.  While I am sure she will be happy to leave 2011 behind and look forward, I'm sure she will also never forget it.  In a few weeks time I will be doing the Tubbs Romp to Stomp out breast cancer, and I will be walking (um, snowshoeing) in her honour.

2011 was not kind in other ways.  Tyler's grandmother had a stroke which she is still recovering from, and we hope for continued improvement though it is still hard to say if she will fully recover.

And finally, not to let the year pass by without one more loss, sadly my dad's very close long time friend Taeman, once again another sad victim of that horrible cancer that affects so many.

But we must consider the good as well, though sometimes it is so hard to see through the bad.  This year we had a wonderful summer, and we made a lot of new friends here.  This is the year that we came into our own here since moving.  There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I think in this department there were more ups. 

I turned 30 this year.  Not sure whether to consider this the bad or the good!  While I wasn't looking forward to leaving my 20's behind, I have felt fully ready to embrace my 30's, so I suppose it was a good thing.  Circumstances surrounding my birthday meant that the big event really didn't get to be as exciting as I had hoped, but my wonderful husband made sure it was still special for me.

Tristan started Montessori this year which was a huge change for all of us.  Initially it was hard adjusting to (I think harder for me than it was for him!), but we soon saw what a great thing going to school was for him and he has grown and learned so much since starting there.  Now I can't imagine having never starting him there this year, it just seems like the best thing we could have done.

Probably the biggest and most exciting thing for us this year, was when Tyler's parents bought their property and decided to move up here.  At the beginning of 2011 we would have never believed the turn our lives would take with this endeavour, but it has truly been an amazing blessing.  Their project to start a hops farm has given so much meaning and motivation to our family, and to Tyler especially.  I have seen such a positive change in him since he was given the opportunity to quit his previous job and work on this project with them.  It really is something he was made to do, and he loves doing it.  I am so happy to see him doing something that he fully enjoys 100%.  This project has been so exciting for all of us, and it's nice to see it taking shape.  I can only imagine how much more it will take off in 2012.

And finally, another exciting thing 2011 has brought us, is the discovery of a new addition to the family.  That's right, while I haven't made my official announcement post yet, I will whisper it here.  We are expecting another baby!  More on this big news to come.

So will I be happy to see the back end of 2011?  Well, we don't have much of a choice in the matter.  In less than 12hrs it will be gone and we will be on to the next year, full of surprise and promise.  I say so long 2011.  You have brought much sadness, and much happiness, but the bottom line is I prefer to keep looking forward.

See you in 2012!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Watch This Space!

Christmas craziness is upon us.  Starting today the next 4 days will be filled with food, family, food, friends, food, fun, presents, food, and all the good stuff this season brings (did I mention the food?).  I can't wait!  We've been so busy preparing and still have so much to do.

But, when I get back and have some time to actually sit down, I've got some exciting things to say!  So stay tuned!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Best Butternut Squash Soup Ever

Mmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 tbsp butter (or more if needed)
1 small onion
1 celery stalk
1 medium carrot
2 medium potatoes
1 medium squash
5 or 6 sprigs fresh tarragon
32oz chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup cream or less (optional)
salt and pepper
1 tsp curry powder (my husband's secret ingredient, he tries to put it in everything)
1 tsp pumpkin spice (nutmeg & cinnamon)
plain yogurt and parsley for garnish

Melt butter in saucepan and sautee vegetables for about 5mins.  Cover with broth and simmer for about 40mins.  Once vegetables are cooked, add tarragon and cream (if you prefer a creamier version) or more broth if needed, and spices.  Use a hand blender to blend everything until smooth, add more broth if thinner consistency is desired.  Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt and some chopped parsley.

I think this makes about 6-8 servings but I'm not sure.  I always end up chopping up a bit more vegetables than the original recipe called for, and since I don't have a very large pot I had to use two.

This is the best butternut squash soup ever, hands down.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Still At It

Life is much as it's always been around here, busy with kids' activities, school, playdates, going to the gym and so on and so forth.  What is not happening around here much lately?  Blogging and housework.  I was much more motivated to keep up with both in the spring and summer.  I think that is always the way though, as winter approaches and the days get shorter and colder, it just seems harder to keep up with everything so somethings slide.  No big deal, I'm sure the motivation will be back....at some point.

So my house is in a bit of a constant state of disaster.  I do the bare minimum to get by, but that's about it.  We do need to do a pretty thorough cleaning soon, but I'm not losing sleep over it. 

As for the blogging, well I have no excuse!  I'm just not as interested in keeping track of every little thing as I have been in the past.  There will be other phases of mega blogging, but for now it's like the housework, the bare minimum gets done.  Not that anyone else really cares!  But it's for me anyway, so it can get done when I feel like it.

Tristan is doing great with school and he still loves it.  His teachers enjoy having him there and he has made so many friends.  We're so thrilled that he is thriving there, it really seems to be such a great environment for him.  Next week is his Christmas concert and I can't wait to go see him.  The kids have been practicing songs for it and he likes to sing them at home.  "Deck the Halls" is his favourite.

Things are great with Finn too.  He is talking loads now, though only I understand him as he pretty much only uses vowel sounds.  But the words are there, and he is really trying, so I'm sure the rest will come with time.  He is loads of fun, and he's really growing in confidence.  Just in the past week he has started enjoying going to the childminder's at the YMCA, and he doesn't cry when I leave him there.  He even enjoys playing with the other kids and toys while I'm gone.  The ladies have commented that they've noticed such a change in him.

I'm still trying to work out as much as ever, though it never seems to be as much as I'd like, probably only 3 or 4 times a week.  I'm excited for the new winter schedule as there are lots of programs that I can do.  There is hula hooping workshop that I am going to register for that should be loads of fun, but most exciting is, zumba is back!  YAY!  So my week is pretty full between spinning, zumba, 20-20-20, hula hooping, and trying to get into the gym here and there to do a bit of strength training.  The good news is, all this exercise has got me feeling great!

The holidays are upon us and as much as I enjoy Christmas, it really is such a stressful time of year.  Between wanting to spend money on presents but not being able to, and juggling all the family events that we have, it usually ends up being a chaotic time.  We are last minute people and are never prepared for the holidays.  It sneaks up on us every year and we are always left doing all our shopping at the 11th hour.  You'd think we'd learn our lesson but we never do!  Every year I resolve to be more organized but it just doesn't happen.  Maybe next year.....

So that is life with us right now.  Not terribly interesting and yet never a dull moment.  Can't believe another year is winding down and excited to see what next year has in store for us!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Finally Some Pinterest Interest

Everyone has been all over Pinterest so a little while back I figured that since I am a major internet junkie anyway, I best check it out.  I signed up and found it confusing, so never bothered going back.  I kept getting emails that people I knew were following my boards, and I would wonder if they knew they were following...nothing.  Today I decided to go back and have another go at it.  Yeah, it guess it's pretty fun.  I can see how people are addicted to browsing the boards all day, I feel like I want to go back on there to kill some time.  It's not mind blowing, but another good way to waste time.  Though for now all Pinterest has done is make me wish I were more healthy, sporty, crafty, a better cook, and had more money.  Oh well.  Kids are napping, best go kill some more time on Pinterest.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Stevia Ice Cream

So I don't blog for ages and when I finally do it's about ice cream.  I guess we can see what's important to write about here!

What I really wanted was the chocolate chocolate chip cherry stevia ice cream I had made awhile back.  So I had went out and bought all the stuff to make it, except the cherries because I thought I had some.  Today it was a toss up between making the ice cream or taking a nap (it was a hard decision).  I decided to make the ice cream, got everything out, then realized the cherries had gone bad.  Arrrghhhh!!!  But it was too late for a nap and I still wanted ice cream, so I decided to make just chocolate instead.  And instead of searching out a new recipe for chocolate, I went ahead and made the same one minus the cherries since I knew from last time that it was yummy.

HEAVENLY!!!!  Is all I can say.

Here it is:

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Stevia Ice Cream

3 squares unsweetened baker's chocolate
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 cups cream
1-1 1/2 tsp powdered stevia (I used 1 1/2 tsp because I wanted it sweet!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Melt chocolate in a pan, add the cocoa powder and milk slowly and stir until smooth (this was tricky and I could never get completely smooth).  Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, add cream and chocolate.  Mix, then add stevia and vanilla.  Add to ice cream maker.  When ice cream thickens add chocolate chips.  It didn't take long for mine to finish, maybe 15mins.

Oh.my.goodness it was so good.  I honestly wasn't sure if it was going to be any good, but it was amazing.  SO creamy and SO yummy.  I'll be making it again for sure.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Lazy Blogger

I have been lazy.  More posts coming soon.  Hopefully.  Once I get my lazy butt in gear.  That is all.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Another Dream

To add to the list of things I'd like to learn how to do......


How amazing is she?

I could seriously see myself enjoying hula hooping as much as I enjoy bellydancing and zumba.  Now, to get myself a hoop and find someone to teach me how....

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Hey, remember when we used to want to live here?

Long before we ever thought of leaving the city, we used to joke about living up here.  My dad had a vacation chalet here, and before we had T we came up for one last trip away as a couple.  I was 7mos pregnant and we stayed for a week, it was the most lovely holiday ever.  The weather was amazing, and we enjoyed every minute.  One day while we were driving along the waterside and I was gazing out over the bay, I sighed and said, "I could live here". 

Here we are.

So many times the views out here take my breath away and I sigh once again and say to myself, "Yep, I live here".  It's so amazing.

Of course anyone who has been reading my blog (Hello, are you out there?) may remember that I hated it here for a good year at least and wanted nothing more than to pack up and go home.  Not anymore.  Nope, no way.  You couldn't pay me to go back.

You know what I am really loving though?  Yes, I love the bay, and the trees, and the fresh air, and the fact that a million fun things are just waiting for us around every corner.  But what I really love is the community.  I know more people and have more friends now, here in this small-ish place, then I ever hoped to have in the big city with it's massive population.  There, where there are over a million people, I felt so alone.  Here, I never feel alone.  There is always somewhere to go and someone to hang out with.  Even if I just run out on some errands I usually see a familiar face.  I love it.

Another thing I love about this place is how health and environmentally conscious everyone here is.  People here CARE, they care about their health and their care about the state of the environment in which they live in.

I love that there is almost no traffic, and even in 'rush hour' it only takes me 10mins to get anywhere.  When I think about how much of life is wasted sitting in traffic back in the GTA, that alone is enough to make me happy that I call this place home.

Hey hon, remember when we used to joke about living here?  I never believed it at the time.  We are so very lucky.

Life is still pretty good.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Exercise

F's swimming lesson was cancelled this morning so I decided to squeeze in another spin class this week.  I already went to my normal Monday class, but I'm loving it so much that I didn't have to convince myself to go again today.  The energy is so great and it leaves me feeling so amazing.  When I am there my muscles are burning and all I can think about is it being over, but when I am not there I just want to be there.

On Mondays the instructor is amazing.  She has the most addictive energy, I can't help but smile through her classes.  She wasn't there this week though as she is in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii this weekend.  How amazing is that?  Go Claudia go!  Today's instructor was great too though.  She had a good energy too and I really enjoyed her class.

I like to see all the different people who turn out to spin class.  I used to avoid trying it, because I was worried about looking like such an amateur.  I figured the only people who did that class were hardcore cyclists, and that I'd totally look out of place though.  I was wrong, spin class is great for everyone, and I am in constant awe of the different people who join me there, of all shapes, sizes, ages, and fitness levels.

Like the guy in the back corner, a little overweight and not looking like someone who exercises, trucking along trying to keep up.  I'm so glad that he comes.  Or the lady who is almost 8mos pregnant who is always there, giving it her all and keeping up with the rest of us.  What an inspiration, I hope I can still keep up when I'm 8mos pregnant next time around!  Or the woman in front of me, who bobs her head back and forth to the music throughout the whole class, I don't even think she knows she's doing it.  I like watching her rhythmic bobbing, it looks like she is in the her zone.  I see other moms in there, people training for races, elderly people just trying to stay fit.  It's such a great mix of people.  I like to park myself at the back of the class and watch them all (plus no one has to watch my slow butt when I'm back there!).

It's fun to have this common ground with all these people I don't know.  I am there to stay fit and feel good.  Some of them are there for the same reasons, some are their to get in shape, and others are there to maintain their shape as they train for bigger things. 

There is something so motivating about being there with all those other people, and listening to the music.  Music is very motivating.  It gets me going, makes me feel good, and pushes me to work harder.

I'm still pretty novice in there, but I work at my own pace and keep up pretty well.  I'm glad I got to go a second time this week, and I plan on going again early Friday morning with Hillary.

I've made a commitment to get more exercise in.  I've been doing great with my 4 classes a week, but I think I need more.  I don't feel like I need to lose weight, but I'm still not looking how I want to be looking despite my current efforts.  So I've added a 20-20-20 class to my weekly routine, and will have to see where else I can fit stuff in.  I'd like to do one more spinning class at some point, just have to figure out when. 

I would love to get more yoga in too.  I really like Matt's yoga classes on Tuesdays and Fridays, but I wish there was another evening one.  I know there are some on Mondays and Wednesdays, but they are at 7pm which is too early for me because I have to get the kids in bed. 

Anyways, now I'm just going on about it with no real point left.  I love exercise, I guess that's my point.  I can't believe how many years I wasted sitting around and not doing anything.  Even when I was bellydancing several times a week, I thought that was sufficient but now I know that it wasn't.  If only I knew how much fun and exhilarating it is.

Oh well, at least I know now!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Becoming an Ecoholic

I am currently reading Ecoholic by Adria Vasil.  Actually I had been eyeing it for awhile, but was reluctant to pick it up because in a way I wanted to stay ignorant.  Not that I want to be horrible to the environment, just that I was worried if I read it I would feel so guilty and hopeless to do much about it.  I couldn't avoid it anymore though as it was staring me in the face, sitting on the shelf in my chiropractor's lending library, so finally I brought it home.

The book is definitely an eye opener to the ways in which everyday products and services are destroying our world.  I'm not going to give you the run down here, if you really want to know go read the book (and I suggest you do).

But actually what I was most surprised about was how our lifestyle, with minimal effort, is actually not that bad when it comes to our ecological footprint.  Ok, it's not nearly as good as it should be, but I think compared to most people we are actually living fairly green without even trying.  We tend to be minimalists by nature, not really spending that much time or money on products in general.  We're not huge consumers, usually accepting used items from friends and family members and only really buying new clothes when absolutely necessary.  Granted a lot of this is because we've never had enough money to justify spending it on material items.  Still, we're not overly fussed about decorating our house or buying all the latest technology.

Since starting reading Ecoholic, I have never been so happy to be, well, me!  In the past I would feel kind of sad that it seemed everyone else had nicer things than me.  It felt like everyone I knew had fancy decor and furniture, the newest gadgets including iPhones, iPads, Nintendo Wii, big screen tvs, fancy computers, nice cars, designer clothes.  Everything shiny and new, and expensive. 

Now, knowing what I know from the book I am so thankful we are how we are.  It means that we've spent substantially less money supporting companies who are ruining the earth. 

After reading the first section on beauty products and how harmful they are not only to the environment, but also ourselves, I realized how few I use.  I almost never wear makeup, maybe a bit of powder if my skin looks like crap and the whole get up I do maybe once a month, if that.  I'm not a sucker for fancy creams, I don't use deodorant (and I'm pretty sure I don't stink), and I pretty much use the bare minimum of everything else.  I do like to use nice skin care, but have realized that it doesn't have to be expensive and have been trying to use only natural products.  I'm slowly changing all our beauty care products over to only all natural stuff.

One big department though that I know I have to make changes in is clothing.  It's easy to ignore the terrible practices involved in the making of cheap clothing.  Unfortunately my thoughts when needing new clothes have always been "How much cheap stuff can I get for x amount of money?".  Now I know I should be spending it more wisely, maybe only buying one or two quality fair-trade items at a time rather than as much crappy stuff as I can afford.  And it makes sense really, because every time I buy cheap clothes  realize they are so poorly made they don't fit right anyway, and they just fall apart quicker.  For the boys thankfully we have relied almost entirely on second hand clothes from my cousins who have two boys, so I know at least the clothes are getting good use and we're not spending money buying more of them.

I've only read about beauty products and clothes so far, and am currently in the health care section (and again happy that we are not pill poppers who rely on medications, prescription or OTC, rather we focus on making our bodies healthy so they can fight off illness on their own).  There are still many sections to cover still, and I know I will learn much more about how to live green, especially in other areas like cleaning (I already don't use commercial cleaners, just water and vinegar, but am looking forward to more tips), technology, and of course food.

Ok, so if we had ever been in the position to spend a lot of money on nice things, I'm sure we would have.  But now at least, if we ever can afford more 'stuff', I will know what to look for and which companies I should be supporting.

Now I feel proud that we don't have nice things or care about the newest trends!

I'm really glad I've picked up this book.  I've only made a dent in it so far, but I'm learning so much already and feel not only more enlightened, but proud of ourselves for have already making good headway in the living green department.  Of course, there is always room for improvement!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Day Has Arrived

30!!!

How do I feel today?  I feel great.  I feel happy, healthy, and young at heart.  I've made my peace with today.  Sorry 30, you're not gonna get me down!

10 more years until the next big scare.  I can handle that.

ETA:  It is now the end of the day and I have had the best birthday ever.  All my boys made it very special for me.  I got treated to a 1.5hr massage this afternoon followed by a gourmet dinner cooked by my wonderful husband.  After that there was ice cream cake, yum!  And, a small little box with some gorgeous white gold earrings.  A little while ago I told Tyler that I wanted some more earrings and, he listened.  They're just gorgeous, simple enough to wear every day and yet glamourous enough for a night out.  I'm such a lucky lady!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Tyler is usually the maker of pancakes in our house.  I can only recall making them once before, though they did turn out well.  The official pancake maker is away this weekend, and I have been wanting to make a batch for freezing for some time, so I figured I'd give it another go.  We have a really great buttermilk pancake recipe from Tyler's mom that we have used in the past, though we are constantly trying to tweak it so that we can use more wholesome ingredients.  Today was no exception.  After having already decided I was making them (and telling T about it, so there was no going back), I realized that we didn't have any buttermilk or yogurt (the latter being what we usually use in place of buttermilk).  With a little creativity though I was able to whip up some super yummy, healthy blueberry pancakes using whole wheat flour instead of the traditional white stuff, and agave instead of sugar.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes - recipe makes about 2 dozen pancakes

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
3 tbsp light agave nectar
3 1/2 cups buttermilk OR plain yogurt (or in today's case I used 1 cup ricotta cheese and about 2 1/2 cups milk)
3 tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Sift together dry ingredients.  Beat eggs in a separate bowl then add agave, buttermilk/yogurt, and melted butter.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix, then add blueberries.  Use 1/4 cup batter per pancake and cook on a hot, lightly oiled skillet about 3-4mins per side or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

I like to freeze them wrapped in 4's for a quick breakfast throughout the week.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Fall Schedule

Fall is knocking on our door and brings with it lots of changes.  Tyler is wrapping up his position at the Landmark Group and getting ready to jump into a new life working with his parents on starting their farm.  T is still adjusting to mornings at school and is definitely experiencing some effects of his new routine.  F and I are trying to adjust too to mornings where we have to be out the door earlier.

I love fall, and I love how the dynamics of life seem to change at this time of year.  Kids go back to school, and all of a sudden it becomes apparent that the lazy days of summer are gone.  Vacationers are home, and everything just seems busier.  People are back at the Y working out, and classes are filling up.  Some of my exercise classes that only had 3 or 4 people in them during the summer now have closer to 20. 

T is still doing well at school.  He is excited to go in the mornings and he is enjoying himself while he is there.  I am so thankful that he likes it and does not get upset about having to go.  I know we are extremely lucky in that respect, as most kids would probably cry during their first week, or even longer.  When I drop him off he still goes off to join the other kids happily.  He gives me a kiss and off he goes, and when I pick him up he yells "Hi Mommy, you're back!!"  I'm so happy that he is enjoying it.

But we are still noticing the effect it is having on him overall.  Sleep is still a little tricky, and his sleep window is harder to find.  Last night he resisted going to bed for over an hour, something that is unheard of for him.  Sometimes his behvaviour is a little off too, and he will do things to get our attention.  I know that he just needs more attention from us during this time, and the right kind of attention too.  I think I need to pay close attention to his naps as well, it seems to be a fine line between letting him nap enough so that he's not too tired and letting him nap too much and he is not tired enough for bed.  He is not ready to drop his nap yet, especially after starting school, but I think that time is getting closer.  I'm trying hard not to get discouraged when we have some particularly bad behaviour from him, or when he gives us some trouble at bedtime, because I know that kind of stuff is to be expected after starting school and that overall he is actually doing brilliantly.

F is still very much enjoying his time with me.  He is happy and smiley all the time, and he is sleeping well too.  This morning was his first morning at the Y childminder's without T with him, and he did well.  He was upset and cried as usual, but settled down and was fine when I picked him up.  I still wouldn't say he enjoys being there, but he doesn't cry the whole time.  He knows I will be back for him and is so happy when I return.  After I picked him up we went to active tots and he had so much fun.  Again he seems so much more confident now that it is just me and him, and will run around and try new things.  He loves kicking and throwing the balls around.

This is Tyler's last week at the Landmark Group before he embarks on new adventures.  He is so excited to get out and do something different.  I know he is really looking forward to doing some hands on type of work on the farm.  He will also work on starting his small free-lance design business as well.  After this week it will be interesting to see how our routine changes again, once he starts working elsewhere.

I am still missing having T around, but also enjoying my time with F.  It is definitely busier for me having to get them out the door to get T to school, but it means that we have more time in the mornings to do other things before picking him up again.  Sometimes F and I go to the Y, other times the EYC.  He starts swimming classes this week which will be fun for us.  We have been very social, meeting with friends most mornings and some afternoons too.

I have kicked my exercise routine into high gear these past few weeks and am now doing both spinning and yoga twice a week, in addition to cardio on Saturdays.  Actually last week I even did yoga 3 times.  I have stopped going to pilates though as the time was just too inconvenient.  Amazingly Hillary and I have been getting up at 5:30am to do spinning and yoga on Friday mornings.  Even though I had a cold all last week I still made it to all my classes, exercise makes me feel so much better.  I love it, maybe I can even start going more often.

We also have some fun afternoon stuff planned for T as well.  I think this afternoon I am going to take him to all sport at the Y to see what he thinks about it.  He needs more physical activity in the afternoons.  On Thursday he has something called creating balance, and on Saturday he has rhythmic gymnastics.

I've been hanging out with all my new friends a lot too which has been fantastic for me.  It's so great to be social and it sounds like we're developing some really good friendships.  We even went out and hit the town on Saturday night which was so much fun.  We started at Corrina's house, then we to the Village where we checked out several different bars and had a great time dancing the night away.  It felt really good to get out of the house and have fun with the girls.

We've got all sorts of fun stuff planned for September and October.  My birthday is in a few weeks and hopefully Tyler has something planned for me.  On Thanksgiving weekend we'll visit with all our family, and we also have a birthday party to go to.  Later in October we've planned to go to Round's Ranch and get pumpkins with a bunch of other families which should be lots of fun, and then the week after it will be Halloween.  I still haven't figured out what to dress the boys up as.

So this has been a bit of an all around catch up post I suppose.  We're headed into fall and looking forward to a change of pace.  The fall weather seems to have come early, but hopefully that means winter won't be early too, there's still so much we want to do before the snow flies!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Tristan's First Day of School

Today did not go as I expected it would.  Well, the part where T went to school without a problem and had a good time did, but the rest did not.

We got off to a bit of a rocky start.  Due to a random bug in T's bedroom incident last night, he ended up going to sleep later than usual, probably around 9:30.  Then he was up at 6:30am, which is very early and also very unusual for him.  So he started today off with a short night, which isn't that great.  Otherwise though he was in good spirits and excited about school.  He ate a good breakfast and was happy to get dressed and out the door.


I'm ready to go!

C'mon already!

Since we were not in a rush I figured I would let him walk instead of putting him in the stroller.  It took about 20mins for us to walk there at T's pace, and while we walked we talked about school, about his teachers, and about all the new friends he would make.  I told him when we got there I wanted to take his picture and give him a hug and a kiss before he went in.  He proudly announced to anyone who passed that he was on his way to school.


On our way

As we neared the last block before the school he exclaimed excitedly, "There's my school!  There it is!"  I could feel my heart beat faster and my stomach in knots.  We approached the gate and he could see all the other children in the yard.  I tried to get him to stand still for a picture but he just wasn't having any of it.


Bye Mom!

And just like that he was off.  No hug, no kiss, no bye mom, no turning to wave.  He didn't even look back.  I hovered for a few minutes to see if he would look over, but he didn't.  Reluctant to leave, I finally set off back home with F in the stroller.  I shed a tear or two.  Only a few.  Mostly I was disappointed that I didn't get a good picture of him.  He just couldn't wait to get past the gate and into that yard with the other children.

I moped back home but as I was about halfway there I looked down and remembered F sitting there in the stroller.  I was thankful that I had decided to leave the double stroller at home, as I don't think I would have wanted to see the empty seat as I pushed it back home again.  I remembered that it was now time for F to have some special Mommy time, something he has rarely gotten in his short life.  We had a really lovely morning at the EYC, and he seemed more relaxed and confident knowing he had me all to himself.

Come time to pick T up from school there was a little mix up on my part.  I thought pick up was at 11:45, but it was actually at 11:30.  I can't describe how awful I felt, thinking about him there waiting for me while all the other kids got picked up.  It made me sick just thinking about it.  He was fine though, waiting patiently with his teacher for me to pull up.  As soon as I ran in to get him he couldn't stop talking about his day, it was hard to get him to stop long enough to say bye to the teacher and he was still chattering on about it as we walked down the stairs and out to the car.

All in all he did wonderfully at school and it seemed like he really enjoyed it, which is more of less what I expected.  It was the rest of the day that came as a bit of a wake up call for me.

We went home and had lunch at our usual time.  From that point on I figured it would be just like a normal day, we were right on schedule for lunch and naps, and I figured T would likely be very tired from such an exciting morning, not to mention his short night last night.  He seemed quite wired through lunch though and even afterwards.  I put F down for his nap, and that is when I made the second big mistake of the day.

Not taking into account the fact that T was probably still overwhelmed and excited from the morning's events, and thinking I needed to get him into bed for a nap asap, I kind of rushed him through his normal wind down when he clearly wasn't ready.  I didn't warn him before turning off his tv shows that he usually watches while I put F down, and he was antsy while we read our books.  When I took him up to his room he was crawling the walls and not ready to sleep.  He kept getting more and more upset.  I was beside myself, this was so not like him and I was not expecting it nor did I know what to do.  Eventually I brought him back down and gave him some quiet time on the couch.  He did end up lying down and dozing off for a few minutes once he realized how tired he was.

I was completely taken aback by this turn of events and spent most of the afternoon in tears with him, mostly because this behaviour was so unlike my angel child and I was terrified that him starting school, and even worse my not being there to pick him up, have had damaging effects on him.  I couldn't stop all the thoughts running through my mind about him being completely uprooted by this change and thrown way off track for who knows how long.  I wanted my happy toddler back, the one who went down for naps and bed no problems and had to be woken in the morning.  I was scared that this nap refusal would lead to bedtime refusals, night wakings, waking up early, and then spiral into overtired toddler land.  And for what?  To put him in school one year early?  I already wanted to go back to how things were with him at home with me, things were just so perfect that way.  We had such an amazing routine.

But in my heart I know he needs to go to school, and that he wants to be there.  I know it is the right thing for him, and that he will learn more there than he ever will from me.  I also know that he will adjust, that we will all adjust, but that it will take some time.  I grossly underestimated that such a big change would have an affect on him, but really how could it not?  It is a HUGE change!  I figured my angel child who always rolls with the punches would just do as he always did and go with it, unaffected.

The other thing that worried me is how he will fare while he is at school.  The teacher called me this afternoon to follow up with me, and while everything she said was positive it really hit home for me now that he is in a new environment with new people, and they will be influencing the kind of person he is from now it.  It also made me worry that somehow my parenting will be judged as they assess what kind of person he is.  I know he is only three, and has never known an environment other than those he has been in with me, so he will have to learn how things work at the school.  But I just have these visions of him trying to do whatever he wants there and getting frustrated when he is taught he has to do things a certain way.  Not that we let him do anything he wants at home, but I do know there will be more rules and boundaries there and I'm scared they will think he is bad if he doesn't want to follow him.  I know he is such a good natured and sweet boy, I just hope he adapts to the way of life there.  I know it is good for him to be there and learn those things, probably because we are more relaxed at home and he needs that kind of structure.  I just couldn't help but feel in some way that my child, and my parenting, were somehow being judged.  I want everyone to view him as wonderfully as I do, and I am scared for the times when he may not been seen in that light.

This is just the softy mom talking though.  The reality of it is they are not judging or criticizing him, and they probably do think he is a lovely boy.  They also know that he is young and that he will learn in time.  That is what they are there for, to teach and guide him.  I know that I need to relax, as it is only the first day and he cannot be expected to know what is expected of him right away, he needs to learn that stuff while he is there, and he will.

So overall today was not at all how I envisioned it would be, and in all honestly has left me an emotional wreck.  Even despite his lack of a nap, T was still not in bed any earlier.  We tried, and it took extra long to get him to settle down.  I am hoping, and crossing all my fingers and toes, that this adjustment period will not be too long, and that his sleep will not be too adversely affected.  He was such a good little sleeper before, I cannot bear to think of him not getting the sleep he needs anymore.

I'm trying not to dwell too much on today, and think positively about this whole experience.  Today was just the first day, the first of many.  I'm sure they won't all be easy but I'm sure there will be lots of amazing ones too, so I just need to keep my chin up and know that it what is best for him and that he truly will benefit from his experience at school.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Last Day

Tomorrow T starts school.

Initially I didn't have any immediate worries about enrolling him in school at this age.  I always knew that it was something he would likely enjoy, and I still think it is.  But as time has passed and we have crept closer and closer to the big day, I've been flooded with a mixed bag of emotions that I didn't really expect.  I thought it would be easy to let him go.  I truly underestimated how it would affect me, of all people.

For the last 3 years of his life T has spent virtually every day all day by my side.  We have hardly been separated more than a few hours at most.  He is my little sidekick.  It's hard to imagine that we have been that inseparable, but we have.  Even when I went to the hospital to give birth to F, T was only away from me for about 5hrs.  I put him to bed as usual and F was born in the middle of the night, and we were home by lunchtime.  So there was never a long period of separation.  During any other times where we have been apart for a few hours or more, he has been with Tyler or at the very least another family member. 

Starting tomorrow he will be with strangers for 3 hours every morning, 5 days a week.

I mean, c'mon.  It's only 3 hours.  Pull yourself together Mommy!

Still.......

I know that first day will be fine.  I will leave him there and he won't notice.  Maybe he'll ask for me after a bit but with some reassurance will be fine.  The second day will be ok too I'm sure.  But what about the third, or fourth, or tenth days?  What happens when he realizes that he will be there every day?  Will he be sad that he's not with us?  Will he miss all the things that we used to do together?  I know in my heart that he will probably be enjoying himself so much and that it is really me who will miss those things.

He will be in school for the mornings, which is when we tend to plan all our other activities like going to active tots or the Early Years Centre, or playdates with our friends.  I am really sad that he won't be there with us anymore.  I know that there will be opportunities to do those activities or similar ones in the afternoon too, but it's harder because naptime tends to mean there is less time to go out and do things in the afternoons before having to rush home for dinner.  I'm hoping some of our friends will still be up for afternoon playdates so that T can still see his little buddies.

I have planned some fun stuff for him.  There is an all sport program for 3-5 year olds at the Y on Monday afternoons, and I have registered him for another Y program called creating balance which will be on Thursday afternoons.  Plus he is going to be in rhythmic gymnastics on Saturday mornings. 

I am also thinking about how mine and F's routines will be affected as well.  Now when I drop F off at the childminder's at the Y so I can go to my spinning class, he will be all alone, without his big brother to reassure him.  That makes me sad.  He already has such a hard time going there as it is. 

But I have to look at the plus side as well.  I know T will love school and learn so much there.  I am also looking forward to spending one on one time with F, who hasn't gotten any of it in his little life so far.  It will also be nice to do activities and not have to have my eyes on two little toddlers for a change.  So there are lots of benefits as well.

I think the initial adjustment will be the hardest, figuring everything out as we get used to our new routine.  But once we settle into it everything will be fine.

For T's last full day with us we went to the EYC this morning, because once he starts school he won't get to go there much anymore.  We had  really nice morning there playing with the other kids.  After the boys nap I have to run out to pick up a few things from the store, so we'll try to make that a fun outing as well.

I'm excited, I really am.  I'm a bit sad and nervous too, but those feelings are only natural I think.  Tomorrow is going to be a great day, and in a way I can't wait to drop my Big Guy off and see him begin this new phase of his life, even if I'm holding back the tears as I see him walk through those doors.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

A Morning With Some Friends


Yesterday morning we met with some friends to stroll the boardwalk and hang out.  4 moms, 3 babies, and 5 toddlers - quite a feat!  But everyone had lots of fun.


Simone, Aiden, Tristan and Zach


Getting them all to smile for the camera at the same time is an impossible task!

Little Miss Austyn




Finn finally gets to walk with the big kids for a bit


Cutie Pie Kiera

Tackle soccer

Rolling down the hill!

The only one missing from the pics is Isabelle.  We'll get you next time baby girl!

Great time with friends!


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Things I Love

It's the little things, you know?

Like sometimes I will watch F as he wanders around the house.  I get down to the floor and call his name.  He looks over at me and his whole face lights up, then he bolts over as fast as his little legs will go and flies into my arms for a hug.  He has always done this, from the moment he could toddle around.  And he still does it.  I love it.  Love love love it.  It's one of my favorite things in the whole entire world.

Something from T as well.  At bedtime now he much prefers Daddy puts him to bed.  We go up together, but when it comes time to sing songs he usually tells me "Just go, Mommy".  I could take offense to this, but I don't.  I know he just wants to spend some special time with Daddy.  Also, what sweetens the deal is the super wonderful hug and a kiss I get from him before going, followed by "I love you Mommy, sweet dreams".

Ahhhhhh.

(And a totally non-kid related thing that I love - writing a blog post and then clicking the spell check, and nothing comes up as mis-spelled.  I've always had a damn good knack for spelling!)

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Birthday, What Birthday?


It's September.  The 7th to be exact (and a very Happy 29th Birthday to my love, Tyler!  Enjoy this last year of your 20's my dear).  Which means the unthinkable is coming up in a few weeks.

I am turning 30.

Why does this bother me so?  Sigh, there is something about leaving your 20's behind and sliding that hideous '3' in front.  I wonder if 40 feels this weird.  I doubt it.  At 30 I'm just not quite ready to let go of the '2'....  I liked my 20's, they were where it was at.

SO, what is going on for this momentous birthday?  Well, last year I half-joked to Tyler that there had better be a HUGE surprise party for me.  Will that happen?  Not likely.  I love the guy, but I don't think he's much of a party planner.  Recently he had let me know that he would be going away on a fishing weekend the weekend of my birthday, making me realize he really hadn't thought about it at all.  I called him out on it and he assured me that there were big plans.  He just hadn't thought about which weekend to do it on.  I'm not 100% sure I believed him but I am trying to have some faith that he has put a little thought into it.

My new friends here have been asking me what I wanted to do for my BIG 30th and have set the ball rolling for a fun girl's night out.  I'm floored really.  I don't think ever I've had a friend really plan something for any of my birthdays.  Usually I had to plan my own birthdays and invite them, instead of the other way around.  But my friend C has insisted that this is a big one, and we must do something.  I'm so grateful to have met these ladies.  Not sure exactly what we are going to do yet, but it sounds like it has something to do with bars, alcohol, music, and dancing.  We just have to make sure we all take a nap that day so we make it past 11pm!

Ok, I am trying to feel less down and more excited about the prospect of turning 30.  I'm going to embrace my 30's and everything they have to offer.  Afterall, as much as my 20's rocked, right now is the best time of my life and I can only assume it will get better from here on in.  Older, maybe.  Wiser, most definitely!  Still cute and capable of having fun?  I hope so!

Friday, 2 September 2011

End of the Week Chicken Soup


Lately what we have started doing is making a crock pot chicken soup on Fridays.  We often pick up a whole chicken that we can make several meals out of, and so we save the leftovers for the soup.  Saturdays is when we go to the Farmer's Market and grocery store to pick up more food for the week, so making a soup on Friday helps us clear out whatever is left in the fridge that might not last much longer.  It helps ensure we are not wasting food while making a super yummy and healthy meal (or two!) at the same time.

This week's soup ingredients:

leftovers from two chickens, including bones
carrots, potatoes, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, peas, green beans, spinach, bean sprouts
seasonings (dried herbs, onion powder, bay leaves, salt and pepper)
organic chicken broth and water
wild rice

I threw the chicken, veggies and seasonings in the pot the night before.  At lunchtime today I added the broth and water and turned it on high.  An hour before dinnertime I removed the chicken and took the meat off, then added it back into the pot.  Cooked and added the rice.  Super easy, super yummy.

Our soup needed something to go with it, so I raided the fridge once again for stuff and came up with a fresh summery salad consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green peppers, and yellow beans, tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette.

Quickly whipped up some homemade whole wheat biscuits, and voila!



There were 11 different veggies in this meal.  (well, 12 if you let me count green and yellow beans as two!).  This is such a great way to use up veggies that are looking a little wilty.  Another thing we like to do with these veggies at the end of the week is to use them to make our own vegetable broth.  Just another way to make sure we're not wasting anything.

The very definition of comfort food I think.  I hope my boys grow up thinking "Mom's cooking is the best!"

California Spring Salad


Thursday night's dinner was inspired by the salad of the same name from Milestone's.  I used to work there and it was probably one of my favorite dishes.  So I decided to try and recreate something similar for chicken salad night.




Ingredients

sliced chicken breast
organic field greens and herbs
organic strawberries, sliced
red onions, thinly sliced
maple glazed pecans (easy to make, just toss in maple syrup and a bit of melted butter and toast in the oven)
honey balsamic vinaigrette
goat cheese

Toss all the ingredients with the vinaigrette and top with goat cheese.  So easy, and so yummy!!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

How is it THAT time already?


SERIOUSLY???



My baby is starting school!  Ok, technically today was just orientation.  But it certainly felt like the first day of school.  Last night I put together a change of clothes to bring with us, and labelled all his stuff.


Check out these super cute labels with our name on them that I got from Mabel's Labels



It's all so unreal.  I can't believe that he will be starting school soon.  Here he is ready to go in his new (and slightly too big but still super cute!) rain jacket.



The orientation was really great.  T got a chance to meet his teachers again, and have a look around the classroom.  He was very curious and inquisitive right away, wanting to check everything out.  They showed him where his coat hanger with his name on it was and how to hang up his coat.  Then they gave him a tour of all the facilities.  F and I waited in the hall so that we wouldn't distract them.  He got to look at all the different learning materials, and the teachers got to see what kinds of things interested him.

His start day is in exactly two weeks.  So we're going to have to cram in all sorts of fun stuff before then because I know I will miss him when he's gone!

But he of course, is going to love going to school.

Newborn Tristan Pictures

I just remembered that I meant to add some pics of my Big Guy when he was just a wee little man. 







Precious!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Three


Birthdays are special, obviously to the person who celebrates them.  A person will (hopefully) have many birthdays in their lifetime.  Some will be forgotten, some will most definitely be memorable.  Some will be looked forward to, others will be dreaded (did I mention I'm turning 30 next month?  Ugh).  Some may be sad but most will be joyous events.

But as special a birthday is to any one person, and it is special as it is the day they joined this earth, I now believe that it is that much more special to the parents, and in particular, the mothers.

I can't remember every single one of my birthdays, and I probably don't care to do so, but I will never ever forget how I felt the day my children were born.  There are so many memories and emotions that come flooding back whenever one of my son's birthdays approaches.  He will never remember that day, but I will never forget it.  The pregnancy, the excitement during the days leading up to his birth, and then the day our lives changed forever.  It all replays in my head over and over.

With every passing birthday we exclaim, "How has it been __ years already?" and "I can't believe you are __ years old!".  Each year I am no less surprised.  I will still feel that way every year, the feelings will never change.  Another year older, another year of disbelief that it has all happened so quickly, and they are growing so fast.

Tristan is 3 years old today.  On his birthday we arrived nervous and excitement at St. Joseph's Hospital in Toronto, not sure what the day would bring.  Would they be able to turn him and we could have a natural birth?  Or would he refuse to budge and we would have a c-section?  I remember the waiting, the walk to the OR.  I remember the epidural, and feeling nauseous on the operating table.  I remember the version not working, and being prepped for surgery.  I remember how fast it went, and soon he was out and crying, and he was perfect.  I remember it all like it was yesterday, and now he is 3.

He is smart and funny, kind and compassionate.  He sleeps well, mostly eats well, and doesn't talk back.  He is a true angel child.  And he is 3.  He is quirky and funny and makes every day amazing.  Today he is 3, tomorrow he will be 30, and I will be no less amazed.

For the Big Guy's birthday weekend, we tried to make it about spending time with him and with family.  No big party, no wrapped boxes or bags filled with tissue.  We took him to the park so he could play with his friends.  We invited all the grandparents, aunts and uncles to spend time with him.  We let it be his weekend, free to have fun and enjoy the attention.

Of course he did get spoiled!  From Auntie Rachael and Uncle Scott he got his very own artist's easel and smocks, and from Grandma and Papa John he got some paints and chalks to use on it.  Maybe he will be an artist like Auntie Rachael.  From Grandpa Tony he got an amazing play kitchen set with some food and a shopping cart, a definite hit with both boys.  Grandma Kathy took him shopping for some new school clothes and shoes, and bought him a Cars backpack for school which he wore all day long.  What a lucky guy!  From Mommy, Daddy and F he got a really cool rain jacket to wear to school on rainy days. 

Today we have to remember to measure him on the doorstop to see how much he's grown.  I'm sure he is much taller than last time, but I know he has also grown in strength and character.  He is a charming little boy.

And so, it is a bittersweet day for this Mommy.  So happy that my Big Guy is growing up, but so sad at the same time at how fast it is happening. 

My birthdays, they come and go (from this point I'd rather not see them come anymore!).  But these boys' birthdays, they are truly special to me.

More about my pregnancy with Tristan and his birth can be found here.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

On this evening in 2008.....


The crib was set up, the stroller was put together, and the carseat was installed.  Clothes were neatly folded in their drawers or hung in the closet.  All we needed was a baby boy to fill it all.

We were ready with nervous excitement. 

Getting ready to go to bed that night I was hoping a certain little breech baby would cooperate and magically turn around by morning. 

The last night with just the two of us.....

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Exciting Family News


It's official.  Tyler's parents are moving to Collingwood!  They have been talking about buying a property up here for many months now and had even found one that was perfect for what they wanted.  It was just a matter of planning and lining everything up.  Now they have sold their house in Cambridge, found a place in town to rent, and as of yesterday, bought the property!

We are all so excited.  It has seemed very surreal up until now but it is becoming a reality.  The plan is to start a hops farm.  The plans are already in the works, and Tyler is involved.  Hopefully we will all be involved as a family.

This means huge things for our family.  It means our children will grow up with grandparents nearby which is so amazing for them.  It means we will have more family support.  It really affects how we will plan the rest of our lives here, in a good way.  No, a GREAT way.  It also means the boys will have an amazing property to visit and grow up on, and we have a place to grow fresh food for our family.  The positives are endless really.

There are no words really for how happy we are that they are moving here and will be close to us.  Yay!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Cupcakes for Tristan


For T's past two birthdays I attempted more elaborate cakes.  It gets harder to keep up with it over time, but I will go all out again with the cakes for him in years to come.  We're keeping things pretty low-key for his birthday this year, preferring to save the money we'd spend on a big party and cake for other things, like fun family activities that he would most certainly enjoy more.  But of course I still wanted to wanted to make some cupcakes for my special guy.


As with all baked goods I make for my children, these ones are of a healthier variety, using quinoa flour and agave instead of regular flour and sugar.  I decided to make the same Fudgy Chocolate cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing from my Baking with Agave book that I had made for F's birthday earlier this year.  See here for recipe.


I made the cupcakes today and T was very patient watching me decorate them.  He stood and watched, wanting to eat them but he had more self-control than any other 3-year-old would have.  He managed not to touch a single one.




I let him lick a little bit of icing off one.  He is really excited and keeps saying that we are going to have a "Cupcake Party" this weekend.

Of course I had to pick up a special candle for him.


I hope he enjoys them!