Parenting 2.0


After. School. Activities. Not a new concept but one I have yet to master. Well it doesn’t even have to be mastery, just cope with would be OK too.

After. School. Activities. This is something normal people do, right? People just like me and you. I know its true because the Tae Kwon Do studio is full of kids. Surely they have all just come home from school and their parents from work? Yes, I know its true. These normal people have registered their kids for after school activities. And here they are acting all nice and normal in the dojang. The parent waiting area is full of normal people carrying on friendly conversations about their kids or they day at work. They are sipping the free coffee and smiling and watching their kids through the glass window.

I too am sipping the free coffee. I too am watching my kids through the glass. I too appear to be a nice normal person and sitting here I kind of feel like one. But my two year old requires a lot of attention. So as I sit here looking somewhat harried normal, I am also keeping half an eye on my smallest monkey sweetheart. Making sure her crying and demands aren’t bothering the other parents too much, who seem just delighted to be here.

Actually being here isn’t really the hard part. It’s getting out the door by 5 pm. Only half an hour after my little darlings get home from school. Its cleaning up the breakfast dishes before we scoot out the door. I could go on… And then it’s the aftermath. We get home by 6:30 and we’ve got to eat.

This Thursday my husband had the plates ready when we got home. Got to love teamwork. But once we got there, micro madness ensued. I think all three kids were crying within about 7 minutes. For various and equally unwarranted reasons. Borys had only to take one look at my face before he said “Why don’t you just go upstairs and take a break.” Me? A sigh of relief and 5 seconds, and I was up the stairs! I could still hear the crying but it was muffled by the distance and my firmly closed bedroom door.

Five minutes later the crying was fading and my husband came up to join me. “Is this where the sane people hang out?” And we shared a nice normal laugh.

Next week? I think it’s cereal for supper at 4:30. Sounds pretty normal to me…

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Stella got her white belt!

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So did Niko!


winterrunningIt feels like springtime in Ottawa. So really, is there any better time to take up winter running, than when it actually feels like spring? Yah, it’s not exactly spring, seeing as it’s January 10th! But with the temperatures we’ve been having, 4 degrees and rainy this weekend, it sort of has that early spring vibe. Except for that blanket of snow covering the grass, and the huge banks of snow lining the streets. But other than those small details, spring is upon us! At least that’s what I’m telling myself, to help mentally prepare for the great undertaking of  “Winter Running”. And I love running, just not in the winter. That is, until this winter. I like the solace. I like the sound of my shoes on the pavement. I like the exercise. I like being outdoors. I could go on. But for me, running has always been a spring to early fall activity. Just couldn’t mentally wrap my head around the below zero temps.

However, over the Christmas break I noticed several runners out and about, jogging the Ottawa streets as if it was no big deal. Day after day. I saw them, yes THEM. Not just one crazy runner on one lonely street, but several runners, on several streets. So this got me thinking… If they can do it, why not me? I think you just need the right gear, and the right attitude, and voila you’ve got a recipe for successful winter running. Thankfully, my mama, for some reason already had me pegged as a winter runner. She’d given me a running toque for my birthday in November, and a running belt for Christmas. Anyway, after seeing those runners, and realizing I had the physical gear, and was developing the mental chops, I decided to get out and about and ran 10km on Saturday afternoon. It was a gray day, and it started raining halfway through, but with my toque on my head and Songza streaming from my phone – hello “Headbands & Legwarmers: 80s Workout” playlist, – not even a double soaker got me down! And you know what, I liked winter running, but maybe that’s in part because of the unseasonable temps. We’ll see what next weekend holds, both for temperatures and stamina.

run 1

Aside

Posted on: April 28, 2012


9 weeks in and my little guy’s interest in baking may be waning… (but my enthusiasm is still full tilt!). After only a few short moments in the kitchen, Niko spotted the Play-Doh containers and it was off to the table for a different kind of fun. Ah well, I can always count on the beaters, and mixing spoon to reel him back in.

Today I gave Niko a choice of two recipes. The debate was between Lemon-Poppy Seed Tea Bread and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies. After showing him both pics I asked him which he preferred and his response was an enthusiastic “Cookies Mama!”. Like, duh! As if there could be any other option…

Lately we’ve been on a peanut butter kick, solely for the reason that my hubbie proclaimed his love for peanut butter cookies (who knew?). So good wifey that I am, I’ve been experimenting for him! (And truth be told, me…)

After last week’s peanut butter cookie debacle, I was ever so closely monitoring those “golden brown edges” that the recipe called for. And voila, peanut butter cookies to perfection!

My mods for my too hot oven: heat to 325 and bake for 10 minutes! Golden edges! Golden bottoms! Sweet delicousness! We even piped on the PB frosting as suggested in the recipe.




Note:

52 WEEKS IN THE KITCHEN

Week 1: Strawberry Cake

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies

Week 4: Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake

Week 5: Chocolate Chickpea Cookies

Week 6: Protein Packed Smoothies

Week 7: Berry-Almond Quick Bread

Week 8: Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Week 9: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies


According to her 4 month check-up, we’ve got a big one on our hands! Big and healthy. Go Stella Go! Weighing in at over 16 pounds our little babe is not so little anymore. I still find it amazing how quickly babies grow – I mean seriously in only four months, she has more than doubled her size. Imagine if you did that in the next four months! Yikes

New feets in her life:

  • she settles down for the night  between  7:30 and 8, and usually sleeps until 1 or 2, or if I’m lucky 5 or 6 (but the latter’s only happened twice…)
  • she’s started bouncing in her exersaucer
  • her hair is growing back (looks sort of blondish)

Note: Stella and Suzy: One Month

Stella and Suzy: Two Months

Stella and Suzy: Three Months


Remember the days when you used to take a whole spoonful of peanut butter and just eat it? Maybe not. But when I was a kid this was a treat for me and my cousin and one that lasted quite some time with all that ooey gooey sticky goodness. Niko got a little taste of such delicacies when he got the leftovers on a spoon we used to scoop the peanut butter with, into this recipe. Not quite a full spoon for him, but still, took him quite a while to polish it off!

This week we tried these Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies. Unfortunately my oven runs a little hot and I burned them. Ah well, one burned batch and already into my 8th week of 52 in the Kitchen. I would say that’s not that bad. Borys (my hubbie) had the idea of scraping the burned bottoms off on a cheese grater, using the lemon zester side. Getting rid of the carcinogens and all. He said it worked (and that’s after Niko and I had already had three a piece) and I saw the little black crumbly remnants in the sink this morning, so maybe he’s on to something.

Note to self: Would I make this recipe again? Not sure.

I modified the cooking temp from 350 to 340 and only baked them for 10 minutes, so if I do do it again, I’d have to really monitor those golden edges. Ah baking… At times it’s a fine line between sweet deliciousness and crumbly black bits…

Note 2:

52 WEEKS IN THE KITCHEN

Week 1: Strawberry Cake

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies

Week 4: Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake

Week 5: Chocolate Chickpea Cookies

Week 6: Protein Packed Smoothies

Week 7: Berry-Almond Quick Bread


Unseasonably warm weather for WINTER!

Yes, when these pics were taken it was technically still winter. The tail-end mind you, but still winter!!! WOW!


So many delectables to be had when experimenting in the kitchen. While perusing the Food Network site this week I read that,

“A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!”

Anyway, not sure how practiced my hand is (at least when it comes to cooking), or how telling my glance is (unless you’re talking about the teacher “stink-eye” because I like to think I have that honed to perfection…), but nonetheless all this kitchen experimentation is proving to be a good way to try lots of new flavours, as well as a good strategy for stocking my freezer (and my family’s tummies!). If it was up to Niko I think he would have liked to add half a cup of Cars to the recipe (see third pic below), but again, I’m not quite sure this is what it means to personalize a recipe.

This week on the menu: Berry-Almond Quick Bread (So good!) Niko, Stella and I doubled the recipe and cooked it at 360 for an hour – my oven runs a little hot!

Note:

52 WEEKS IN THE KITCHEN

Week 1: Strawberry Cake

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies

Week 4: Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake

Week 5: Chocolate Chickpea Cookies

Week 6: Protein Packed Smoothies

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