Parenting 2.0

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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


A few weeks back – when snow still covered the ground, Niko, Stella and I ventured out for the first time as a group of three. That’s right. Just me and the two kiddos. Might not sound like much, but it was a feat. Getting amply bundled and carrying wee Stella in the Bjorn while Niko bounced underfoot we headed out into the sun and onward to the park.

Blue skies and smiles all around!

Success.


You know those ninja moments in life, where you catch the falling water bottle before it hits the floor? We’ve all had them. It feels great. Today Niko had his first. As my trusty sous chef he can be counted on to bring the ingredients from the cupboard to the counter. But today as he attempted to lift the chick peas he lost his balance, but saved the day by catching them on his shoulder before they hit the floor, or even worse his toes. Or even worse again, his sister, who was literally sleeping underfoot!

The look on his face was priceless. Shock. Pride. Terror. Happiness.

It all happened so quickly.

This week’s installment of 52 Weeks in the Kitchen boasts a “healthy” treat: Chocolate Chickpea Cookies. But they’re not really that healthy. There’s still lots of sugar, butter and flour in them. But I guess the health kick comes in as the recipe contains a whole can of chickpeas. And guess what? They’re tasty! Another hit for our tiny kitchen.

Stella was a bit zonked this morning as we went about our cheffing. But Niko was ready to bake! He likes to help dump the ingredients into the bowl, at times onto the counter, and sometimes into his mouth. And let’s face it, once it’s beater-licking time, his work is pretty much done. Nonetheless we had a great time and have added a new tasty treat to our repertoire – and our freezer collection.

Note: A recipe for “healthy” cookies does not mean we are on a health kick. I just came across the recipe, thought it looked interesting and presto, we’ve got them in our house.

Note 2: Thank you to Very Culinary (via Pinterest) for the recipe!

CHICKPEAS

NIKO SAVES THE DAY

BREAK TIME

OUR RECIPE

CHICKPEAS ON THE SIDE

INGREDIENTS IN THE BOWL

AND ELSEWHERE…

BEATERS!

…THE BEST PART!

Note 3:

Week 1: Strawberry Cake

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies

Week 4 – Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake


As of today, my tiny entourage and I have a month of recipes under our belt. Just 11 more to go!

Today’s treat?

Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake!

Thanks to Smitten Kitchen (via Pinterest) for the recipe.

YUM!

Note 1: We doubled the recipe and added a tbsp of poppy seeds. But like the title says…anything goes! Dee-lish!

Note 2: I was actually envisioning/hoping for a lemon loaf of sorts, but I now realize that baking in a loaf pan, does not necessarily a loaf make. Ha well. Still dee-lish (for a cake…)

Note 3: Weeks 1, 2 and 3

Note 4: See bottom pic – Niko is eating outside in a t-shirt and it’s March! We are having some record breaking temps this month!


I have an hour to myself. Yes, to M-Y-S-E-L-F!

I head to the mall (namely Toys R Us) armed with a dual item shopping list. And what two items is my heart after? Drum roll please. Baby bottle brushes and bibs! Oh wow, the excitement.

Post Toys R Us success I’ve still got ten minutes to burn. I pop into the Gap? Nope. Town Shoes? Uh-uh. Starbucks? Heck no! Gymboree? Bingo! Seeing so many good buys, I can’t pass up the deals, and end up getting four new shirts for Niko.

You know you’re a mom when…

all you buy at the mall is stuff for your kids.

And you’re excited about your purchases.



I have an hour to myself. Yes, to M-Y-S-E-L-F!

I have a short list of things I need at the mall and it’s easier to grab my diaper bag than my purse, because it already has my wallet and keys in it.

You know you’re a mom when…

your diaper bag doubles as your purse.


And we’re back…

Hello midnight, 2am, 4am and 6am. How nice to see all of you within the same 12 hour time frame, once again. I had been missing you as a quartet set, having really only seen say, one of you at a time over that last few months and that being only when nature was calling on the decreasing space allotted to my bladder.

But now, at long last, we are reunited. And not only for the amount of time it takes to go pee, but for close to an hour at a time as I go through the motions of feeding little Stella and changing her diaper. What a wonderful reunion. I look forward to many more nights of the same…


Well, I think it’s safe to say Operation Incubation can now be considered a success. Even though there have been a few bumps along the road, at 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I am now full term and just awaiting the arrival of our little bambino. Having had a membrane sweep on Tuesday I’ve had a few false alarms due to the cramping incurred from the sweep, but so far no little babe. Just time on my hands to do a few self-portraits…


When Niko was just a wee babe, I made up a song and sang it to him daily. The words were something along the lines of “My sweet little angel boy and then basically just repeated over and over again to a particular tune that I cannot begin to describe in words. Then he grew up a little and that little ditty made it’s way to the back burner.

This morning as we were getting ready for daycare, Niko was in one of those delightful moods where nothing pleased him. Mind you, he is not feeling 100% (coughing, etc.), but still this mood isn’t the easiest to deal with. Now while I try to stay away from sarcasm, especially directed toward my dear angel boy, at times humour acts as my parental crutch and helps me cope in the moment.

So I’m bundling him up to go out the door. And even though there’s no snow the temperature is in the negatives, yet Niko is insisting he wears his sandals, while I am insisting on his winter boots. A no-win here. So after a full morning of such antics (not all sandal related, but on the same plane of ridiculousness) I look at Borys and say:

“Hmm…Maybe we should have topped the tree with this little darling the other day“! 

Borys: But doesn’t coal go in the stocking?

Hahahaha. Thank goodness for comic relief – even if it was at the expense of our little man. He didn’t seem to notice.

And no Niko, you are NOT wearing your sandals today!



We are looking forward to welcoming our new baby, and Borys and I know full well what to expect (at least we think we do…). We’re old pros by now, right?

But Little Niko, soon to be Big Brother Niko, may be in for a bit of a shocker. Just as Frasier our poodle got bumped to second fiddle when Niko was born, Niko will now have to share in the limelight of our love and affection. Note: I am not comparing Niko to my dog…exactly. He’s not going to be playing second fiddle. But all the time and attention that was once solely his, will now need to be shared.

Personally, I like to think of it as our love growing, not dividing, but I am not sure how to best impart this idea on the big-brother-to-be.

I’ve put a lot of thought (and a bit of research) into strategies for making this life-changing transition as smooth as possible.

1) I bought a couple of storybooks about welcoming a new baby. The focus being on all the big boy things Niko can do and what he’ll be able to help us with once the baby arrives: baths, etc.

So far these books have been his self-selected bedtime stories a grand total of ONE time. But sometimes I get to the pick the story…

2) We refer to the baby by name and he seems to get it.

Whether or not he thinks that’s just the name for my growing tummy as opposed to the actual person inside me, has yet to be seen.

3) He has been united with my old Cabbage Patch dolls: Suzy and Toby. We practice holding them properly, loving them and taking care of them. Sometimes he sits Suzy up against the wall and says: “Watch Suzy. Watch!” while he shoots hoops or races around in the basement.

Other times he just tosses her aside on her head.

4) He helped us paint the room for the new baby.

At least he got invited up for the last few minutes to help cover the last empty spot on the llast wall. He enjoyed it though.

So time is ticking toward our little girl’s due date (January 1), and only time will tell what his reactions will be toward this new family member. But I have a feeling he’s going to be a great big brother!


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