Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kids in the Capital

We live in an amazing city - a city that is AMAZING for raising children in. I know that I don't know half of the fabulous places to take my kids, but I know other parents do. Because parents know what to do with kids.

And if all the parents got together and put all of their ideas on what to do with kids in Ottawa together - places to go, services that are good for kids, crafts, recipes, parenting 101 tips, etc we'd have a wealth of information made just for us, BY us.

Come by and check out Kids in the Capital, a blog that will do just that. Let us know what you think. Let us know if you want to be a contributor and write regular posts as well. Let us know if you want to write a guest post. And come back often because some amazing Ottawa bloggers will be talking about new stuff every day! See you there!

Honest Scrap Award

Capital Mom gave me an award, and I don't get awards, so I am giddy with excitement!

The Honest Scrap Award Rules say that I must:

1. Brag about the award. (check)
2. Include the name of the blogger who gave you the award and link back to that blogger. (check)
3. Choose a selection of blogs that you find brilliant in honest content (check)
4. Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with this award. (check)
5. List at least ten honest things about yourself.

………then pass it on with the instructions!

I pick the following blogs as brilliant and honest and definitely worth checking out

1. Existere - a twin mama who lives too far away to hang out with, for which I am sad.
2. Mama Marshall - a great friend who knits great things and is looking forward to being a mama.
3. (Slightly) Less Cynical - my husband. He won't pass on this award, but he gives a great other view to our parenting journey and he's funny so I give him the award anyways.
4. Life on the Roof - Crafting, Country-living, amazing mom to two adorable boys. Reading her blog feels like a nice update over a cup of coffee. Something I definitely enjoyed doing the one time we were able to do it in person.

And now, 10 honest things about myself (I'm stuck on book related honesty because of Capital Mom's honest things ;) :

- I loved Twilight and I will eventually write a blog post about it
- I rarely read all the words in a book. In fact, I often skip entire paragraphs, sometimes pages.
- I enjoy harlequin and historical romances. They are light fluff and sap none of my limited brain power.
- I didn't finish this month's book club book either.
- I read pretty much every day
- Books can be found in pretty much every room in our house. We must have them in the thousands.
- Jaime, Edward and Nathaniel are my favourite leading men
- I rarely like non-fiction
- I don't enjoy reading to my children as much as I expected to. I am hoping once I'm not so tired I will enjoy it more. That being said, i do do it :)
- I intend to read Twilight for the 5th time this year.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I honestly did know I had it good then

Kiernan walked at 10 months. But until then, he was barely mobile - a little bit of wall walking and that was it.

And then he started walking and people said "watch out!" and we got all this baby proofing stuff ready. And he never got into anything.

"Kiernan, don't touch the books on the bookcase" and he would veer off and do something else. He rarely pulled at cords or lamps. He didn't eat every single thing he saw.

So we stayed lazy, and there was still crap all over the floor all the time, and it wasn't a big deal.

And now we have TWO crawling babies. TWO babies who climb up and pull on things and rip things and pull down down books from book shelves, and eat any little thing they can find. They will wrench things off the walls, they will scootch under chairs to get at wires.

And they divide and conquer. "You go that way Quinn, I'll go over here. She can't stop us both at once!"

Thank GOD we moved and I have my playroom. But I do miss my TV a bit. Good thing I can bring my laptop with me when I am supervising ;) I mean, good thing I can get housework done while they are in the playroom and I am not down on the floor playing with them.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Some moments I'll miss having

We are done having kids.

I feel very comfortable with that decision. We have a very nice sized family. We have two boys and a girl. We have done our share to propagate the species; have had our fair share of sleep deprivation (not that it's over yet.)

I feel done.

But there are moments that I am sad I will never get to experience again. Moments that were so special it would be lovely to get to do them over and over again.

* To feel a baby moving inside you.

* To birth them into this world (this was what I was best at in pregnancy, and I really am sad I won't get to do it again.) It was for me amazing and empowering.

* To meet your child for the first time and see the miracle that you created.

* To see the look of adoration in the eyes of your spouse, parents, grandparents, in-laws, in meeting this incredible new person.

* To smell the sweet breath of your newborn.

* To feel the love that is so special between a parent and new child that just grows and grows.

I am so blessed to have gotten to experience these things with my three children.

I am done. But I think I'm still going to grieve not getting to do these things again a little bit anyways.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A new blog

Some wonderful friends and I are working on a new parenting blog. The idea is to share things we do with our families (activities, attractions, events, crafts, cooking, parenting tips etc.) in Ottawa with other parents. We are all very excited and hope to launch it soon, but....

We don't have a name. We need a name. Something catchy. Can you help us with a name?

We decided to host a Twitter contest. This is what we tweeted:

New Ottawa family blog needs name. Best idea wins $25 Starbucks card and 12 cupcakes! Tweet idea by end day March 25. #Ottawafamilyblog

Capital Mom will be making the cupcakes.She promises they will be good. :) I have a $25 Starbucks gift certificate with your name on it.

If you are on Twitter can you help us out and tweet your idea with the hash tag #Ottawafamilyblog. If you aren't on Twitter but have an idea, please leave it in the comments.

Can't wait to share the blog with you all!

Some messages to my children...


- don't holler at me to feed you faster when you will barely open your mouth big enough to get the tip of the spoon in
- I am not talking to you when I say "do you have a poopy bum?" while holding a baby. I know you are toilet trained and do NOT have a poopy bum.
- You can't fall asleep sitting up. I know it's a new trick and it's fun to do when you wake up. But just stay lying down in the middle of the night and go back to sleep like you used to, ok?
- I love you too, but when you grab me and squeeze me so tight, you dig your little nails into my neck and grab the teeny hairs at the back of my neck and it really hurts. I don't love that part.
- When you walk into a room with daddy and one of the babies says "dada", please don't act so shocked that they just called you dada. They were not talking to you!
- I know you may think of him as your favourite toy because he's always around and so easy going, but please don't bite your brother, or use him as a jungle gym. He's much bigger than you and he may eventually fight back.
- You are 10 months old and can hold your own body weight, please hang on just a LITTLE bit when I'm carrying you around. You're heavy.

Monday, March 22, 2010



It's an age that is pushing me a little too hard lately. An age that has me parenting in a way I'm not very fond of.

So help me if you...

And I'm lucky if all I'm doing is yelling.. Shrieking is more like it some of the time. And I hate that I can't stay calm. I hate that reasoning doesn't work fast enough. I hate that hollering at the top of my lungs is the only thing that will stop him some times.

I remind myself I'm not alone (thank god I have other friends with trying three year olds ;) and I am regularly amused by this Bill Cosby but that amalah posted recently :

And it's certainly not all bad. The "I love you mommy"s and the "I want to sit on your lap and cuddle" and the hilarious things that come out of his mouth make it all worthwhile.

Could you not eat this kid up? (well, when he's not smothering his siblings with love, leaving the house alone or making a general pain in the ass-ness of himself of course)

(This is the version we listen to five million times a day - and download a copy to help with relief in Haiti.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Indulge me

I keep hearing there is more to mommy blogs than poopy diapers, snotty noses and tired whining. And you know what... it's giving me and my blog a bit of an inferiority complex.

So what if all I write about are crafts and sleepless nights and what my children are doing this week? Does that make my blog worth less?

It doesn't, I know that. But I can't help but want to be reassured that what I have to say has value. And I wish I could say I didn't care what others think because this blog is for me... But I do care.

I have, hopefully noticeably to some of you out there, been making a bigger effort to blog... To talk about the things I do and the things I think my community (mothers of young children) would be interested in. I know that I want to hear what you guys are doing to make it through the days: where you're going, what you're eating (and what and how your kids are eating) and how you keep the kids entertained. And I never think that that is all that you are or will ever be. And it really bothers me that people use this kind of a blog as a joke.

So, indulge me if you please. Let me know if you're out there, if you care, and if my efforts are worth the time... because I really don't want to feel like just another mommy blogger people like to poke fun at. I think we're all worth a lot more than that.

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to wipe some dirty bums, some snotty noses and drink some coffee (because man, am I tired!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Patrick's Day!!

I was feeling inspired this year and decided to try to make some St Patrick's Day (ish) food.

So I experimented a bit with the breadmaker and got this! (took 2 tries)

A little Guinness Stew with Green bread - festive, non?

Next year - green beer!

Hope you had a good St Patrick's Day!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hello Spring

We're very happy to see you!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Call me?

This post was written as my entry to the Mabel’s Labels BlogHer ‘10 Contest. "Write a post on your blog in response to the following hypothetical situation: Electrical storms are going to wipe out the Internet (perhaps forever). You have one day left to write about your passions: what do you want to say to the blogosphere in 300 words or less?"

Did you think it was too good to be true?

This magical land where you can find almost anything you need...

I think I found more than my fair share using the internet: an amazing husband, new and wonderful friends, a support system, old friends I wished I hadn’t lost touch with, and an ability to keep in touch with them all no matter how tired and nasty I was feeling, day or night (or middle of the night.)

And what a beautiful gift it has been, because my passion is and has always been the people in my life. And the internet kept me close to them when I certainly wouldn’t have had the energy without it.

But enough cheese. I have things to do if the internet is going down. I love you, I’ll miss you, but if I don’t prepare, I’m toast!!

  • Dig out crazy stationary I bought in Korea - I can write letters again (or pretend I'll have the time and never actually do it)
  • Sell now useless iPhone (or wait, can we rebuild with apps? Apple – get on it.)
  • Buy an address book (do they still make those?) and find out what people’s telephone numbers are. Talking to only one person at a time and not being able to watch Lost, Community or Survivor at the same time... that’ll be something to get used to again.
  • Set up workshop “How to revive your BBS” – it’s time go old school people, internet or not, we do not have to give it all up!
  • Organize emergency tweetup (don’t forget to exchange cell numbers. Maybe we can text , and set up a monthly newsletter!)
  • Buy stock in Encyclopedia Britannica and ticker tape (I’m nothing if not practical.)

Call me!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crafts: potholders

We're halfway through March and I thought I'd better get started on some of my 5 for 5 crafting (couple of spots left if you're interested!)

I've found some amazing tutorials online and I decided to start with this one for potholders that I found at Artsy Crafty Babe. They were cute and would make a useful gift.

The tutorial seemed pretty straight forward. I started with these, but realized they were a little too plain. (I almost left them this way in the interest of just getting in to the project without figuring out anything more, I'm glad I talked myself into taking the extra time.)

This seemed a little more like it...

And the finished product!!

I'm REALLY happy with how these turned out! I will be gifting two to one of my 5 for 5 participants and keeping one for myself. I also think I'll be making more of these because they would make fabulous hostess gifts. They feel really nice and sturdy and could probably also be used for trivets on the table. And they were really easy!

My things: kid rings

I wear a ring to commemorate my commitment to my relationship with my husband*. I wear it with pride and joy. When I had children the idea of a ring I could wear for them felt really good.

And so, when Kiernan was one I had a ring made with his name and date of birth, and when the twins were born I had ones made for them as well. I wear them with pride and joy,* happy to have a symbol of my commitment to all four members of my family close to me at all times*.

*Except when my hands get all fat and puffy and the rings don't fit. Also, eventually I will wear two rings (engagement and wedding).... once they both fit again. sigh. ;)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Outings: Melonhead

Kiernan has needed a haircut for awhile. But between the move and all the colds that have been plaguing us recently if I asked him if he wanted to get his hair cut and he said no I decided it wasn't worth a battle.

Yesterday we decided to have dinner at Place d'Orleans and I decided to try again as we walked by Melonhead. He was intrigued and agreed that yes, he would get his hair cut, sitting in the Nemo plane.

I was a bit nervous because we took him there when it first opened (he was about 2) and we didn't have a great experience. I also know people who haven't had good experiences. But really, what it comes down to is the stylist, and we got a great one this time! Her name was Chelsea and she was patient with Kiernan when he got nervous and kept leaning forward, when he was wiggling all over the place and not fully cooperating, and she gave him what I think is a really nice cut!

She even went along without batting an eyelash when I stuck the babies into the plane with Kiernan.

And the other chairs provided great entertainment for the babies while we waited.

Quinn was having a blast in his sports car!

And all kids get to have a ponyride at the end of the experience which Kiernan kindly shared with his brother.

The haircuts aren't cheap: $20 + tax + tip. Again, I can't recommend the place all the time, but Chelsea was great and I think the money was worth the fun they had while we were there!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Smothering me with love.

2010, so far, has been almost unending coughing, dripping, sneezing and whining. I think the babies have had 3 colds, all during a time when getting the house organized and focusing on getting some better sleep was supposed to be on deck.

Understandably they are particularly attached to me - they spend the majority of their time with just me. They are great at going with other people... unless I'm within eyesight. Then they start whining and complaining until I either leave the room or I take them.

This has never been the case when we are all home together until yesterday. Because they aren't feeling well I guess they are feeling particularly needy. And they FREAK if I'm not holding them. They FREAK if I'm holding the other one and not them. Yesterday I was trying to nurse Quinn while holding Juliette in my other arm. It was ridiculous.

I am happy to be loved and needed, but this feels smothering.

I hope it passes with the latest cold.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

House update: the stove and pancakes

Our last house was fully equipped with gas when we moved in so when we bought appliances we decided we'd get a gas stove, even though I was a bit nervous about the idea. Turned out I would love it so much I wouldn't be able to handle the idea of ever going back to an electric stove.

So when we had to buy all new appliances again this time I knew I wanted a gas stove, even though this house didn't have a gas line in the kitchen (cost a pretty penny to bring it in - WORTH EVERY PENNY!) We ended up buying a pretty basic Kenmore because my needs aren't very complex - I just want to be able to cook with gas! But it turns out this stove has a few nice features that I'm really pleased with.

1) The grills are cast iron instead of the porcelain coated kind that we had on our last stove. Porcelain is prettier... until you accidentally chip it. Then it looks like crap!! Know how I know this? Oh ya, cuz I chipped it tons of times. I can't chip these. They may scratch the bottom of my pots and pans a bit... so... don't examine the bottom of my pots and pans next time you're over, k?

2) The last stove had this little simmer burner in the middle. I didn't use it once. This stove has this long and narrow burner down the center. I wasn't sure I would use that either. Until I opened up the box that I thought had the broiling pan in it only to find a skillet thing. I take off the middle rack on the top of my store and place this baby on it and I can cook straight on the stove!!

Know what this is perfect for???

This was my first time out so obviously I need to learn the intricacies of the thing... the back apparently doesn't heat quite as hot as the middle.

Tada!!! Pancakes made right on the stovetop. I love it!!

Wow. I need to work on my food presentation skills before breaking out as a star food blogger. Note to self, clean stove better, remove cutlery and extra crappy bits of pancake from the plate before taking a photo.

But they were yummy!! And in case you're ever wondering, vanilla flavoured almond milk in my favourite non-dairy replacement when baking and making pancakes.


Melted and gooey on a pizza
In Eric's grandmother's homemade lasagna
On my burger
On top of a casserole
Melted cream cheese pasta
In my sandwich
Melted and crunchy on a cheesy breadstick or bun
Cheese nips

I miss you. A year is a long time, and we're not done yet.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Outings: the children's museum

We are really lucky to live in a city with so many fabulous places to take the kids - indoor and outdoor. There are still many that we want to explore, but there are a few that are tried and true favourites that we make visits to at least once a year.

The Children's Museum over at the museum of civilizations is one of them. We've been going at least once a year since Kiernan turned one. The museum is great because there is so much hands-on stuff for the kids to do, and they can enjoy it at so many ages.

I also love that by going to the same museums over the years, you get to see how much your children have grown in size and development.

Here is a peek at the Children's Museum from Kiernan's perspective over the last 3 years.


Kiernan and Daddy put on fabulous puppet shows.

Miss Carmelina went to the spa this past year and buffed up a bit it looks like.

Our budding musician. This has always been a highlight of the museum for K.

As the kids get older they have more and more intricate things for them to do and work on. Here the kids were actually embroidering.

Another year and I bet we get elaborate productions on this stage.

These photos give only a small snippet of the stuff to do at the museum. The kids can get dressed up in costumes, serve their parents lunch at the kids' cafe, swab the deck and load and unload freight onto the cargo ship, do arts and crafts and when there are special exhibits there's even more to do. I highly recommend the museum as something fun to do with the kids. And the family pass (2 adults and up to 3 kids) for $30 is a pretty good deal!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010