Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's Up!

WAY UP I mean. Lev finally got the TV up on the wall tonight. It took the poor guy forever, but we expected that. The easier the job sounds the harder it usually is. I don't think it helped that the mounting brackets were made in some country where a stud is a bamboo pole. 

I escaped as soon as it all got plugged in. I figured Lev could use some "alone time" with the TV. And this way he can show me all the features when I venture back upstairs. Lukas wasn't too impressed with how long it took since he was stuck in the pen. The playpen that is. Something tells me that Carmen won't be his favorite person tomorrow since she gave me the idea. Although, he did have some fun mashing his face up against the mesh as hard as he could. I found it hilarious too. Lev did not.

Unfortunately, I think the TV got placed too far up on the wall. But hey, at least he managed to align the studs and the bizarrely placed pre-drilled holes. 

I wonder if it's safe to go and check it out yet???

Monday, December 29, 2008

Woo Hoo!!!

The grandparents came, loaded up my 2 oldest and drove of with them for the week. Lukas, Lev and I have to fend for ourselves this week. Whatever shall we do??? How will we fill the time??? Hopefully Lukas won't take it upon himself to try and fill the gap that Mikah has left.

Hmm, it's not looking too promising though. I just went to rescue him from the Christmas tree and by the time I turned around he was already speeding across the living room for my laptop. Ah, Mikah's little grasshopper has learned well. Mikah should be so proud.

I actually have a huge list of things that need to get accomplished this week while the kids are away. I love lists and can't seem to get by without them in life. So, here's my list in no particular order...

- hang up the new TV
- figure out what kind of TV programming we are going to go with
- find a dresser to refurbish for an entertainment unit
- refurbish said dresser
- fold the mountain of clean laundry
- actually put away the folded laundry
- keep sorting out and storing clothes that are too small
- clean out toy room
- assemble all toys in the house and purge
- clean laundry room
- figure out a new storage solution for the laundry room
- separate the kids toys
- clean Alek's room
- organize toys
- set up computer in Alek's room???
- assemble all the household furniture/items that we want to sell/give away
- post said items on kijiji or take to Salvation Army
- move the old couch and loveseat to their new home
- haul out the old stove
- take down the tree
- buy new curtains for our new room
- clear out our room
- do the big bedroom switch; move us upstairs; move Mikah into Lukas's room
- see about buying a new leisure pass
- take our old TV to work??? give it away???

As Alek would say, "Good Lord!" The list seems very long. Too long. But strangely I'm much more motivated now that I've gotten it all typed up. I'm sure there are things missing which I'll fill in as I go along LOL!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I indulged tonight. As Alek and I were rushing through Superstore at mealtime (yes, I must plan better) these ended up in the cart. All I can say is, "Thank you President's Choice!" OMG, those little cakes were so good, they were just like the real thing. Granted I haven't tasted real pineapple upside down cake in years. Not since my mom gave up her "microwave cooking phase". I can picture the upside down cakes that she cooked in that old microwave like it was yesterday and we were all sitting at the kitchen table eagerly awaiting dessert.

But I digress.

Everyone liked the PC version so much that I must try and find a good recipe. And yes, I'm going to try and find a microwave one just like my mom used.

Ah ha! I found one here...

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Microwave)

1/4 cup Margarine
1/3 cup Firmly packed light brown sugar
16 ounces Pineapple slices, canned
4 Maraschino cherries, halved
1 1/4 cups Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg
1/3 cup Oil
1 cup Pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond extract

1. Cut 2 circles of waxed paper to fit bottom of microwaveable 8 inch round cake pan.
2. Place margarine on waxed paper. Microwave on high, 45 seconds; sprinkle brown sugar on melted margarine and arrange 7 pineapple slices on sugar, add cherries to center of pineapple slices.
3. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in mixing bowl. Blend together egg, oil, pineapple juice, and extracts. Pour into dry ingredients and blend with wooden spoon. Pour batter over pineapple slices. Microwave at 50% (medium) 5 minutes. Rotate disk once. Microwave on high, 4 to 4 1/2 minutes, rotating dish twice. Let stand in pan 5 minutes. Invert onto Serving Plate. Peel off wax paper if it comes out with cake.

(I'm going to try this but without the cherries. And I'll use a microwave safe bundt pan which will hopefully help the cake cook more evenly. Uncooked cake centers are not good.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

I hope that if you travelled you made it there safely and without any hassles. We came out to my parents farm for the holidays. Having only the one stop has been nice this year. Less presents/clothes/diapers/etc to pack. We enjoy trying to see everyone during the holidays but less stress has been nice a nice change.

We've been having a great time so far and will hopefully get out to do some ski-doing later today. Too bad my sister isn't here to take part in the snow acrobatics that we have every year! I'll try to take some pictures for her to make her feel better though. But to be honest, she most likely isn't feeling too sad as she lays about on the beaches in Mexico.

We have a new tradition in our family. One lucky person gets to be dubbed The Christmas Ass. I got the honors for the first year. Yay me! I think The Christmas Ass gets to behave and say anything they want and they always have an out. I mean, an ass can't help being an ass can it??? We're a strange family to say the least but we have our share of fun.

I hope that everyone else out there has had a wonderful Christmas!

I'm off to try and upload some photo's...

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Looking Up

I'm slowly coming around. I managed to sew one present last night, get it all packaged up with the other stuff that I was sending AND get it on the bus. Yay me! I also finished all of the calenders AND picked up the finished product tonight. Tomorrow I'll ship the ones that need to be shipped. 

I was super productive tonight. I mixed up 5 different kind of cookies and set my cherries marinating in booze in an hour! An hour. Wow, I can get something accomplished when i put my mind to it. Of course it helps that my brother had the two littlest ones in bed when I got home from the grocery store. Maybe he can stay. Maybe.

I always have such a hard time figuring out what to get Alek's teachers for Christmas. I can't break the bank but I don't want to be too chinsy either. I really like his team this year too so that makes it harder. It's easy to pick out something quick for someone that you are relatively ambivalent about. So they are getting baking. I'm going to make them up nice platters with Gingerbread; Ginger Snaps; Lemon Rosemary Slices; Sugar Cookies; Snowballs; and Cherry-whiskey Chocolates. Hopefully that will suffice. 

Alek has his Christmas concert tomorrow night. Hopefully I'll get some great shots with m new camera! Maybe even a video depending. He plays a "cool dude." I can't wait to check that out. His idea of a cool dude changes daily. Greaser to hip hop star. Yep, he definitely takes after me! 

Now I had better get back upstairs and put away the cookies that I baked before they disappear into "you know who''s" lunch tomorrow morning.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fa la la la la, blah blah blah

I am having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. Usually by now I have most gifts bought and have revised my holiday gift list (for others) at least 15 times. This year it hasn't even been fully completed! I have absolutely no idea what to even buy some people, which is stressing me out!

I normally try to give some gifts that are homemade, mostly because I love crafting and cooking and I really appreciate getting handmade gifts that come from the heart. This year is going to be tough! Every time I get the kitchen ready to cook something a tornado comes through and the project gets put off for another day. Which has yet to happen. I have a project partially started for the girls on my list but it's been sitting in the same bag for 2 months now and they are no closer to being completed. I broke down and bought some more material yesterday hoping that would spur me into action but, alas, it has not. I am slowly beginning to realize that it's not due to a lack of desire that I can't get anything accomplished, but simply, a lack of time and energy. We don't have out tree up (usually happens first weekend in December); I haven't done any baking; most gifts are not bought; Alek hasn't written or sent a Santa letter; there is no Santa picture of the boys; there is basically no sign around here that shows that Christmas is anywhere near. It's looking pretty bleak.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Barb the Grouch

I'm grouchy. And wishing that I had a garbage can of my very own that I could just crawl into and shut the lid. And every now and then, when I wanted to be social, I would just pop my head out and share some acerbic remark and then disappear again.

I need to find balance in life. I enjoy my kids; I enjoy my husband; I enjoy my work, and I wish that I could enjoy my house. It's feeling like there's just too much lately. Too much of everything negative and not enough of the positive. There is just so much work to do all the time (no thanks to a certain 2 year old in the house I'm sure) and not enough time to enjoy life. I guess I'm feeling like I'm treading water and not pulling ahead of the pack. My pack that is. I hate this feeling.

Hm, I wonder if Wii has developed a game for this yet? The balance board might be worth it then...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

First Tooth

Lukas cut his first too this week. It's hard to believe how fast the time is flying by. When we just had Alek it seemed like he was a baby and toddler forever but I guess we just had more time to devote to him. Lukas and Mikah have to share that time now and I always feel like there just isn't enough of it to go around.

There isn't enough of me to go around most days either.

Peanut Livers

I bought a bag of roasted peanuts in the shell yesterday for the kids. Today Alek was busy shelling them and enjoying the peanut meat. In his mind, the shell is the skin so the inside must be the liver. Hence; peanut livers.

I really have no idea where he comes up wit this stuff.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Song of the Day!

*Just insert "Barb" where you hear "Jenny".

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's Snowing!!!

It's snowing outside and I'm busy baking inside. Ahhh, winter is finally here. I made brownies tonight and the smell combined with the cold view outside the windows is making me feel nostalgic. I guess the combo takes me back home to the farm.

Here's our family recipe for Never Fail Brownies if you want to try and create a little winter magic in your house.

Never Fail Brownies
These are the best, easiest, quickest to make brownies ever! We have been making them in our family for about 25 years and they always turn out tender and chewy in the middle with just the right amount of crust on top. I always double the recipe!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
1. Cream together butter and sugar.
2. Blend in eggs.
3. Mix in salt and vanilla.
4. Blend in flour, cocoa and nuts.
5. Mix until just blended.
6. Pour into a 8x8" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Grand River Toys

I MUST order something from this site this year! They have some great items and I spent more than an hour the other night checking out absolutely everything that they have to sell and making a wishlist so that I could refer to it later. They even have a special on shipping right now so I should take advantage of that.

Check out Grand River Toys. Here are a few of my faves...

Beautiful Butternut Squash

I made the best thing for supper tonight. Thank you Sobey's for having squash on sale and to Epicure for making such wonderful spices. I was feeling creative and in need of comfort food on this cold and blustery day so I decided to came up with the recipe Butternut Gnocchi with Apple-Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Are you hungry yet??? Here's the recipe in case anyone wants to try it.

  • take your butternut squash and slice it down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and place it cut side down in a microwavable dish (with a lid) and about 1/4" of water. I cooked mine on high for 14 minutes; 1 half at a time.
  • let squash cool so that you can peel it.
  • mash squash. Add 1 egg, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Mix.
  • start adding flour about 1/2 a cup at a time until you have a semi-firm sticky dough. I used about 3 cups. Don't use too much flour or you will definitely taste it in your gnocchi.
  • once you have a nice dough that sticks together get a medium size Ziploc bag and snip one bottom corner off. Fill the bag about half full for easy handling. Hold the bag like a piping bag over you pot of boiling salted water and start squeezing out dough. Use a sharp knife in your other hand and cut the dough in about 1" pieces.
  • When the gnocchi floats on the top of the water it is done. Scoop it out with a slotted spoon and place in a warm dish.

Brown Butter Sauce

  • in a small sauce pan melt 1/4 cup of salted butter and 1 Tbsp of Epicure Apple-Sage Dressing mix. Let the butter brown on a low heat so that the spice mix has some time to soften and the flavors meld.
  • Pour over the gnocchi and serve!
Thanks to my lovely kitchen assistant Lev for his expert gnocchi cuting : )

I know that gnocchi should be rolled and then cut into pieces but I can nevr get that to work quite right. The Ziploc piping bag works like a charm though and I'm going to use that from now on. Half the work means quicker eating!

Mikah Loves the Bongos

Mikah and I have a new activity that brings us great joy. While I am in the kitchen either cooking or doing dishes I like listening to music. The kids enjoy this time too and there is usually much singing and dancing while doing chores. I was cooking at the stove the other day and Mikah decided that if only he had some bongo drums his life would be so much better. So he found some. On my butt. Now whenever I'm standing at the stove he pounds away on his drums and laughs and dances. Hopefully he'll outgrow it at some point...

Halloween Howlers

Halloween has been and gone, as is almost all of Alek's candy. This year Alek went trick-or-treating with a friend which was nice break for us. The Halloween "howler" turned out to be Mikah this year. A major fit was pitched every time that I tried to put his dog hood on him. He was insistent that he wear his favorite hat. I conceded that particular battle of wills. I've decided to save my wins for the battles that actually matter; I'm sure there will be many with that one.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Guess it Was a Hit

The Clone helmet that is. I had to make Alek a costume to go along with the helmet for Halloween. And as usual, I left it all for the last minute but I'm pretty proud of how it turned out. So proud that I had to take a picture of it empty of the actual clone LOL! Not too shabby for poster board, yellow duct tape and a mom who knows nothing about Clone Troopers...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Alek!

My oldest baby turns 8 today. He's had a great day today except for when his dad told him we got him gitch and socks for a present. That's a "bummer" and "not a very fun present" according to him. Hopefully he'll be much happier with the Storm Trooper Helmet!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I need to get busy. I have quite a few pairs of slippers to sew and other projects to get started on/finish. Plus, I still have to try and get some shows booked in time for the Christmas season. Yikes!

I need more time in the day. I need more space to actually get things done.

It looks like I need to rush out after work today and buy Alek a couple more birthday presents. Although, I'm beginning to think that if Alek (or any of my kids for that matter) aren't a priority for some people why should I have to pretend that they are? We all make our own beds...

Hm, looks like I'm having a bit of a blah day so far. Hopefully that will change.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Eating Habits of an Almost Two Year-Old

Foods Mikah won't eat:
  • turkey
  • potatoes
  • pasta
  • cereal
  • carrots
  • peas
  • crackers
  • cheese
  • rice
  • pork chops
  • well, you get the idea

Foods Mikah will eat:

  • oysters
  • yogurt
  • anything out of the garbage

Here's hoping that his palette improves soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Look Out! They're Coming!!!

Mr. Something Something is the best time ever! Dec 6th at Lydia's.

Family Picture

I convinced Heather to come out to the in-laws to take some family pictures of us all when Lloyd was celebrating his 65th birthday. The scenery was just beautiful and the pictures look awesome. We hadn't had a family picture taken since Alek was 3, and we've added a few more family members since then LOL! I forgot just how hard it is to get a decent picture when you have kids. Plus it ended up being a windy day, which of course didn't bother the guys but it made me look extra-special LOL. I'm happy to have a picture with all of us in it. Plus I can see just how big Lukas is getting. Shocking, but he isn't a tiny baby anymore.

Girls Weekend!

This Friday I'm heading to Edmonton for a girls weekend of shopping, shopping, shopping! Thank god because I really need some new clothes. And shoes. And a jacket. And an Ikea fix. And supper at Olive Garden. And drinks out.

I can't wait! Hopefully it will be a successful trip.

Thanksgiving Weekend

I hope that all my Canadian buddies had an awesome holiday weekend. I think that ours was nice. We stayed home for a change which was quiet and a bit more relaxing. I made supper on Sunday so that we (mostly I) could enjoy turkey sandwiches all day Monday. Mmmm. I even had one for breakfast. I think I have an unnatural obsession with turkey sandwiches but they're just so darn good.

We managed to get most of the yard work done too which makes us feel better. Everyday it feels like are living on borrowed time before the snow flies so it's nice knowing that everything is put away and the yard is mostly cleaned up. Alek even pitched in with the leaf raking which was nice. He's definitely reaching the age where everything is a struggle and he's hard-done-by. In his mind anyway. Mikah took the van for a spin while we raked. Oh, the places he went! He's obsessed with cars, school buses and dogs. The look of pure joy he gets when he is left to "drive" the van is awesome. Lukas had a sleep in the stroller. All the hard work exhausted him!

We even had a visit with Heather who came Friday and went to the farm on Sunday morning. We had plans to sew purses but after a fun Friday night out and a Costco trip on Saturday we were to spent to get much done. An excuse for another get-together! Maybe next time I'll have to go and see her though and we might actually get something done. But then again...
Oh, but I did manage to get started on the next big batch of slipper sewing. Yay me!

"Yep. Sure looks like a good crop of leaves this year."

Did you or didn't you?

Vote that is. I'm waiting to see how it all plays out although I think we'll be in the same situation that we were in a short time ago.


Thursday, October 9, 2008


I hurt my neck the other night. At "pilates". It must have been the hair flip-booty roll that did it.

And to make matters worse Carmen and I spent 5 hours last night cutting out slippers. Five hours bent over a table pinning and cutting. My neck really hurts tonight. It's almost relaxation time though. Ant minute now Alek will be in bed and then I can truly settle into the couch for my Greys and ER fix.

"What is he doing???"

We caught Mikah trying to give himself a zerbert on his tummy the other night. Hilarious. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So Friggin Cute!

Shh, don't tell but I started on some Christmas presents for the girls in our life. They are the cutest things ever! I wish I could show pictures but it will have to wait. The wait will so be worth it!

Carmen and I are going to be adding some of these super fun and adorable items to our This Little Piggy line.

Hurry up Friday!

Lev and I are going away sans kids this weekend. We are spending two nights in a hotel at the local National park thanks to his mom and step-dad. The gift was supposedly for our 10 year anniversary but I know it was really so that they could have all 3 of their grand kids for the weekend without us. Crazy crazy grandparents! Lucky for them that Lukas has decided to sleep through the night again. I have the feeling that we better enjoy it because the offer might not come around again for quite some time.

We can't wait to get away and have some quiet time. Just to sleep in will be bliss.

Hurry and get here Friday!

Alek also wants Friday to hurry because his glasses should be in that day. Hm, another good reason that I want Friday to hurry and get here. If I have to listen to him whine about how unfair it is that he couldn't get his glasses immediately I might lose it. Hurry, hurry Friday.

French Onion Soup

I've been craving French Onion Soup like crazy lately but every night has been too crazy to tackle making it. I find it hard to believe that Alek, who will be 8 this month, has never experienced warm pleasure of FOS. So, enough with the excuses I finally just made the time and cooked it. It was souper (LOL) easy and way better than any that I've had in a restaurant. The key was in the caramelized onions that I added to the stock.

Here's my simple directions if anyone else is dying to try it. (Heather H. you know I'm talking to you!)

  • Slice 3 or 4 medium onions into thin rings.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan with about 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter
  • Add the onions to the frying pan and toss to coat with the oil. When the onions start to sizzle, sprinkle 1 Tbsp of white sugar over the onions and toss again.
  • To help speed up the process I used 2 pkgs of onion soup mix instead of making my own stock. Start this going in a large pot.
  • When the onions are golden and starting to crisp, add them to the pot of simmering onion soup.
  • While the soup and onions are mingling in the pot slice some mozza and swiss cheese. If you just have mozza that's just fine. And either toast thick slices of bread or dig out some croutons. I prefer the bread because it gives the soup nice texture and depth but doesn't overwhelm it with additional seasoned flavor. It you use toast, cut it up into cubes.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls; top with a good handful or two of dry bread and cover with a nice thick layer of cheese.
  • Time is a factor in this house so then I just pop the bowls into the microwave for about 30 seconds to help get the cheese melting.
  • Enjoy!

We had no soup left over. Alek had 2 bowls of soup and Mikah gobbled his up too. Big smiles all around. It was really quick to make too. It probably took 20 minutes or so.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Todays Highlights...

  • Slept in. Had lunches and bottles to make and 3 kids to get dressed. Two, who needed their diapers changed again before we left the house.
  • It's picture day at school. I found something appropriate for Alek to wear, which he decided to make fancier by adding various parts of his pirate costume to. Yelling ensued. I guess on the bright side he didn't decide to wear his actual pirate costume (ruffled shirt and all) like he thought he should do the year before.
  • First student was a no-show. So glad I rushed.
  • Told I was bald by a student. Awesome.
  • Found a homeless person's house on our daily lunch "nature walk". It looked like it must have been laundry day. Can't wait to hear what the parents have to say about that one. Also awesome.
  • Alek is going to get his eyes checked. He informed us that everything is blurry out of his right eye. With any luck he'll need glasses. Let's hope that something goes right today and his vision is fine.

And the day is only half over.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Morning Favorites

I've been able to rediscover a few favorite things about mornings since returning back to work.

1. Having lunches ready the night before.
2. Morning air
3. Dropping the kids off at school and the babysitters. Someone else's problem for a few hours LOL!
4. Listening to Rob, Shauna and Rambling Dave on C95. The crap that they come up with cracks me up. I think I missed them the most.
5. Coffee. Coffee by myself.


Last night was the first night of Pilates. Or should have been. Pilates has been changed to... Stripercize. Oy vey.

Lev was a lot more enthusiastic about the change then I was. Let's just say that if there was a show called So you Want to be a Stripper, my dance routine would definitely be in the outtakes. You know, the funny ones that they air in the beginning of the show.

Not sexy. Not sexy at all.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Alek's Sad

Stupid Whiskers ran away. He must have slipped out sometime Friday night and we didn't realize that he was missing until Saturday morning. I still can't believe that he had the guts to move off the front step. Alek insists that we look up and down every street that we drive down. Hopefully that won't keep up for the next 15 years or so. We've been busy thinking up possible scenarios that could be keeping him away. Alek has decided that the police saw Whiskers and saw his natural talents (which Lev and I didn't know that he possessed) and good looks and decided to make him a police cat. Whatever makes him feel better I guess.

I kind of miss the annoying thing. Don't tell anyone that I said that because I'll deny it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Half-a-Year Birthday Lukas!

Little Lukas is 6 months old today. How did that happen?!? He still seems like such a little baby to me. Maybe I just want to keep him that way because god-willing he'll be the last one that we have LOL! But I know that despite my ignoring the obvious my little baby is growing up. I found him wedged between the couches today which were all the way across the room from where I had layed him down about 2 minutes earlier. He was mighty proud of himself. I would have taken a picture but in true form for around this house I can't find the camera. Lev's convinced that I "lost" it on purpose. I know it's here but, hey, if new one was found in it's place I wouldn't be too heartbroken. If you ever watch Jon & Kate Plus Eight, we have the same camera. Kate and I are kindred spirits in our rants about the camera. I will not rant. Today.

Anyway, we are off for Lev's step-dad's 65th birthday celebration weekend where I have finagled a talented photographer that I know to come and take family pictures. We haven't had a family picture since Alek was 4. We've added two more people since then. And Whiskers. Alek reminded me that he counts too since he thinks he's also my baby. Oy. Stupid cat. I will not rant. Today.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weary Wednesday

Does anyone else out there feel like life just doesn't want to cut them a break? Then again, maybe it's just us. Sigh

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Busy Bees

We had a busy weekend. Of course, everything seems much more hectic when everyone is sick. On the positive side, Alek just has the ever lingering cough and now Lev is sick too but the rest of us are feeling quite a bit better. I'm hoping that we don't see another cold around here anytime soon!

Lev finally finished up a big project that he's been working on which is great news for all of us but especially him. It will be nice to have time again.

I spent the day with Carmen hard at work sewing baby slings. She's convinced me that we should add them to our offerings under our This Little Piggy banner. I think we had a productive afternoon. Everything seems to go smoother and faster when we are both working on one of our projects. Now if we could find some craft fairs...

Tomorrow's Monday and I return to work. Last week hardly counted for the actual time that I was there. hopefully this week will go much better. I have some interesting students and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better.

Tonight we had Enchiladas for supper. As Mikah says; "MMMMMM."

Friday, September 12, 2008

I've Been Cooking Again

I don't know about everyone else but we seem to eat the same thing (or some variation of it) way too often. I have definitely been in a cooking funk for the last few months. So, thanks to various weekly emailed menu plans, and the crock pot ladies blog, and allrecipes.com, I've set about to try to shake it up a bit in the kitchen. So far I've had quite a few winners and one big loser.

Here's the big loser. I don't honestly know what made me try this recipe but I was a woman possessed. I HAD to try it. I was so sure that it would be delicious. God, I was so wrong. It should have been a clue that anyone who heard about it looked sick and then asked me if I was pregnant again.

It. Was. Not. Good.

Now here are some of the winners...

This was delicious. So good that I wish I could make some again right now. Lev ate the leftovers and I was mad. But I'm over it. Sort of :)

I didn't use any chicken and I substituted mild italian sausage for chorizo.

This turned out great. Alek picked out the olives and tomatoes though. Mikah ate it all.
I couldn't find any omitted green olives so I didn't add those and we were out of capers so those were also omitted from the recipe. I made a side of orzo to serve with this. The only thing I would do differently is add some chicken stock so that there would be a bit more sauce to eat with noodles.
The other recipe I made was Souvlaki Meatballs. I made this one up. I made pork and beef greek seasoned meatballs and then baked them in a souvlaki sauce. They were eaten in warm flatbread with tzatziki sauce. The recipe turned out just the way I imagined it would and I'm happy that I made lots so we have 2 frozen bags in the freezer.
Edited to say... stupid formatting. It just doesn't want to line up correctly.

Christmas Project Found

I just came up with a great idea for all of the girls on my list for Christmas this year! I'm thinking more of the little girls but some of the girls-at-heart might enjoy this present as well.

Yay! I'm so excited to get started. You know that I loves me a good crafting project.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Oh, Jose..."

I'm missing my little friend Jose tonight.

Is it wrong that there are some days that I would almost kill for a drink?

Is it?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Slipper Mania

It's been awhile since I last posted but sometimes this mother is simply too exhausted. Lev's been working hard the last couple of weeks which left me at home with the kids full time. Let me just say that I don't know how single mothers do it. These kids can drive me bonkers sometimes. I love them, but they are crazy.

Anywho, today my partner in crime, Carmen, and I took our slippers to a local baby sale and we had a very successful day. It was so nice to see the great reaction that the slippers got from customers and future customers. I think it re-energized us business wise and we can't wait to go material shopping again. Well, I can't anyway! Then we can gear up for another couple crazy weekends of cutting and sewing in anticipation of some future craft shows for this Christmas.

On another note, I go back to work on Monday. Yikes! And as usual I'm not nearly as organized around here as I wanted to be before that happened. What else is new.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Mikah had his first pudding last night and he attempted to lick the cup out. I think he likes pudding!

No More Cooking for Me

Well, it looks like I am out of a job. Mikah has decided that he can get himself food now.

He was so proud of his potato snack. He was excited that he had thought to put the raw potato on a plate and bring a fork. Dig in!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kids; gotta love them

Alek has a friend over for a playdate this afternoon. While I am in the kitchen making a snack his friend comes in to help.

Friend: Barb, how old are you?
Me: I'm 32.

Friend looks horrified.

Me: Hmm, does that sound old?
Friend: Yes, it's really old for a young lady like you.

Friend takes the plate of snacks and goes back to the toy room.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fall Into Fun

The Fall Leisure Guide is here! The Fall Leisure Guide is here!!!

Am I the only one who awaits the seasonal Leisure Guides like kids await the Wishbook? I don't look at it the moment it comes either. I let it keep for awhile until I have a nice quiet moment to savour it and dream of the possibilities that it contains. This time when the kids were in bed (and asleep, I checked) I made a cup of Epicure Cocoa and curled up on the couch with the Guide, a pen, a blanket and the cocoa. I read and circled for at least an hour. Then I repeated the process at the kitchen table the next morning substituting cocoa for coffee, just in case I missed something.

This Guide is full of new activities too which is so nice. Last year, thanks to my work schedule, there were no extra activities being enjoyed but I vow to change that this year. The kids need a couple of things to do to keep challenging them and tire them out. And I need some "me time" activities as well, where I can escape for even an hour and re-charge.

So... here are my highlights. It will be interesting to see which ones make the final cut.
  • swimming lessons (Alek and Mikah)
  • Homemade pasta cooking class (it might encourage me to use my pasta machine)
  • Pilates (community association is offering this. I've been dying to try it but balk at paying the price at the pilates studio. Can't go wrong with $40 for 8 weeks)
  • Learn to play Mah Jong (I brought a set back form Hong Kong but haven't been able to find anyone who can teach me.)
  • Art Adventures (to help encourage Alek to draw other things besides Medieval scenes and Star Wars)
  • Pilates on the Ball (I can use all the help I can get)
  • Tae Kwon Do (for Alek. Enough said)

7 Year Old Logic

"Whiskers just gives himself baths all day long. He sure must be bored to keep doing that because he doesn't even DO anything. Too bad that he doesn't like having real baths because he could at least play with toys then."

Good point Alek. Good point.

Lovely Afternoon

Yesterday the boys and I met up with a friend of mine and her golden dog for a walk by the river. It was so nice and now I have a new favorite spot in this beautiful city of ours. The sun was shining and there was just enough breeze to keep the bugs at bay and the sweat from flowing. I finally got to see how the new stroller did off-roading and it handled wonderfully. We tested it on the path, through the wild grass, down rutted trails, up and down steep hills, and through the softest finest white sand that I've seen in years. After all our walking we ended up on a secluded beach that felt like the middle of no where, even though there were cars driving by on the other bank. The kids played, the dog swam, and the baby slept.

It was beautiful; peaceful; memories were made.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lesson Learned by 8:00am

Soap in the mouth will not work as punishment for Mikah when he starts to swear. Turns out that he likes the taste of soap; dishwasher tabs anyway : )

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I Feel...

"Girls, Girls, Girls"

I'm in need of a girls night. I think I deserve it. Heck, we all do!

I'm thinking supper and then a screening of this show...

Who's in? The sooner the better! What about Tuesday night???

Hmm, haven't run this by the hubby yet...


Well, the weekend is over and the cake making is finished and it was a huge success.

I am so happy with the way that it turned out, I guess all of the stress was worth it in the end. Maybe the "rush" explains why I do this to myself...

It was quite an ordeal around here though because it seems that "someone" thinks that we can never have too much on our plates at once. The night that I finished baking the layers Mikah woke up screaming and proceeded to scream until 3:00am, when he woke up Lukas who started crying because he was burning up with a fever! We still don't know just what Mikah's issue was. He wasn't crying really, just lots of high pitched screaming. His specialty.

Thursday was mostly a write-off because Lukas was so sick. He didn't want to eat anything. He looked like the saddest little monkey in the world. Plus, I could not get the fondant that I made to work. It looked so promising each time that I rolled it out, but it stuck to the counter every time. It probably didn't help that I was absolutely exhausted because I had gotten no sleep the night before. Then Lukas woke up every 30-40 minutes Thursday night and so did Alek who had come down with a sore throat. We had cuddles and sleepy time tea at 1:30am. Oh, and Advil. Thank you Advil (from both of us LOL!) I think that I survived because my mother-in-law had called Thursday evening wondering if I could use a helper Friday. YES I COULD!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. The kids were all starting to feel better Friday but with her help I was able to get out of the door at a reasonable time, somewhat sane and with a big bucket of fondant that I bought. Homemade fondant is a big pile of rubbish.

Friday night was long but by about 10:00 Heidi had the bottom layers assembled and filled and the cake was setting in the fridge. I had the top two layers covered in fondant, ready to be decorated the next day. At 7:00 Saturday morning I was at the kitchen table kneading about 8 lbs of fondant. In order to cover the bottom layer which was 14.5" in diameter and 7" high I needed to roll out a piece of fondant that was about 27" wide and 27" high. Then because Heidi and I work so well together she held one end of my homemade 3' rolling pin, I held the other and we rolled the fondant up and draped it over the cake. It worked on the first try! I almost had to sit down with my head between my knees for awhile. I think it was the sickest I had felt since I found out that I was expecting for the third time LOL! I spent the rest of the morning doing the scroll work and it was ready to be taken to the wedding site. The bottom layer weighed about 60 lbs.

The cake was a breeze to set up and it looked fabulous when it was finished. About 6 guests asked me if I had a card while Iwas assembling the cake. It took all of my will power not to shout "Good God No!!!" at them. I think I let them down politely, but at that point I was so dizzy with relief maybe I really did shout "Good God No!!!" That could explain the sudden silence. Hmm...

The Groom, in his posh British accent, said that the cake was "F%$&ing Awesome!"

High praise indeed.

I guess I didn't feel immediate relief that the job was done because hallucinations of the cake imploding kept me tossing and turning for quite some time Saturday night.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I am beyond tired. The last 2 nights I have baked 4 - 14" round cakes for a wedding cake that I'm making for this Saturday. Each round takes 2 batches of batter. I am so exhausted and I swear that I am never doing this again. Plus, I had decided that this time I was going to make my own fondant. So far it's easy but it's just one more thing to do.

Why do I think that I enjoy doing this??? Hmm, maybe because the last time I did one I only had 1 kid and he could fend for himself most of the time. 3 kids (and 2 babies) makes everything so much harder. I told both Lev and my sister to remind me next time I'm asked to make a wedding cake that I am never doing this again. They both laughed. Hmm...

However, now it's late and I'm laying back on the couch polishing off the rest of the magnum of champagne that I used for the cakes.

Love champagne. Love the couch. Love silence. Heck, I even love the cake scraps, which is a good thing I guess.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wrap Video

Well, I've reached a whole new level of embarrassment now.

I made a video.

And posted it on You Tube.

And I did it for my own enjoyment. No, not really. I made an instructional video (with Heather's help) for people to use when they buy my WonderSling. I originally tried writing instructions; with drawings; by me. They were horrible. By the end even I didn't know what I was talking about and I made the carrier. So I thought making a video would be easier, and it was!

I'm pretty proud of how it turned out (despite the lisp that I never knew that I had). I even have special guests making a cameo appearance. Not bad for one take, I think I can even live with the lisp problem for now. Maybe someday we'll re-shoot it lisp free.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mmm Supper

Tonight I tried something new for supper. I cut and marinated some squid tubes and made Grilled Chili Lime Calamari and Sweet Potato Fries. I had never cooked calamari before and it turned out quite good. All the kids licked their plates clean.

It's so nice having children that will try almost any food. In fact, the stranger the food the more Alek seems to like it. His only complaint about the calamari was that it was just tubes and there were no tentacles or mini whole squid.

Mikah likes anything if there's ketchup involved.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Remember Her???

I swear that Mikah models his personality after Shreeky. Not good on so many levels.

Before I Know it

Before I know it Lukas will be 1.

I've been through this child rearing thing a couple of times already but I'm still amazed at just how fast the times goes. Wasn't it just yesterday that he was a mewling newborn that everyone peeked at because he was so small? I guess not because tonight he did this for the first time...

I'm so proud and so distraught at the same time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pastry Chef

Alek and I were baking. I've trained him early and he's been my trusty, handy assistant since he was old enough to stand on a chair and lick off the beaters. This time he helped me with raspberry pies. We like to do things with a creative flair around here so he used cookie cutters to help decorate the top of the pie. We couldn't agree on just what the shape was though...

I thought it was a seahorse

but Alek was convinced it was a squirrel

In the end it didn't matter, the pie tasted so good that I don't think anyone paid any attention to what was on the top of it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Think I Fixed It

I think I figured out how to change my settings so that you can leave a comment without having a Google account. I know that's been a limiting factor for most of you readers ;)

Friday, July 25, 2008

And I Thought I Loved My Crockpot

As I was browsing around tonight I came across a link to this woman's blog. She is cooking something in her crockpot everyday - for a year! I couldn't even make it baking something everyday for a week.

I'm always on the hunt for exciting crockpot recipes and her blog looks like a winner. I can't wait to try out some of her recipes, and check out her whole blog.

I'll be honest, she had me at Tapioca Pudding.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thank you Carmen and Calvin!

Alek and I went raspberry raiding tonight and came home with enough for about 3 pies. Hmm, I wonder how many will be left when I get up tomorrow morning???

I promised Alek that we would get busy and get those pies made for lunch. Here's praying that one of my pie crusts will finally work.

More Box Hilarity

Tonight Mikah was stumbling around in a pre-sleep daze and he lost his balance and ended up with his chubby little butt stuck in the empty Huggies wipes box.

Of course being the excellent parents we are we laughed until he worked his way free. If only I would have stopped laughing long enough to get the camera...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Going Ons

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Alek went camping with the g-parents and I took the other two to the cabin for a couple of days. Well, two days turned into 10 days and Lev had to come and drag us all home. It was nice being away; even if the weather was mostly crap. I guess we have to go again now and hope to meet up with nicer temps at some point.

Highlights of the trip;
  • both babies slept for about 11 hours straight each night;
  • Mikah discovered a love of boats;
  • Mikah also discovered a dislike for the taste of sand;
  • Alek grew enough to take his mom on a paddleboat ride (where he paddled);
  • Speedy the snail;
  • thunderstorms;
  • healthy competitions with the brother (I win, I win LOL);
  • fishing for the sake of peace and quiet in a boat.
Today I was busy sewing new baby slings. I found some lovely sage green knit and even had enough to make one for myself. Yay! Hopefully I'll post some pics soon. I'm trying to work up the courage to do an instructional video; it seems simpler in the long run.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Mikah has finally figured out how to give kisses. Big sloppy wet kisses. Ah, bliss.

Today he was so busy trading kisses between his dad, Lukas and I that he got overloaded and started kissing his Leap Frog table. When he looked up he had the same embarrased look that the cat gets when he tries to jump over the gate, misses, and slides back down. It was too cute.

Poor Mikah. Poor Whiskers.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Feeling Boxed In

Once again I wonder why they have toys.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Truth

Well, I've been tempted to lie about all of the baking that I've done, but they say that there is freedom in telling the truth so here it is...

I haven't baked a single thing since the banana muffins.

Hmm, I do feel a little better after admitting that. I've been too busy; it's been too hot; the kids drive me too crazy; the kitchen hasn't been clean enough; there's been too much laundry to do; blah blah, blah.

Eventually I'm just going to have to accept the fact that even when I try my hardest I am not super human. I must be a slow learner because that point is driven home to me every day and I haven't quite gotten it yet. Even after saying it out loud on here, there is still a part of me that doesn't believe it.

If I would just try a little harder I could accomplish so much more. Stupid self thoughts.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday, June 29th - Overheard from the back of the Van

Courtesy of the boy who is guilty of keeping up a steady verbal stream of consciousness...

"Mikah, I just have 3 words for you; BE QUIET! Your talking is driving me CRAZY!"

Too bad that irony is lost on Alek.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Now this has to be one of the coolest sites that I have come across in a long time. I think I just spent a couple of hours cruising around on it checking out the awesome (and crazy) things that people have designed tutorials for. I still have so much to see but I am too tired to see straight at this point.

Go ahead, check it out.

Hmmm, maybe someone will demonstrate how to build a working robot... maybe I should just keep that thought to myself. Yep, I bet that my hubby would appreciate it if I didn't mention that to Alek.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The other day I made 4 dozen banana muffins. Every time I bake I remember how much I enjoy it but it's something that doesn't happen too much around here anymore. Plus, it's so nice to have tasty healthy treats in the freezer that just need to be warmed up and, Voila!, just like fresh. So I've decided that I need to bake something everyday for 7 days. Then my freezer will be stocked with treats for lazy days, company, or to take to the cabin. So, to make myself accountable I will post a picture of what I made and the recipe.

Here's my baking wish list...
  • chocolate chip cookies
  • corn muffins
  • foccacia rounds
  • mini bread loaves
  • rhubarb muffins
  • brownies
  • cherry cream freeze
  • rhubarb piroshly

Banana Sour Cream Bread
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease four 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 3 cups sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and flour. Stir in nuts. Divide into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If making muffins bake for approx 22 minutes.


It has finally occured to me that Alek is done school for the summer. Tomorrow.

What are we going to do then??? As sad as it seems it gave some structure to my day when I had to get the 3 boys up, chase Alek around, get them loaded in the van, drop Alek off at school and then deal with two little ones until it was time to go and pick Alek up. Now the days are stretching before me like a gaping hole. Oh my god.

I want to have a good summer with the kids before I go back to work in September but so far I have no idea how to accomplish that. Maybe it's just freaking me out because I I've forgotten what to do with an 18 month old. Alek is perfectly happy to entertain himself (except for when he's "bored, bored, bored") but Mikah needs constant monitoring and redirection. It's hard to think of engaging and cheap activities to do that would appeal to both an almost-8-year old and an 18 month old. Lukas has no opinion yet : )

I have to get the two boys into swimming lessons but even that is turning out to be a logistical nightmare. I would like to get Alek and Mikah into lessons that happen at the same time, but then what do I do with Lukas? That means that I have to wait until Lev is done work and Mikah will be in cranky-monster mode. Argh.

We should be spending a lot of time in the backyard but it isn't set up to keep Mikah entertained for long. Honestly, I just don't want to chase after him all day long. Been there. Done that. I love to play with him but I really want these two to learn how to play by themselves too. Mommy really appreciates having some down time too. This is why I need to get started on that list; some type of structure helps me stay sane. Sort of.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Just the Kick I Needed

Goods for Girls

Now here is a cause that will motivate me. A few months ago I started thinking about sewing some cloth menstrual pads; and I've been thinking about it ever since. Okay, okay, I even went out and bought all of the material and it's been sitting washed and ready downstairs where I glance at it every time that I do laundry (about 10 times a day). I thought/think the idea of cloth pads is a great one, it's one more way to cut down on the chemicals that we use next to our bodies, help save the planet, and help save money. And I'm all about saving money LOL!

I stumbled across this organization while I was blog stalking tonight and now I have one more reason to actually get those pads sewn! It's funny because this afternoon I decided that I need to make a list of the things that I hope to accomplish this summer and sewing pads was one of the things on the list. Now it's become even more important to do. So far the only motivators have been because I wanted some for myself, and because the idea grosses my mom out LOL. I do think that I'll need a serger though (Becky can I borrow yours : ) to get them sewn quicker.

Yep, I'm sure that it's the lack of serger that's been holding me back...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Anthem

I seem to pick an anthem for each season every year and here's my pick for this summer. I heard it once this morning and it' s been stuck in my head all day. Damn you Kid Rock!

Enjoy and imagine your summer ahead...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Simply Glorious

Lukas slept through the night, 2 nights in a row. These guys express my feelings perfectly.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Reasons...

Well, the picture above is the first time that I have seen all 3 of my boys together and sitting still. I. Just. Love. Them.

Enough said.


I admit it. I'm a blogging virgin. There, I've said it and now I can move on and attempt to embrace this obsession. I've been a blog stalker for awhile now but have resisted the call myself. Until now.

What made me change my mind you wonder? Well, too many funny things happen around here, too many memories get lost, and I stumble across too many cool things with no way to share them. I'm really excited about this now that I've taken the plunge and set up my own page. Hopefully it will be a funny and inspirational ride...