Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Tonight while trying to wrestle Mikah into pajamas he got very excited and started pointing at something by the basket of clean clothes...

"Mommy. Me. Wear. Ho. Pants"
I'm assuming that he meant his santa pajama pants. As in, "Ho, ho, ho," not "Ho."

Overheard From the Back of the Van

While driving home from Tae Kwon Do last night, Lev and Alek saw a couple of police cars down the block from our house. The cops were arresting 3 teenage hooligans (hehehe, hooligans). As you can imagine; Alek's face was pressed right up against the back window of the car.

Alek (very concerned): "Dad are the cops arresting those kids?"
Lev: "Yes, but they aren't kids, they're teenagers."
Alek: "Oh. Are they going to go to jail? Forever?"
Lev: "They are probably going to jail, but not forever, teenagers don't usually go to jail unless what they did is REALLY serious. They might get out to do community service."
Alek: "Oh. How will they get out?"
Lev: "Well, they will have to explain themselves to a judge and then the judge will decide what happens."
Alek (earnestly): "Boy, I sure hope my friends and I never get arrested. We have a hard enough time explaining ourselves to the principal!"

Way to miss out on the bigger picture Alek. This kid of mine sure does make me laugh!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Music Lovers Rejoice

I am about to share something that will change your world. Prepare to fall even deeper in love with Canadian Homegrown music. Click here and set up your own account 

Feel free to check out my playlist while you are browsing around; hipmammma

Once again, thank you CBC.


Mikah can count. Well, to the number 2 anyway. It goes something like this...

"Mommy, 2 tookie pease."
Translation: "Mommy, 2 cookies please." And he holds out both hands. Kids learn the most important numbers first don't they.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Clean Sweep

Would anyone like to volunteer to come and give my basement the "clean sweep" treatment? Pretty please??? I want my own space down here so badly but just can't seem to find the time to clear out the rest of the junk. The 8 boxes of baby clothes that I have to sell probably aren't helping. 

On a positive note, I did manage to sell the Jumperoo, the Aquarium swing, the Baby Stage and the Walker Wagon this weekend. The living room looks so bare! I'm pretty sure that won't last though. Thanks Kijiji!

I'm With the Band

Overheard this afternoon while Alek had a friend over to play...

"This two man band really isn't working out so well."

I'm still laughing. Poor boy, but it was probably better than a one man band. 


Hmm, I finally found something that can capture Mikah's attention for more than 2 minutes. He just stood dazed in front of the TV watching dancers perform the Samba and the Meringue for about 15 minutes.

Whatever works.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Newest News

What's been going on over at our household you wonder? Well, let me break it down for you...
  • We finally smartened up and put the garbage can up high out of Lukas' reach. He's very disappointed that he has no self-feeder anymore. Hopefully he'll get over it.
  • Alek and Lukas have both been battling bitter colds this week. Our house has been taken over by red-sneezing-hanging-snot-noses. It's lovely.
  • Mikah has started talking in 3 and 4 word sentences. Yay Mikah! Not too long ago we were seriously wondering of the poor kid would ever talk. Some of his words are still a mystery but you can usually get the gist of what he's telling you.
  • Alek passed his latest stripe test in Tae Kwon Do, and he has his belt test this weekend. Hopefully his uniform will be much brighter next week at practice.
  • Lukas is becoming quite the walker. He no longer has his hands up over his head or out to his sides as he careens in a drunkenly manner from one place to the next. He cruises.
  • He also climbs. Onto the couch that is. We're waiting for the first fell-over -the-arm-and- landed-on-my-head scream.
  • We're still looking for a new babysitter for the boys.
  • I'm hoping that we don't get anymore snow. It's almost June for gods sake!
  • I still haven't gotten the basement cleared to begin renovations for my sewing/crafting/hiding space.
  • Mikah pretty much refuses to eat anything at all during meal time now. Unless it's ketchup, and only if he can lick it off his fingers or slurp it up a straw. Warm ketchup makes me gag. Thank goodness for everyone that I'm not pregnant.
  • I lost my camera cord again so I can't upload any of the new pictures that I've taken. Hopefully I'll be able to track it down this weekend.
  • Mikah really likes to say "ha ha," just like the annoying bully from the Simpsons. Just another reason why I hate that show, and Alek watching it. Thanks Alek.
  • The screen printing project worked out beautifully. It's one more thing that I could spend much of my non-existent free time doing.
  • One more month and schools over for the year. Wow, it went by quickly! I can't believe that I'll have a kid in Grade 3. I remember how big my grade 3 class seemed; I couldn't imagine them cuddling with their mom.
  • Now I'm rambling.

Happy Tape

This is my newest discovery... Happy Tape. Honestly, what more do you need to know other than what the pictures say. Colored and patterned masking tape. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

I'll take one of each please.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sleep Baby Sleep

I have moved Lukas down to his crib tonight. Please cross your fingers that he manages to sleep all night long. I'm hoping that he'll enjoy his more spacious accommodations. Up until now he was sleeping in his playpen in our room. We're still struggling with getting both boys to go to sleep at night in the same room. I imagine this will remain a problem for quite some time; years and years most likely.

Cross everything and wish me luck!

Tonight's After Work Phone Call

Lev always phones home before he leaves work for the day. He's always wondering if there is anything that we need, or what should we have for supper, or just to say that he'll see us soon. I really appreciate these phone calls and his thoughtfulness. Even though my tone some days might imply otherwise. To be fair though, there is usually quite a bit of background screaming, crying, loud talking going on. I'm pretty sure that he knows by the din in the background that my tone isn't directed at him. Here's his funny call from tonight (sorry, but it's a segue, so bare with me)...

~ring, ring~
me: Hi!
Lev: I'm going to be working a bit late tonight. (note that his phone call comes about an hour after he should have been finished work.)
me: Uh, ok. How much longer do you think you'll have to be there? Is there a problem?
Lev: Hopefully not much longer. I'm trying to deal with tech support in Hawaii. Is there anything we need? Should I stop for anything?
Me: No. Just come home when you're done.
Lev: (sounds slightly worried) Um, ok. Is everything alright? What should we have for supper?
Me: Don't worry, supper is almost done.
Lev: What is it?
Me: It's something that I've never made before. It should be good.
Lev: (sounding very worried) Is it the clam thing?
Me: (laughing, because I knew that wouldn't be a hit with him) No! I wouldn't do that too you. It's something with ground beef.
Lev: (Still sounding worried) We had ground beef?
Me: Yes, I found it in the back of the freezer. And yes, it's beef, not moose. (He hates wild meat more than he hates clams.)
Lev: (sounding much relived) Ok. I'll call you when I'm done.

And now, wait for it... the point of my story... the something new that I made for supper. I've been trying really hard to use up things that we already have in the house. We spend WAY too much money on groceries, and make daily trips to the grocery store. And, yes, I know that's only Wednesday, but it's a work in progress.

Here's what I made; compliments of the Kraft website, and my Epicure cupboard. It was really tasty, and when I asked Alek if I should make it again he said, "Yes, and yes." High praise indeed.

Biscuit-Topped Tomato Beef Bake
1 lb. (500 g) lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onions (1 medium)
1 can (10 oz/284 mL) condensed tomato soup
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup KRAFT 4 CHEESE ITALIANO Shredded Cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions (2 medium)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose baking mix

1 tbsp of worcesterchire sauce

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Brown meat in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Return meat to skillet. Add onions; cook and stir 5 min. Stir in soup; cook 3 min. or until heated through. Spoon into 2-L baking dish.
BEAT egg and milk in medium bowl with wire whisk. Add cheese and onions; mix well. Add baking mix; stir just until moistened. Drop by spoonfuls over meat mixture.
BAKE 35 min. or until biscuits are golden brown and cooked through.

~Here's where I deviated from the recipe:
- I used a homemade biscuit recipe;
- I seasoned the beef with Epicure Beef seasoning and toasted onions;
- I added about 1.5 Tbsp of Epicure Herb and Garlic Dip Mix to the biscuit dough
- Next time this would taste even better with pulled beef or pork under the biscuit topping; not as quick-and-easy, but better than ground beef (IMO)

Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup buttermilk

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cheese and toss. Stir in buttermilk just until moistened.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times. Pat or roll to 1 in. thickness; cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. biscuit cutter. Place 1 in. apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

~ I didn't have buttermilk so I just used regular

~ I didn't add cayene, but I did add 1.5 Tbsp of Garlic & Herb Dip mix (Epicure)

Spaghetti with Creamy Clam Sauce

I just might make this for supper. Alek loves clams and Mikah loves oysters, so he should like this too. Plus, I have 2 cans of clams sitting in the pantry just waiting to be used. I'm really trying to use up some of the food that we have on hand instead of running to the store every 2 days.

Spaghetti with Creamy Clam Sauce
~Recipe by:

8 ounces dried
spaghetti or linguine or 1 pound fresh linguine or other ribbon pasta Sauce
For Sauce:
2 6-1/2 ounce cans minced
half and half, light cream, or milk
1/2 cup chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons
margarine or butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan or pasta pot bring 3 quarts water to boiling. Add pasta. Reduce heat slightly. Boil, uncovered, for 8-12 minutes for dried pasta or 1 1/2-2 minutes for fresh, or till al dente, stirring occasionally. (Or, cook according to package directions.) Immediately drain.
FOR SAUCE: Meanwhile, drain clams, reserving liquid. Add enough half-and-half, light cream, or milk to the reserved liquid to make 1 and 3/4 cups.
In a medium saucepan cook the onion and garlic in hot margarine or butter for about 5 minutes, or till onion is tender but not brown. Stir in the flour, basil or oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the cream mixture all at once. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir in the parsley, wine, and clams. Heat through.
Serve sauce over hot pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

~ I think Lemon is missing though, so I would add a bit of lemon juice.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Prayer to Kijiji

Oh Kijiji, please help me sell the boxes of baby clothes, bathtubs, swing, jumpers, stroller, carseat, kite, walkers, toys and misc other stuff. Please send people with lots of money to buy them quickly, and get this stuff out of my house. If you help me in this Kijiji, I will never ask you for anything ever again. 
Well, until next time. 

Sweet Boy

I have sweetest son. This morning, as I was hobbling around the house trying to get everyone ready, Alek told me that I should just stay home and he could go to work in my place. He told me that I should just stay at home and take it easy, and he would "take over my classes."

I wonder how my students would have felt about that??? A little 8 year old version of me.

Silk Screening

I've been dying to do some silk screening. I have some great ideas but couldn't for the life of me figure out how to easily and cheaply replicate the process that I used in University. Then I found this tutorial. Amazing! Cheap, easy, and no chemicals involved. Ah, the opportunities are endless.

Thank you Kristy for the awesome tutorial. Oh, the things that I'll ink...

Dry Fried Cabbage

OMG I must try this! It looks so good. I love cabbage, and am always looking for ways to enjoy it that doesn't involve the arduous process of making cabbage rolls, or eating it an a cabbage salad. Plus, I love anything that is carmelized. I'm so happy that I stumbled across the Sustainable Suppers Website! One more awesome website to check on a constant basis.
Dry Fried Cabbage
~Sustainable Suppers~
Enter olive oil, an application of dry heat, and a beautiful little thing called caramelization. The recipe couldn’t be more simple: preheat your oven to 375-400 F. Shred your cabbage. (I shredded a green one that came in our farm share a few weeks ago.) Spread the cabbage on a baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Salt it. Oil it. Roast it. BrownitEatitLoveitLoveit.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope that all the mommies out there had a wonderful Mother's Day. I sure did! Lev, Lukas and I went out for breakfast with Lev's grandma, his aunt and his cousin. It was so nice catching up with them. Then we came back home and Lev did most of the cleaning around the house. Which was so nice! I wiped out yesterday and scraped the skin off one knee and totally buggered the other ankle. So I'm hopping along and he's been taking excellent care of me.

His mom and step-dad had taken Alek and Mikah for the weekend and they brought them back this afternoon in time for a few drinks in the backyard and a chicken and ribs BBQ. I outdid myself! Alek came home with a beautiful Mother's Day cake that he and his grandma baked for dessert.

Plus, they brought the boys home tired, so everyone went to bed early and easily. Ahh, happy Mother's Day to me!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I'm a Raccoon Mom

Finally, some validation that I can't be the only mom who sacrifices sleep for precious "me time." I came across this article from the Globe and Mail that talks about Raccoon Moms. I'm just going to paste the article because I know that I'll want to refer to it again.

Dawn of the raccoon moms
Desperate for private time, bleary-eyed mothers are forgoing sleep to work, shop and instant-message in nocturnal peace and quiet

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
February 24, 2009 at 9:35 AM EDT
VANCOUVER — Kimberley Da Silva is all too familiar with the mind-numbing, eyeball-searing, headache-inducing tortures of chronic sleep deprivation. She has a daughter, aged 3, and a seven-month-old son who is nowhere close to sleeping through the night. For Ms. Da Silva, however, the rude awakening of motherhood was not the diaper changes at midnight or the 2 a.m. feedings, she says. It was the utter lack of alone time.
So, instead of following the usual advice - "sleep when the baby sleeps" - Ms. Da Silva puts her kids to bed at about 7 p.m. and then stays up until the wee hours.
Basking in her interruption-free zone, the 31-year-old Vancouver mother watches TV until midnight or studies for her licensing exams as a clinical psychologist. Sometimes she cleans the house. Other nights, she lays out her scrap-booking supplies, knowing they won't be grabbed by tiny hands.
Ms. Da Silva says she gets by on about five hours of shut-eye in a 24-hour period - a broken five hours at that. At times she's "really exhausted," she says, but her nightly chunk of free time is "precious and worth missing sleep for." Without it, she adds, "I just feel ripped off."
For women who spent years travelling, studying or building careers before having kids, the relentless child-minding and domestic chores of motherhood can come as a shock. After hours of doing laundry, wiping grimy hands and whipping up purées, some mothers are so desperate for "me" time that they become nocturnal. They turn into raccoon moms who rob themselves of sleep so they can write in their journals, update their Facebook profiles or do a little contract work sans kids.
Some are secretive about their active night lives, fearing the judgment of the sleep-
hygiene brigade. But most insist that moonlighting as free agents is the only way to revive a part of their pre-mom selves.
Technology makes staying up more tempting than ever. While their husbands snooze, these women shop online, band together on parenting websites - such as the Nocturnal Mamas forum at - and instant-mess- age each other.
Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit, 40, started burning the candle at both ends about a year and a half ago, when she founded her Vancouver-based e-newsletter,
Her daughters, aged 3 and 5, are up at the crack of dawn, but Ms. Tempelman-Kluit says she rarely hits the sack before midnight. She's too busy Twittering, writing for her website and replying to e-mails from clients and friends. "A lot of mom entrepreneurs are online at night doing the same thing," she says.
Ms. Tempelman-Kluit says she gets a second wind in the evenings, even though she doesn't nap. But she pays for her increased productivity with "extreme fatigue" and a toll on her marriage, she says. "It's hard on the relationship because I'm at my computer - I'm not hanging out with my husband."
Lisa Parsons, a 35-year-old mother in Edmonton, is so nocturnal that she practically hibernates for half of the day.
She stays up as late as 5 a.m. to putter around or watch old X-Files episodes, and she seldom gets out of bed before noon. Her children, aged 3 and 7, are natural night owls as well, she says; they usually slumber from 10:30 p.m. until late morning. Her kids are home-schooled, so their sleep habits don't conflict with scholastic routines.
But they do miss out on some activities because the family rarely leaves the house before mid-afternoon. "By the time we get ready and out the door, everything's starting to shut down for the day," Ms. Parsons says.
Most nocturnal moms say they do everything possible to ensure their kids get enough sleep. But they may fail to recognize the signs of sleep deprivation in themselves, says Nicky Cohen, a clinical psychologist in Toronto who counsels families on sleep issues. Symptoms include difficulty concentrating, poor memory, forgetfulness, anxiety and irritability.
Fragmented sleep is not good-quality sleep, she adds, and mothers with erratic sleep patterns may not be parenting at their best level.
"I'm a little skeptical that these sorts of sleeping patterns are sustainable," Dr. Cohen says.
Instead of missing sleep, mothers who need a break could ask a relative or trusted friend to help with the kids, or do child-care swaps with other parents, she says.
But nocturnal mothers say they need alone time more than once in a blue moon.
And some say they're well rested, even though they burn the midnight oil every night.
Julie Benoit, a 33-year-old mother of three, says that in a typical 24-hour period she gets two blocks of sleep that add up to between six and 10 hours.
Most nights, she's awake between 11 p.m. and 3 or 4 a.m. It's her time to shop at 24-hour grocery stores or call the friends she left four time zones away when she and her family moved to Bellevue, Wash., from Halifax.
Ms. Benoit says she has always been a night owl, and she sees few downsides to this.
"I get the most out of my sleeping and my waking hours," she says. But, she adds, "The longer I do it, I see it being harder and harder to stop."

Making Moss

The back portion of my yard is a wasteland. The neighbor has a huge tree back there and, while it provides wonderful shelter for us around the fire pit on rainy nights, nothing grows. The ground is dirt. Leaves and dirt; dirt and leaves. I really want to make the whole yard kid accessible and kid friendly but haven't quite been able to figure out what to do. One of my brilliant plans involved making a nice moss bed out of that portion of the yard. How much fun would that be? A soft, spongy fairyland on which the kids can play. And it would be hard for them to ruin. Unlike grass. But I had no idea how to make moss grow back there. Then today I found this on my Internet travels.

Growing Moss
To start moss, take whatever you might be able to find around your yard and remove as much dirt as possible. Put the moss in a blender, add ½ teaspoon sugar and a can of buttermilk or cheap beer, blend until the moss breaks down, then spread the soupy mixture with a clean paintbrush over the patio blocks.

Now, between you and me, I don't know if I will actually tackle this strange idea of mine but, at least I now know how it can be done.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Etsy Find

I stumbled across these fantastic cards today on Etsy. Frigging hilarious! Thanks to The Spotted Sparrow for the great cards. Check them out.

Pattern Solution

I've been busy organizing my new craft space (in my mind at least), and have been having trouble figuring out how/where to organize all of my sewing patterns and ideas. I'm forever downloading awesome ideas to use/make someday and then they get filed haphazardly in a box.
Do I remember where I've put them? No. Do I remember what I have? No. Do all of the pages get lost? Yes. This is a very annoying problem.

I had been thinking that a filing system would be my only option. But, I wasn't thrilled about that. It doesn't seem to work so well in the classroom for all of my teaching supplies; I still never know what I have tucked away in there. I've often thought about cataloguing everything, but honestly, I would rather die. Hmm, so then I thought about my recipe box. Maybe I could do something like that where all of my patterns and ideas weren't tucked away. This might make them seem more accessible. But how, and where would I store all of this stuff? How would it stay organized? Would each packet be clipped together? Then the clips would become tangled, and I wouldn't want to look for anything. Maybe not.

But then, ah ha! Binders. Yes, binders would work marvelously! The binders could be organized by subject; kids, sewing, outlines, paper crafts, decorating crafts, etc. Each project could be placed in the binder in a plastic sleeve (where the top zips closed). It would be so easy to flip through. Like looking in a custom magazine that only showcases projects that I would want to do! Yep, I'm a genius.

All this thought and the room hasn't even been cleaned out yet. That is this weekends project. And I still have to figure out what I'm going to use for tables. I haven't found the perfect ones yet. But, I have hope.

Uh oh!

We have a speed walker. It's only a matter of time before Lukas will be able to run to the garbage to get himself a snack.

I think it's safe to say that we officially have trouble x 3 now.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Amy Butler

A few weeks ago Lev and I took a much needed night off. My brother kindly watched the kiddos and we went out for supper and then meandered our way around the city. Eventually we ended up at the married-for-a-long-time-with-kids destination, Walmart. Don't cringe, you've been there too.

It was quite nice, we were able to glide carefree from one aisle to the next without the mandatory shouts and demands of, "when are we going to look at the toys," "me want," and "I'm hungry, can I get a snack." Although, Lev and I were both guilty of peppering the conversation with those comments more than once. We were just being funny though.
It was on this night that I spied it. In the craft aisle (where my cart generally never makes it). Amy Butler paper packs. Ah, bliss. I have a strange love affair with Amy Butler. I love her fabrics (none of which I have), and her patterns (also, none of which I have). To be fair though, if our local fabric store carried any Amy Butler fabrics I would own some. I haven't embraced buying fabric online yet and probably won't for some time yet. I need to feel the fabric.
However, the things that I could do with a couple of her paper packs! It's funny, because I've recently found so many paper craft projects that I've been dying to try.

I'm Back

... with a new Blog design!

I've been wanting to attempt a revamp for quite some time and I finally tackled the project. Here's what I learned...
  • there are so many talented people out there
  • changing the style was super easy
  • I spent way too much time admiring everyone's work (as usual)
  • I just might update it more often

A big thank you goes out to Bling on the Blog for the background that I eventually chose.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I LOVE Ellen

Today is Ellen's 1000 show, and I'm loving all of the recaps. Here's my favorite...

No matter how bitchy I am, Ellen can pull me out of it every time. I love you Ellen.