Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Funny Kid

March came and March went. Can't believe how fast the month blew by. In just one month, Little One has learned to climb up and down stairs (on her own!), and climb up onto furniture (errrmm...and bookcases!!). She has also learned how to do the gestures for "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". By far, the BIGGEST thing that's happened this month is...

Little One has started WALKING!

It's been a busy month and I am so glad that I've been able to be here with Little One as she learns all these exciting new things.

It really does feel like if I so much as blinked once, I'd miss out on something exciting that has happened in her life. It is amazing how quickly things change and how fast babies develop and learn new things!
Monday, March 29, 2010

So, I Married a Beef Farmer

Being married to a beef farmer, you'd think I'd have beef on the menu every day, right?


Though we have a huge freezer full of roasts, steaks, hamburger, and other cuts of meat, we don't eat beef as often as one would think beef farmers do. Yes, Hubby is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but he married someone who isn't so much into meat and carbs. I do make Shepperd's Pie, Spaghetti with meat sauce, roasts, beef and broccoli, and many other beef dishes, but we only eat beef maybe twice a week. We eat fish and chicken, and we also eat dishes that contain no meat at all.

What does a person who was vegetarian for seven years feed her beef farmer husband? Last night, we had this:
Miso soup, couscous, green beans and tofu. I did a stir fry with the green beans, tofu, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Little One and I devoured the meal. Hubby enjoyed it...even if his three least favourite foods are green beans, tofu and couscous! HA! I totally forgot! I was just craving this dish!
Layered dip and corn tortillas. I was craving avocado, so I had to make some guacamole. I made this for my friend, Maddy's Mom a few weeks ago and for some reason, that's all I've been wanting to eat! GUACAMOLE!!!

Lunch on the go:
-Cucumber salad
-Whole wheat pasta with diced tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, spices and fresh herbs
-Fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, and kiwi)
-Bottle of H20

One of Hubby's and Little One's favourites...So glad Hubby is open-minded when it comes to trying dishes that are new to him. He's no longer just a meat and potatoes or chicken, corn, peas and mashed potatoes guy. Now, he's pretty daring and will try pretty much everything! :)
The kid just loves seaweed!!!So far, there isn't anything Little One doesn't like eating. Oh, she doesn't like the texture of Quinoa.
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jackie's Jumble of Amazing Creations

My lovely friend, Jackie made this for me:Little One's got some pretty busy hands and is constantly going for my laptop. I needed something to protect my laptop from scratches...and little fingerprints. The MacBook fits perfectly inside the laptop case!Isn't it fab? Isn't she fab? Go on over to her spot in the blogosphere and check out all of her AMAZING work!The above photos are of Jackie's laptop bag. Isn't it stunning?

Jackie is a quilt artist extraordinaire. She's so creative and she is super talented. I only wish I had even a third of the talent she has! Oh! She's also got a column in Canada's quilting magazine! Congrats, Jackie! C'mon! Head on over to her blog and give her some bloggy luv!
Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Morning After...

This is what Little One looked like the morning after her very bad not so good TERRIBLE day!

Kids really are resilient, aren't they? :)
Friday, March 26, 2010

Mommyhood for Dummies

Poor Little One was having a not so good very bad TERRIBLE day.
Passed out on the floor. Not a common practice for Little One.

I took Little One to the medical clinic for her 15 month check-up and immunizations. She was pretty good, but after her shots she was listless, limp, dopey, and clingy (and she's not a clingy or cuddly baby).She also vomited all over herself and all over me before we left the doctor's office.Not only did she vomit (for the very first time in her 16 months on this planet! I'm talkin' full on vomiting and not just a little spit up!), but she had diarrhea loose stool the runs!!! It went through her diaper, through her clothes, and all over the floor! It happened so quickly too! Poor kid.

Poor Mommy! Those of you who know me, know how weak a stomach I have. You know I've got the worst gag reflexes ever (even when I'm not pregnant!). Yuck! To think that just the other day I was telling Hubby how lucky I was that I never had to clean up vomit or diarrhea from Little One. HA!


1. Toddler vomit is disgusting.

2) Toddler diarrhea is just as disgusting as adult diarrhea. Enough said.

3) Diapers do absolutely nothing in the way of containing diarrhea and stopping it from escaping and going all over the floor!

4) There are many ways to make "Alphabet Soup". Here is our version:
I washed all the numbers and letters from her play mat and disinfected them.

5) Kids are resilient.
She must be feeling better now. See evidence below.I barricaded the area around my bookcase so Little One wouldn't pull all my books off the shelves. I have no idea how she managed to climb up and over the bins to get to the books! Crazy!
I caught her climbing into her wagon while watching her favourite show (The Doodlebops).Another sign that she's feeling a bit better: She refuses to let us put bunny ears on her.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010


For stuffy, yucky, congested little noses...try this!

I Don't Know What's Worse

The fact that my daughter is listening to Miley Cyrus and dancing...or the fact that she's wearing stripes and polka dots at the same time!

Ah, well! Though I'm the biggest advocate of not mixing patterns in a single outfit, she's still cute enough to pull it off. For now.

**1. My husband left the Country Music Station on. Gahhhh! Did I mention I'm not the biggest fan of country music? 2. We let Little One choose her outfit just for fun. It's neat to see what kind of designs, patterns, colours, and textiles she's drawn to. 3. I had to stop recording the video because Little One walked right into the corner of our dining table and smacked her head. Poor kid. This walking business is fun stuff!**

HydraSense Nasal Aspirator

I used hydraSense on Little One!

You know the drill. Colds, flu, teething, changes in the air when the seasons change = runny noses and congestion.

Little One has been pretty healthy and hasn't had any bad colds so far (knock on wood!). The one thing I've noticed though is that whenever she cuts a new tooth, she gets really congested. Her stuffy nose has been the cause of many sleepless nights (for baby and for Mom and Dad!).

When MomCentral sent me a hydraSense kit chock full of excellent products to relieve nasal congestion in infants and young children, I couldn't have been happier!
Since children younger than two years of age don't know how to blow their noses on their own, they sometimes need a little help. The old school nasal suction just scares me. It always seemed like I'd suck Little One's brains out of her head with that thing. She didn't like it either.

After posting about hydraSense, I received a few messages via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and the blog. Many people have asked if I have actually tried the products on my daughter. I didn't try the hydraSense Nasal Aspirator today, because Little One wasn't too stuffy. She just had a runny nose, so I used the hydraSense Easydose this time.
Little One didn't mind me using the product on her. With the old school suction, she always squirmed, fought and cried. The Easydose was so simple to use. Just snap off the plastic tamper-proof top and put one or two drops of the Easydose solution into each nostril. Little One didn't fight or fuss as I applied the drops.

I feel good about the product. "Made with isotonic 100% natural-source seawater, hydraSense® Easydose® helps to maintain clear breathing."

I'm looking forward to trying out the rest of the products that were sent to me.

Join the Dolphins Club today and get your FREE Welcome Kit. The Welcome Kit includes a lovable dolphin bath glove as well as instant rebates on a whole family of Schering-Plough products you know and trust-a value of over $50-absolutely FREE!
Click here by April 10, 2010 so you can sign up for the Dolphins Club and download their exclusive coupon. Once logged back into yourccount, you can enter the code MC2010 under the online coupons tab, in order to get an $8 off coupon to be used towards the purchase of the hydraSense® Nasal Aspirator (Coupon itself expires December 31, 2010).
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Okay, so I'm a bit fickle!

First, I was hooked on Big Love.

My friend, T got me obsessed with the show when she lent me Season 1 on DVD while I was on hospital bed rest while pregnant with Little One. I'm still addicted to Big Love. Looking forward to next season!

Then I was addicted to True Blood.
Our summer student (the one who stayed with us last summer) and Canine Cologne introduced me to the show. Can't get enough!!

Now, I can't get enough of Spartacus!

Yes, the scenes are pretty much soft porn racy and the stories and details are probably not the most historically accurate. This said, it's still a great show! I am in love with Andy Whitfield! I am not kidding! IN LOVE!!!

If you're offended by nudity (there's lots of it in each episode), violence (most of the scenes are pretty gory!), and foul language (I don't think I've heard that much swearing on a TV show before!), then perhaps Spartacus is not for you.

If you don't mind all of the above, then enjoy! There's lots of eye candy.

Living on the farm, we don't have much time to watch TV. For this reason, I make sure that the few shows I do watch are worth it. Andy Whitfield is sooooo worth it! ;)
Friday, March 19, 2010

Baby Crack

When Maddy's Mom and I take Maddy and Little One swimming, we always pack lots of snacks for the girls. Maddy's Mom has got to be the most organized Mommy I have ever met. She's like a Girls Scout. She's always ready for whatever calamity, natural disaster, or toddler emergency that may come our way. Seriously. She amazes me.

For those of you who are familiar with this little island we live on, you will know that the closest big town is Stinkynola and it's about an hour and fifteen minutes away from where we live. Hubby and his sisters nicknamed the town Stinkynola because it smells like rotten eggs. Anyway...

Maddy's Mom packed these amazing little yogurt melts for the girls. She's a genius!
You know how I don't like to give Little One "junk"? I make 98% of our food from scratch. She doesn't get to eat many foods with sugar. Most of our food is healthy and homegrown. These yogurt melts are freeze dried yogurt! They melt pretty much as soon as the kids pop them into their mouths, they're super delicious (Maddy's Mommy and I tried them!) AND they don't mess up the van like yogurt does. Our toddler girls can just feed themselves (of course, with our supervision!).

The kicker is that Gerber Yogurt Melts are ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE U.S.A.!!! Bahhhhh!! Of course! Go figure!

Maddy's Mommy had a friend bring back a few packages of yogurt melts for Maddy. Seriously, they're like crack...but for babies! *Please don't take that the wrong way. It's just an expression.* The yogurt melts are so addictive that Little One and Maddy can't get enough! Little One loves food in general and she absolutely LOVES yogurt and cheese. You can only imagine how happy she is when she gets her little hands on those yogurt melts!

Since we can't get them here in Canada (thanks, Gerber!), my wonderful friend (Canine Cologne) sent a whole whack load of yogurt melts over to us! She sent several packages in different flavours (peach, strawberry, and mixed berries). Thank you, Canine!!! You da best!
I've asked her if she could bring more when she and her family come to visit us on the Island in the summer! Until then, I'm rationing them. Anyway, Little One only gets them once in a while as a treat.

Wow. Why does it feel like I've got my own "baby crack" dealer?

Since I'll be away from the blog for a few days, here are some funnies of Little One.

Here's Little One being silly. What a goofy kid! :)

Little One just had to bang on the windows and scream with excitement when she saw the deer in our field!

As soon as she lost interest in Bambi and Bambi's Mom, Little One decided to play her piano and dance up a storm. Fisher Price piano? $0. Endless hours of fun and laughter (plus a few videos of Little One being her silly little self)? Priceless.
The piano was a recent yard sale find. The price tag read $8, but it was given to us for free. Mint condition and batteries included. Sweet!
Sunday, March 14, 2010

Baby's First Cold & "hydraSense"

For many parents, Baby's "firsts" are a time of excitement and wonder. There's nothing as thrilling as Baby's first smile, first steps, and first words. Yes, Baby's "firsts" are exciting for both Baby and parents. Except when it's Baby's first cold!

As a Mom of a preemie, I have to admit that I was extremely paranoid about Little One catching her first cold. I had hand sanitizer at our front door, in her room, in the living room...and I made friends and family wash their hands before they handled her. Although I am well aware that babies need to be exposed to certain germs, Little One was born at 28 weeks gestation and spent the first two and a half months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital. Her immune system was not as strong as most babies who were born at term.

When we came home from the hospital, it happened to be flu and RSV season. Great! Then there was the H1N1 outbreak. I made sure I didn't bring her to places that were overly crowded during this time and I exclusively nursed her so that she could get all the passive antibodies possible.

Of course, despite my best efforts, she did eventually get her first cold. At twelve months of age (nine months corrected age), Little One ended up with a stuffy nose and fever. The congestion was so bad that she couldn't sleep at night. Nothing would comfort her because she couldn't breathe. There's nothing as bad as that helpless feeling. As parents, we try to do our best to take care of our kids, protect them, care for them, and love them. This time, nothing worked.

We put Vicks in the humidifier at night and it seemed to sort of work. Little One would just get congested again. For about a week, no one in our house had much sleep. I tried putting a bit of saline solution (just salt in warm water) on a Q-tip and swabbed the inside of her nostrils. She was not impressed...and it didn't really work all that well. I tried running a hot shower and hanging out in the bathroom with her so the steam could clear her congestion. It worked, but only temporarily.

It was pretty much excessive crying (which was/is very unusual for Little One) and next to no sleep. It was both heartbreaking and frustrating at the same time.

I only wish I had known about the hydraSense® Nasal Aspirator back then!

The hydraSense® Nasal Aspirator is designed to help clear mucus, facilitate breathing, eating and sleeping. It was designed by pediatricians to help relieve nasal congestion quickly and effectively. It's also safe and gentle. Perfect, since babies can't blow their nose on their own.

To view a demonstration on how to use the hydraSense® Nasal Aspirator, click here. Check out the company's website here and sign up for the Dolphin Club to download your exclusive coupon for $8 off your own hydraSense® Nasal Aspirator. The coupon code is MC2010. The code expires April 10, 2010 but the coupon itself is good until end of December once you've printed it out.

I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central and received a Mom Central gift pack to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Too Cool To Not Check Out!

Many of y0u know that one of our nieces has Celiac disease. Whenever she's at our house, I like to make sure that we have food that she can eat. I need to keep in mind that we must have a few dishes that do not contain gluten.

Since I love to cook, I've scoured the internet for gluten free recipes. A few years ago, I came across Gluten Free Mom's blog. It is by far the best gluten free recipes blog I have found. Not only are her recipes delicious, but she has been generous enough to have a Le Creuset Giveaway on her blog too! The stoneware is perfect for the oven, microwave, and broiler. It's also refrigerator and freezer safe. It's a "must have" in the kitchen if you love to cook!

Ohhhh! How I'd love to win this prize!
It's even in my FAVOURITE colour!!!

Oh! Not only is Gluten Free Mom kind enough to offer this giveaway to her readers, but she also includes a fabulous Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese recipe.
Friday, March 12, 2010

Writer's Block

After editing a few essays and doing odd jobs here and there, I'm all of a sudden at a loss for words. That doesn't happen very often!

Instead of writing a post today, I leave you with this...
Thursday, March 11, 2010


The time we spend with our children in their early years is so very precious. I love watching Little One play with her toys and look at her books. I love listening to her tiny, angelic voice as she talks to her stuffed animals. I even love listening to her screech with excitement and yell at the cats and dog.

I never thought I would feel this way before.

It feels as though she's growing right before my eyes and I'm afraid to even blink because I don't want to miss a single minute.

This brings me to the subject of going back to work vs. taking care of my baby. It's been the source of many sleepless nights lately. Though I love ESL, having students and being in the class room all day would take away time spent with my daughter. Even if I subbed every now and then, the money I make would be enough to cover gas for my commutes and a babysitter. If I continued the ESL program we have here, that would mean we'd have students with us 24-7. There would be no "down time". I suppose that we could ask my parents and Hubby's mom to babysit. I'm sure they'd love to take care of Little One, since she is such an easy baby to take care of! We would compensate them too.

I just can't help but think that this time I have with Little One right now is just such a brief time in her life. It's something that we can never take back. I want to be there to share her firsts. I don't want to have someone else tell me that she used the potty on her own for the first time or she learned how to use a fork properly.
I know that millions of moms go through these exact emotions and millions of moms go back to work once their maternity leave is over. It is a very emotional time and for many, a difficult thing to do. I don't intend on giving up teaching or ESL. I actually have a few ESL jobs on the side (freelancing from my computer at home). While a few editing jobs, article writing, and reviews don't seem much, at least they pay for groceries, my vehicle, gas, household things and Little One's items (diapers, wipes, etc).
I've spoken to many people about my dilemma. I've spoken to Hubby, family, friends, and fellow mommies. Spending my days giving my attention to students, spending time preparing lessons plans and getting teaching material together, spending time correcting homework and doing other teaching related things just takes away from the needs of my own daughter.

Every mom is entitled to their own opinions, feelings and decisions regarding work and family. For some, being at work and coming home to their loving children in the afternoon makes them better parents. A happy mommy is a good mommy. Some moms need to be out of the house and some need to have time to themselves away from their kids. The bottom line is, whatever works best for your family is the right decision. There is no wrong decision.

For me, raising my daughter is my priority. We live frugally (most of the time) and we are happy. Little One is a very easy-going, smiley, happy child. I was torn between working outside of the home and taking care of her. I felt guilty for not working out of the home at first. I always knew that I wanted to teach and never once thought I'd want to be at home with my child. Everything changed when I gave birth to my daughter.

Now, I feel lucky that I am able to be with her and do a little freelance work on the side. She really is my priority right now and I'm fortunate that my husband feels the same way I do.

**This post was written a few weeks ago, but was never published because I was still deliberating. Thanks to an article written by a good friend of mine, I decided to share my thoughts and feelings.**
Tuesday, March 09, 2010

An Award for Me? :)

The lovely Christine from "My Life...." just nominated me for this awesome award. Thank you for thinking of me, Christine!The rules are:
1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it in your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself and at least one outrageous truth.
5. Nominate 7 "creative writers" that might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

Here we go! Time for my six lies and one truth! Ha! I love this game! I use this in my ESL classes when I teach students how to use the different "Past Tenses".

* I once broke into a private school's swimming pool in Japan with friends of mine and when we got caught, we made a quick escape by riding our bicycles through town and through the market place at day break. Soaking wet, of course!

* I once ate octopus testicles when I taught overseas. My Japanese students told me it was impolite to not try the local fare.

* While in British Columbia in the summer of '92, I went bungee jumping at the Bungee Zone.

* While at Dolphin Beach in Japan, my friends and I went jet skiing in the ocean and had to high tail it out of there because there were sharks in the water with us!

* My friends and I once went swimming in the ocean during typhoon season.

* In my younger days, I made a habit of hitchhiking.

* When I was a teenager, my friend and I would go skiing every weekend. We pretended we didn't know how to ski just so we could be up close and personal with these two hot ski instructors.

Now, it's up to you to find out which one of these is the TRUTH! :)

I am nominating the following Creative Bloggers:
J @ Thinking About...
Veronica @ Sleepless Nights
Jackie @ Jackie's Jumble of Life
BeachMama @ Life is Good...At the Beach
Sandy @ Momisodes
Heidi @ The Year of Heidi
Maria @ Notes from a Brown House
Monday, March 08, 2010

Conversations With Moms: Part Deux

Conversation between C and Maddy's Mommy en route to Stinkynola for swimming with our toddler girls (who are asleep in their car seats).

Maddy's Mommy: So, Maddy's been sucking her fingers lately. Not sucking her thumb or anything, but sucking her fingers.

Me: Little One's been trying to take off her diaper lately. It's so annoying! She keeps pulling it off and lately, she's been obsessed with touching her hooha! Oh! Maddy's sucking her fingers? Little One's been doing the same thing! Is Maddy teething? Does she have all her teeth already?

MM: Hmm...How many teeth do babies have? How many teeth do we have?

Me: Twenty...something? Oh, wait! That's how many letters there are in the alphabet!

(uproarious laughter ensues)

MM: Hahaha! Twenty! That sounds like an awful lot of teeth to have!

Me: Yeah, I thought it was twenty something though. Their teeth are smaller than ours.

MM: True, but their mouths are also smaller than ours.

Me: True.

MM: Wait. Let me count mine. Two molars on each side. Six, seven, eight...

**Little One will probably have my head on a platter if she happens to read this post when she's a teenager. For the record, Maddy's Mom is pregnant and therefore has a reason for having Mommy Brain. I, on the other hand, have no excuses. Oh, and I Googled "How Many Teeth Do Babies Have?" and came up with an answer of 20 teeth.**
Sunday, March 07, 2010

It's A Very Sad Day...

It appears that Little One, just short of sixteen months of age, has decided that it is time to self-wean. I never ever thought this moment would be so emotional...but it is.

It seems that this isn't really something many moms talk about. I haven't spoken about this with a lot of my mommy friends. The feelings are real though. I know I should be excited about all of Little One's newest milestones and that she is growing and developing so nicely. I am happy that she's learning and growing. I really am! The difficult thing is that while she's growing into her own person, she's also leaving behind the "baby" that she was.

My little girl is growing up and I have to admit that it is really, really hard for me. When I tried to nurse her this morning, she pushed me away, turned her head, and grunted in protest. That has got to be one of the saddest moments I've ever experienced.

There was a time when all she wanted was her Mama. She'd nurse, and nurse, and nurse...and was so very happy. We shared lots of tender moments. It was just Little One and her Mama. We shared some quiet bonding time together...and now all she wants is her big girl's sippy cup! This must be what rejection feels like.

I keep telling myself that it is a huge accomplishment to have breastfed her so long. Sixteen months is pretty good. Initially, I had planned on nursing her until she was twelve months old. I later decided that I'd nurse her until she self-weaned. I just didn't expect that day to come so soon.

Hard to believe she went from this...

to this! Why can't my little girl stay a baby for a bit longer?
Saturday, March 06, 2010

Seriously...Mommy Needs a New Hobby!!!

Just received these from the wonderful photographers at PhotoCaptiva!

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About the Blog Author

City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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