Monday, December 13, 2010

Loving Today....

Today I am loving...

....listening to the boys playing house. " I'll be the dad. What's wrong Son? Cheer up Son? Do you know what that means? It means get happy." W the dad.

....walking with the boys from school in the balmy 0 degrees. Ahhh...this is what winter is all about!

...computing in the dark while the boys play happily downstairs.

...a laugh from the boys while saying a tearful goodbye to my favorite husband. We were saying our good byes I looked behind me to see the kitchen island wrapped in yarn which was still attached to a cowl I am knitting. "Who did it?" W - R! and R says, "Nope! Not me!" It was the little denial artist.

...W telling his daddy that he will write a special letter to Santa to bring Daddy something good since he's going to work

...W telling me I can sleep in his bed by myself to help me feel better.

It's an emotional, heartsy, happy Monday. How was your day?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Time Lapse

Wow. It's been a long time since I've posted. Life is just getting in the way I guess. So prepare yourself....this just may be a long, rambling post....or not.

But give me just a minute. I need to tuck my kiddos in for their afternoon nap and then rant as to how much I hate 5 o'clock mornings and the behaviors it brings.

What's going on with RWB?
- W: loving kinder. Reading a little!!! Keeping me stumped in regards to sleep, hyerpactivity, Red Anger, etc.
- R: funny little man, monkey see monkey do in regards to mimicking his big brother; challenging us in regards to meds as he refuses to take them and can be so completely stubborn, hoping to get a new workup with Neuro soon. We're hating Keppra as I'm sure it's the Keppra that contributes to his stubbornness and completely inconsolable melt downs. We shall see....

B & Me:
- getting ready for Christmas and changes. B is changing jobs which will mean a different kind of work schedule. amazing to experience through the eyes of our 5yr old. W fully believes and is incredibly sweet and inspiring to watch. Want to dazzle your little one's? Get Santa to send them a message! Bup just tells us, "I don't like Santa." Which goes along with...."I don't like God."
W wanted to pray in front of the Christmas tree so the three of us knelt in front of the tree and each said a little prayer. W's was about taking care of Santa and Rudolph. Mine was about taking care of the boys. R's turn...he turned to me, half climbed on my knee with his little folded praying hands and said,
"I don't like God Mommy."

And I...will leave you with that!:)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stumbling Through the Snow

It's no secret that the past week has been a winter wonderland here in our glorious city. Freezing temperatures. Record snowfall. I think its a record. 25 cm in one week and -40 with the windchill. Fairly wintry.

Now, then why is it that our luxury sedan decided to seize a pulley and throw a belt on Tuesday. The real problem with this is... many.
My favorite husband was out of town. Get used to that right? Right! Check!
Cost. It's always costly to fix a vehicle.
I had to get W to and from school and it's bloody cold.
There are no tow trucks available because emergency towing only is available.
"Are you at a safe location?"
"Call back when the Chinook blows in." Well, no one really said that part to me but it was implied!

Finally, finally last night a tow truck arrived. I'm sure the little boys think I hired it just to entertain them. Thrilled they were!

The car is gone and we...
we are stumbling through the snow to and from school. If you happen to see a hounds-tooth frocked lady with two little bundled boys "walking"...being pelted with snowballs (me) and then pushing the children into the snow bank as they giggle there toqued heads off....that's us!

If you see that same trio with the mother yelling or blowing a referees whistle (I kid you NOT) while the blue bundles completely ignore her and play in the snow. That's us too.

They boys are thrilled now that it's not -40, but it drives me bonkers as to how long it takes us to walk to school. Walking in the snow is painful. It's too distracting!

Through all of this I have heaps of gratitude to a couple of friends who drove us around on the coldest days...offered rides...picked W up and delivered him to school....etc, etc. My friends are fabulous! Thank you Ladies!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

ADK - Attention Deficit Knitting

The knitting sticks have been on fire lately.

FIRE I tell ya.

Several scarves in various shades of purples, except one luscious super soft red one. The purples are in honor of Epilepsy month since purple is the signature color of Epilepsy. In my city anyway, it is.
"My collas are blush & bashful, Momma." Have you all not seen Steele Magnolias?

Scarves because they are quick and easy and I can see the fruits of my labor within a day. Don't I sound all professional when comment that I'm just going to whip up a scarf?! Such knitting panache!

Then the yarn stash came to mind. Several one off skeins. Hanks. Balls. Hmmmm....why not knit them all up into scarves and get rid of that mix matched stash? Brilliant!

However, there are two other projects currently on the go. One is a wrap knit in a soothing silk, merino cashmere blend for a sweet high school friend. I've been knitting it since September. Get off the pot already, Mrs M!

Not to forget the wool cardigan for myself. In a variegated yarn. Variegated. Ugh. Oh, how I usually loathe thee. I think variegated yarns are tacky. In a most un-southern way. Maybe due to being inundated with acrylic variegated yarns my whole life. Hello Mother!

What? Now I'm the yarn snob?! Hardly! I barely own more than one set of bamboo needles and have graced high end yarn shops only a handful of times....cause little boys aren't normally welcome there.

Where does the AD of my knitting come in? Not the fact that I have three projects on the go, including a "dark blue hat" requested by 5 yr old W, but also the fact that I have never attempted mittens or socks and vow never to do so. ADK would result in socks & mittens for the amputee community cause heaven knows I would only complete one!

So, what's on your knit sticks these winter days? It's perfect knitting weather. Car breaking down weather too, but that's another post and I digress.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not a Help Meet

A special friend shared a book, that has affected her life, which I read... while sometimes hyperventilating and sometimes taking notes. The main theme of this book is a lesson on being a better wife. Being a helper and friend to your husband.

Last night I was NOT a Help Meet.

It was one of those evenings. I was so, so, SO Grouchy and in a hurry to get groceries after making the most disgusting soup ever from my favorite 7 Secrets cookbook. This soup was so gross that I couldn't in good conscience force the boys to eat it even if I had wanted to. So I threw it away, fed R cereal and W "bugs on a log", myself nothing, and then proceeded to get a can of salmon and some left over rice out for B. He likes that. Seriously. Not every night, but he does like it. Disgusts me.

Annnnnnyway, B arrives home me, the wife, waiting at the door to go grocery shopping with a big bad attitude. I let him know that the rice and salmon are waiting and he needed to put R to bed immediately as Bup was lacking in the nap department.

After stocking up on food, W and I returned home in the cold, cold snowy night. B met us at the door only to advise that life has hit a new low.

Not only does his wife leave him with a can of salmon and some left over rice to eat, but when he starts to "prepare" his meal, he discovers that the rice is actually, leftover porridge and cranberries.

Definitely not a Help Meet to my husband. More like a hindrance!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Remembrance Day

It's hard to appropriately teach young children about Remembrance Day. Everything is too graphic and grown up. For good reason.
So, in order to put this important event on their radar we took the boys to the Military Museum. Most of our time was spent outside and what little viewing was inside was loved by both boys, especially W.

The impact of Remembrance Day is getting farther and farther away from our society even with our troops giving their lives for the war on terrorism. I have old friends who have served and shared their experiences of tragedy with me. It also came to light that my sisters' grandfather served in the war and we as kids would play with his old army helmet. I never did meet this man as he was gone before I was born but the helmet remained. Also, my sisters, the identical twins, their dad served in the military as well. It's all closer than I had thought.

This day of remembering, mourning and gratitude is one that we all need to recognize more and not just a day off of work, but a day to be grateful for those who have brought our country and lives peace and freedom.

It's commonly known that the Dutch love Canadians due to Canadian soldiers efforts years ago. However, did you know that school aged students are assigned a Canadian soldiers' grave to care for?
How incredibly thoughtful, touching and an example of respect and humanity. Canada could take a lesson from our Dutch friends in this area. I think it's a wonderful gesture that we should take a lead from.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mashed Monday

It's Mashed Monday today. On a couple of levels.

The original Mashed Monday is part of our weekly meal plan. Mashed Meatballs (ground beef gravy) topping mashed potatoes with a veggie and salad on the side. W named the meat portion Mashed Meatballs as that's what it reminds him of. Good thinking! Favorite Husband made it one evening that I was out and it was a true we now have "Mashed Monday" every Monday evening. Easy, comfort food and loved by all in this house.

Tonight was no different...except time wise.

The boys watched Toy Story 3 while I got the potatoes and vegetables on the go. The meat gravy was done as it had been placed in the crock pot earlier. After their movie, and much, much later than usual, we attempted to sit down to dinner. We were completely late tonight which is out of sinc for us, but it happens sometimes. Best laid plans.....right?

So, 7pm rolls around and we are beginning dinner. 7 pm dinner?! Aghast!

The boys adamantly refused to eat. Ws tummy hurts and Bup just said, "I no like dinner!" Rather than fight with them we advised there was nothing else to eat and they could look at a Christmas book on the couch while we ate. Yes, I took all their Christmas books out today.
A couple of books later and Bup is standing by my side while I read and eat at the same time. Talented, I know. Please, no applause.

W is on the floor looking through an I Spy Christmas book.

Suddenly for an unknown reason that neither I nor my Favorite Husband can recall, Bup is on the floor, face down, with his arms around his head, refusing to speak to either of us. He's mad! Then, to make matters worse, W goes under the table and dares to speak to Bup, who goes into full melt down!

Sobbing his little, fist sized heart out. LOUDLY. With great gusto.

Still face down.

B and I let him cry, do not try to rouse him as we know what kind of reaction this provokes.

W leaves the room as soon as the crying escalates as it hurts his ears. His bedroom door slams! Uh...foreshadowing for the teenage years? I think so!

Poor Bup continues to wail and if we speak to him. Look out!

W returns and finds it necessary to attempt a new Cirque de Solei move with his feet on the edge of the roll top desk and his palms on the island. Of course, it is not ideal for W to be practicing acrobatics in the kitchen during the meal time, so Daddy, with a fresh plate of "Mashed Meatballs" in his hand, hooks his arm around W's stomach to get him down.

As W kicks his foot up, it catches the bottom of FH's plate spilling the meal all down W's back!

AAAAAHHHHHH!!!! W screams and starts to cry.

Bup is still sobbing in very loud decibels on the floor.

Daddy is frustrated and trying hard not to swear, while he raises his voice a little to W.

I am sitting at the table. Coaxing W, who is now crying, to come to me; once B has his him stripped. Bup is still sobbing face down in a puddle of mucous and tears, and I am really, really trying not to laugh! And then I say to my sweet, frustrated husband,
"Isn't this a lovely family dinner?"

Come now, you have to laugh or one would just be angry and cry. At the same time, it bodes well as to why we put our kids to bed by 7pm 90% of the time, why we don't go out to dinner in the evenings, and why I like coconut rum!

Poor Bup though. It took almost an hour for him to calm down.

After about 25 min I had B physically carry him to his bed. Where he would at least be more comfortable. Even his beloved "kiki" and bottle would not settle him. He just threw them away.
By this time, his eyes were almost swollen shut. I was able to sit behind him with my legs wrapped around him and sing though. He continued to cry for another 30 minutes. I sang and sang his bedtime songs over and over again.
Finally, when he picked up his bottle and blanket I switched to Christmas carols followed by repeating softly, "You're so sad. I'm sorry you are sad" over and over again. Maybe it's the empathic statements? But that is when he quit. The poor little mite.

While he was drinking his bottle with his meds in the juice, the thoughts of me putting more poison into his system made me cringe. That one particular med is a big reason for this inconsolable sobbing and there I was giving him more. Ugh.

It also came to mind, that if he was an infant a parent or doctor would call him colicky. That's what it's like. Colic. True colic. The uncontrollable, inconsolable, unprovoked sobbing.
Heart wrenching to see my little son live this again and again and not be able to alleviate his pain and sadness.

I am only glad that we, B and me, are there for him when he is in that state. It's "other worldly" as B would say. That we stay calm and sympathetic. That we are the ones he sees when he can breathe again...peacefully.

Best Brothers

When my Favorite Husband and I discussed having children in the dating days we knew we wanted them close together in age.

For several reasons but hopefully so that they would be good friends and have each other. This is the thing with siblings, friends, lovers, even spouses may come and go but you will always have your brother (or sister) get along! (The get along part is usually added by my sister to her daughters!:) But works for everyone...child, teen or adult)

As well, I am much, much younger than my siblings. An after thought one could say. The next in line to me is 5.5 yrs older. Yes, two of my siblings and I are very, very close now but not as children. Not really. It went in spurts due to age and stage. My FH and his brother are close in age, similar to our boys, and they were very close as well.

Add all this together and this is why we chose to have our boys 21 months apart. Oh there were days, months even, when I thought we were nuts to have done it this way. It's hard!

Then there is today.
This past week or so when the boys are playing so well together and W includes R to play at home. Except when it comes to W's room...his "private space"...and even though that's hard for R, it's okay.

But today! Today is grand!
Today, we were out for our Monday grocery shop, the boys riding in the back seat of the Caddy, and I hear,
"We're best friends, R. Right?"
"Yeah, W!"
"And we're best brothers!"
"Yeah! Brothers!"

Then at the movie store, there they are leaning against the counter, side by side, with W's arm around R's shoulders.

Melt. My. Heart.

PS: Notice Warner's matching clothes? He dressed himself...and wanted to wear it to school!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Special Needs Children

Special Needs - what does this mean to you? What do you envision when you hear this term?

There was a time when the term Special Needs only brought to mind people with severe physical and mental disabilities. There are so many levels of special needs.

Do you know that my children have "special needs"?

One son has been diagnosed....many times over, four in fact, with severe ADHD. In our case, it is NOT over diagnosed. It took over a year for us to even consider there was a need for a diagnosis. Once we got our heads and hearts around that, then what? Months and months later, through many phone calls, many appointments, talking until my heart was empty and my head full, we were able to get through the diagnosis hoops and start the process for getting help.

My husband and I work damn hard at taking care of our son. We meet with professionals regularly. We are always working on positive parenting specifically for children with special needs. It is kinda different that parenting a "regular child". We are good parents. We are NOT perfect parents but we are GOOD parents. We have our moments. Our weaknesses.

So does our son. You see, the challenge in all this is that our sweet son is human. With a mind of his own. A drive of his own. Couple that with the challenges of ADHD and wowza! It's not always smooth sailing.

Having said that, I am proud of our son. I am fiercely protective. I take comfort in knowing that my favorite husband, B and I do more than you can imagine for our child.

Then there is child number 2. Our Bup. He is a special needs child as well. Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. The maybe disease. Maybe he will be just fine. Maybe he will be developmentally delayed. Maybe he will have ADHD or Autism or more. Maybe he will live a completely "normal" life and only have seizures and benign tumors that aren't causing problems. Yes, he will take meds for his whole life. No he will not "outgrow" this. Yes, the meds affect him, his personality, his behavior. So does the trauma of having procedures done repeatedly. He's just a little guy. It would affect anyone; adult or child. Yes, we have our work cut out for us here too. We have to work with new complications, behaviors, seizures that creep up and rear their ugly heads, etc.

The most difficult challenge of having children with extra needs? Is it the complete and utter exhaustion? Some days.

Is it the confrontations and challenges with the boys? Some days.

More though....what hurts and angers the most?
People's attitudes.
People who feel our children just misbehave.
People who feel we as parents are out of wack and make too much of the situation. That our kids should be able to eat anything and aren't allergic to many foods.
Those who feel ADHD is over diagnosed and maybe not real.
Those who feel we should just discipline our children better. Maybe a good spanking would stop the outbursts, the inability to sit still at the dinner table, the hyperactivity, etc.
People's choice to not educate themselves.
People's eye rolling and body language of annoyance. We are not blind. We see this. It hurts and angers us. Our children feel this. We are not immune.
People's chosen ignorance.
People's uneducated opinion that they know better than we the parents of our special, loved, wonderful children.
That is what's the worst and hardest about having children with special needs. Not the child. Not the illness.

Now, when I think of a child with special needs. I think of a child with special gifts. Special intelligence. Special humor. Special challenges.

I think of the parents persevering to do the best for their child.

And I will smirk, and discount those people who chose not to see the truth. I will continue to educate and advocate and hopefully, those who are not knowledgeable will open their hearts, their minds and maybe, close their mouths.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Conversations in the Car

Bup and I went on a "big date" while W was in school yesterday afternoon. Towards the end of our special 3 hrs, we were both quiet in the car. Even the radio was off.
And then I hear....

"Nope. Nothin in my noggin."

Bup! Pardon me?

"Nope. Nothin in my noggin."
"Where did you learn that?"
"The fish."
Ahhhh....Dory. Finding Nemo...we haven't watched you for weeks and weeks and yet you have definitely made an impact.

Thanks for the laugh.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Pumpkin lit....check!
Decorations up...check!
Kid approved treats by the door....check! check!
Complete meltdown of 5 yr old and the mother....check!
3yr old refusing to wear cutest Dash costume....check! check!
My favorite husband dressed in Oilers gear....double check!
Dog ate the feather boa off my witch costume....check again!!
Husband taking kiddos trick or treating....check!
Cold bevy poured for moi.....check!

Enjoy this Spooookalicious evening. Wahahahahah!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thoughts for the Day

"Keep my words positive:
Words become my behaviors.
Keep my behaviors positive:
Behaviors become my habits.
Keep my habits positive:
...Habits become my values.
Keep my values positive:
Values become my destiny.
-Mahatma Gandhi

This completely hit my heart.
I struggle with being positive...especially towards my self. Maybe I should have this tatooed on my head...heart...arm.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Treasure Hunt

Monday morning and there is snow on the ground. I really wanted to sleep until 10. (Bahahah!!! So funny!) Sometimes, Monday mornings are a little trying. The weekend is over. My favorite husband is back to work.'s just the pressure...knowledge of the busy-ness of another week that slows me down first thing on a Monday morning.

Today was the same as all others. Except for the snow and an early morning blissful bubble bath during which no boys came in asking to join me. Wuhoo! How did I manage that? W was tucked into my bed watching Star Wars lego movies on You tube and Bup was in the living room watching Finding Nemo. Hello! Here I come bath tub!

Afterwards the boys had much needed hair cuts. I have been cutting their hair lately and it was "ok" but time for a professional do. Which is really funny when you see Bup's hair! He is a delight at the salon. Really. I sit with him on my knee, cross my legs over top his, wrap both my arms around him and hold on for dear life! He SCREAMS at the top of his lungs as he sobs and struggles, yells "THIS IS STUPID!", while the stylist just buzzes his thick, thick hair off. It's the only way now! He used to cry the whole time but there is no sitting and the screams are murderous. This child is so stubborn and HATES having anything done to him. Wiping his nose? It's kinda the same routine. So, it's a buzz cut for him and really I could do that at home if someone would just hold him down!
Afterwards, we came home for the boys to enjoy a Treasure Hunt while I prepared lunch. They loved the Treasure Box!

The decorative box is filled with dry macaroni, popcorn, rice and lentils. Hidden in the bottom are tiny toys....letter beads, animals, sea creatures, baby bottles, babies, sea shells, buttons, and any other tiny item of interest I could find.

A great sensory activity. A great way to keep them pre-occupied for at least15 minutes. Clean and inexpensive too! They liked it so much that W has asked if his friends could come over and play with the Treasure Box and Bup has asked again to play with it. Poor fella had to nap instead!
What interests me? The way the boys "organize" their treasures.

Bup is showing linear tendencies like his dad! All his butterflies lined up. All his shells grouped together and he fed the tiny naked baby her tiny bottle. Also, at first Bup would bury his hand in, come out with nothing and say, "I can't do it, Mom."

W? All grouped in a large pile. The faster he could find them the better!

And's time to wake Sir Bup in order to retrieve W from kindergarten. Once home, the Treasure Box will be opened again.

Spookalicious Decor

It's so fun to see the neighborhood decorating and getting into the spirit of all things ghouly for Halloween. Some is very spooky! We're pretty low key compared to the neighbors with tombstones and flapping bats and spider webs, etc, etc. However, we the spooky spirit reigns here!
The Insane Asylum sign cracks me up. First, it's so accurate! Second, I came home for a tea date with my sister to find it hanging on our door. My favorite husband!
The wreath was created with an old berry wreath, black spray paint and some dollar store snakes.
It's hard to tell in the pic but on the mantle there are also tiny, squishy mice. Tina likes them too so they're kept up high. There was also a leaf holding mice and spiders on the desk...but Bup found those!
What ghoulish decor is gracing your home this week?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Life with a Dog

We are still adjusting to life with a dog. However, it's gone quite well all things considering.
She has only had two "accidents" in the house, both of which my darling husband cleaned up. Ya gotta love him for that alone!
Miss Tina is more and more accepting of the boys and quite loves when they give her belly rubs. Well, lets be real here. Bup YELLS that she wants a belly rub but won't give her one and W is more than happy to rub her bare, skinny belly.
The downside of living with a greyhound....besides, being the fat chick walking a skinny dog....well, to put it lightly....
This dog has the smelliest bodily functions...gas...toots.."EEEWWWWW you fooooted!!!" as Bup says. UGH! I can hardly stand it. It's nauseating.
I thought living with three "boys" and their bodily functions was bad...ya know, R announcing that he had a "BIG HOT DOG POOP!" at dinner to guests....but this is gag-me-with-spoon type of stuff.
Must sign off.
Must find gas mask.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So Smitten Photography

This gal is a fantabulous photographer!
Check her out here.
Also she is booking for fall/christmas photos now, so if you, your family or your kiddos are in need of an updated, stylistic photo, do get in touch with Miss Lara.
You will be smitten with the results!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Parenting Pitfalls

It feels as if this past week or so I have lost any parenting skills that I think I may have had. all three of us.
Anger, frustration...are abundant here.
While tucking in W for his morning nap....yes we are back to morning naps since the boys are getting up at 530 again...& this afternoon kindergarten business is just wrong, wrong, wrong....I was reciting in my head over and over again, with gritted teeth, "I am peace and joy. I am peace and joy. I am peace and joy...." Hoping this mantra would take over and release the anger and frustration that is oozing from my pores.
All this anger certainly doesn't help the boys. Or my housekeeping skills.
Isn't it just sinful to wish the days of "to be seen and not heard" were real? That was a mantra when I was growing up....from both my father and my grouchy grandmother, Granny D.
Now, I know that generally speaking I have the sweetest, smartest little boys on the planet, but at the same time, their antics drive me bonkers. So, I freely admit that my frustration stems from within.
(As I vent here, one little boy has made his way to my bed for his morning nap after crying and crying in his own. So there are cute fluffy cheeks, and sad tear stained eyes laying on the pillow beside me.)
Okay, so I get that these feelings are my problems...not my childrens'. Now what do I do? How do I conquer this? Any suggestions, oh parenting gurus out there in cyber land?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Double Surgery Day

What a day!
What a trooper our Bup is!
It was surgery day...and oh, how I hope it's the last one....EVER!

Yes the surgeries were minor, adenoidectomy and hypospadias repair (thankfully a minor repair), however, it's still terribly hard to see your little one terrified and hurting.

R was a certifiable mess. In need of a tranquilizer before even entering pre-op. He was so distress over changing into the hospital jammies and the name tag....psycho!! It took everything for B and I to hold him in our arms without him throwing himself to the floor and ripping his pj pants off as well as the ankle-tag. Which he tried to do in pre-op, so I just removed it myself.
He woke up from the anesthetic in the same state, ripping his IV out, to which I instructed the nurse to remove it and I would get fluids into him myself.

It took a while for this naked little man to settle in my arms with his "kiki" and bottle. There was NO WAY a hospital blanket was even grazing his body. So, after an hour and a half, the fighting and sobs subsided to whimpering and staying in my arms.

In the mean time, B made a trip to Neurology to discuss the mix up on his latest med renewal only to find out it's quite possibly the Keppra which has turned our sweet little Bup into a defiant, contrary boy. Bup is still experiencing "wiggly hand" seizures so the Trileptal has been increased. What to do about the Keppra side effects? I don't know yet.

Next, our Neurologist Dr. M is leaving town at the end of the month. Heading east to Halifax, NS.


No replacement Neurologist as of yet. Just on the docket....whatever on-call Neurologist happens to be working.
Lovely transition plan that our health system utilizes. Just a little bit p!$$#@, but trying to let it go for today because we all made it through a rough day.

Now, the rest of this week will focus on healing and getting Bup ready to pee on his own, breathe through his nose, and return to pre-school & gymnastics...happily!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes

Here are two of my favorite "holiday" recipes.

The Sweet Potato Surprise is a bit of a famous one among my family. I created it by adapting two recipes...years ago...and never eat it!! Sweet Potatoes, while in my southern blood and roots, have only just begun to entice me. I love the fries though!
Anyway, I'm quite proud of this dish because so many people love it. Yes, I will admit that I was a little miffed when my sister tried to copy it for dinner with my cousin, who then, (the cousin) said she was bringing "Annetta's sweet potatoes" to Christmas!! Ack! Pardon moi? Those are my sweet potatoes, not my sisters! My signature dish.
But I digress....This is not one bit good for you or low calorie. Which is probably why the masses love it.
Sweet Potato Surprise
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup skim milk
2 beaten eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 TBSP melted margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
cooking spray
1 cup low fat granola
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 block cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP melted margarine
Combine first 7 ingredients, beat until blended. Spoon into 8 in square prepared baking dish. Combine granola, pecans & brown sugar. Sprinkle over casserole and drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 for 25 min.

Next on the Holiday Menu is cooked Red Cabbage. Again a dish that I normally would never try. I hate the smell of cooked cabbage, the texture, and anything to do with it. Don't even get me started on the sauerkraut that my mother always made. Yuck!
This recipe is super yum. I could eat this All. Day. Long!

Red Cabbage with Apricots & Balsamic Vinegar
6 TB butter
1 red onion thinly sliced
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 lbs red cabbage thinly sliced
1/4 cup apricot preserves
3/4 cup dried apricots, sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Melt butter over med-hi heat.
Add onion and spices. Cook 1 min. Add cabbage and apricots. Saute until well coated - 2 min. Add preserves 7 vinegar. Toss until juices are reduced to glaze and cabbage is tender crisp - 6 min. Season with salt and pepper.
Store covered in fridge if making ahead.

What's on your menu this Thanksgiving weekend? Do you have any "secret" well-loved recipes?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Little Family Thanksgiving

Our little RWB family enjoying
a quiet Thanksgiving at home today. Probably the first one ever where it was just us or that we weren't on the go. Beautiful.

Don't get me wrong, it's always fun with others, and I will quite enjoy dinner at my sister's tomorrow, but the more relaxed pace is lovely.

W and I made hand print turkey pictures and wrote what we are thankful for on the bottom.
He's thankful for toys.

At dinner, Bup was finally up as he slept the whole day away because he was up all night ready top play...anyway, at dinner we gave a thanksgiving toast at the beginning of the meal stating our gratitude & a, B....healthy little family and spending Thanksgiving together.

The boys, B and the dog were way ahead of me and we finally caught up for some rock throwing into the river, playing trains, running on the bridge, smacking into the side of the bridge....oh the tears! Pleas for a trip to McDonald's... a hamburger, boy toy and to play...more tears when that idea was kyboshed...After dinner we went on a Nature Walk by the river as I needed to get some running water shots for photog class.
no more gratitude as the parents are now jerks, saw a family of deer on our path, cried because not allowed to pet the deer, finally in the car and stopping for sugar free slurpees so everyone is happy especially when the sparkles on the car windows were noted. It had begun to rain.

I am thankful that a drink or small snack (NOT from McDs) turns a kid's disposition around. Whew!

And now bedtimes have come and gone with out much fuss....except I think my favorite husband has fallen prey to the child's race car bed and is asleep with him too!

(PS: Notice the "glasses" W found at the river....that the boys are in pjs for dinner?)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Seasonal Sayings

The boys are funny these days with things that come out of their brains and mouths.

"It's a booeful day" Bup... just cause he can't pronounce "beau"

"It's spookalicious!" W...cause he's just funny that way.

Happy Fall to you!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ACAD - Digital Photography Class

Only at an art college would you find this hanging in the hallway
I burst out laughing at the site of this pelt....right in front of the many people have walked into it and slightly freaked out??!!

Tres cool is the art display of furniture made from cardboard boxes. Maybe I'll get a shot of them tonight.

It's so exciting to be enrolled in photography class. When I was handed my student id card, it was all I could do to refrain from doing a little dance! I felt real! I felt interesting! I felt smart! I felt like....wuhooo...I'm doing something smart and grown up. Yeah!

Tonight is class and I still have one more photography assignment to complete, which will happen when I have a subject that sits still. Certainly not the dog or the little boys.

Hmmmm.....B the husband, where are you?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pre-School Drop Out graduation day for you,
Pre-school drop out,
flunked coloring
and ate the glue.

We just may have one on our hands soon. A Pre-school Drop Out.

Pre-school was a total bust today. Bup does great during free play but once it's circle time....look out!
"I don't like YOU!"
"I'm telling on YOU!"
Throw in a little kick or pinch, lying on the carpet, sneaking away on his knees, requesting a big time out rather than sitting for story time, hitting a little friend while putting shoes on to leave....
Yup. Banner day at pre-school
Oh, did I mention breaking his glasses and throwing them across the room while in a time out?

And then in the car on the way home, I hear this little voice from the back seat singing, "Tidy up, Tiiiiidy UP, Everybody tidy up."

Well.....I'm at a loss what to do.

In the words of the literary giant, Robert Munsch,
"This kid is driving me crazy!"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Miss Tina the Greyhound

Introducing our new addition. Finally a girl in the RWB household! Miss Tina, the Greyhound.
She's a lovely little thing. So sweet, gentle and still a little shy. She's probably wondering why she left the track in Oklahoma to end up in this noisy house with two rambunctious little boys!

I've been "secretly" wanting a dog for my W. He is just so amazing with animals and has been begging for a black and white dog named Charlie for at least a year now. But, sigh, my sweet husband was not interested, with good reason, in having a big dog in the city.

Now, my favorite husband Mr. B, has loved and admired Greyhounds for years, ever since meeting one when he lived in Nova Scotia. Then one day recently, he started looking on line at Chinook Winds again and talking as if we would get one!!!! So exciting!!! ~ W keeps saying, "I didn't know I could get a dog!"

Here, we are, day one with Tina. This is her given name and we have a list of possible new names, but I don't know if we'll change it. The boys seem to be happy with Tina. My niece who is also Tina, may not be!:)

So, this little girlie is just tiny at 54lbs, is so sweet and kind, gentle, loves her walks, and is adjusting well. It's amazing how a strictly crated, racing dog can adjust so well to pet life. They are extremely low energy, docile and adaptable. Just what we need!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back Ache

My back is a mess. Has been for years now. Which is wild to believe when I really think about it, but it is years, since W was born. Maybe it was the back labor? Maybe it was the two epidurals? Who knows....

It's been getting considerably worse this year. More flare ups. More severe. Quite debilitating. Even a trip to Urgent Care for some lovely Toradol once.

Maybe it's because I'm a 100lbs overweight? Core strength? Ha!

Well, this Friday I am finally going for xrays and then making a plan.Rather than just hit and miss massage or chiro or the very rare physio. In the mean time, I purchased a lovely, cushy body pillow to sleep with, between my knees, 'cause that's supposed to help one's back. To which my husband said about the body pillow,

"What's with putting the Berlin Wall back up?"

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Do you believe?
In spirits that visit?
A presence?

Nope, Halloween is not on my mind. Well, that's not true it is....thanks to a certain friend and her Halloween issue of Living....but not for this post.

When I was a child and an unexpected noise in the house would take place, like doors creaking or things falling off the counter or table unexpectedly, my parents would always say, "Spooks in the house." I thought nothing of it. It was just a saying.

But now.....

I think more of it.

And I believe.

There are often unexplained...well anything can be explained if you really want to....happenings at our house. Little things.

Such as while I was writing an email just prior to this post. At the moment our home is quiet. The boys are having their Saturday afternoon naps, my favorite husband has sweetly gone off to "the bread store" where we buy bread in bulk...sliced bread. I am sitting in the beautiful quiet, sending off an email or two when what do I hear....

"Three little friends went out to see just how big the world could be, looking high and looking low, round and round the world they go, with lots of animals big and small" This song playing loudly from Man's World. My first thought is, " that you? It must be J." I go to the steps and there sits the Leapfrog globe, now quiet, not singing any longer. Nothing was touching it. The boys are asleep.

These things happen quite often here. Lights are turned on and off. Toys are turned on and off. Decorative displays are knocked off the fireplace mantel. Even the TV has gone on and off.

I'm sure the scientific side of all of us could explain these. But I don't think that's right. Some times the timing is just too coincidental. Like when I was writing Christmas cards to my brother's old friends....and everything was knocked off the mantle. Like when I was yelling at the boys....and the lights went out and a toy came on.

Which makes me think..."Okay, okay, I get it. You're here. Stop goofing around and help me then."

Crazy....maybe? All hyped up over Halloween. Nope, this is year round. Read to much Sylvia Browne? Maybe...

So, there ya have it. Spooks are in the howse!

And now...what about you? Do you believe?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grant Me the Patience.... deal with my blessings.

This may be shocking to all you mothers out there. Or those of you who are not. So, if you're of the "Pathological Liars Club"...the rose colored glasses, my life is perfect club, the just discipline your kids, spanking works people.....well, get your cursor to the address bar and move on. Cause until you have truly walked a week in my shoes, there is no room for judgement here.

If you're not....keep reading.

There are moments, sometimes even days, that I really dislike mothering. Hate it in fact.
Why? Ultimately because I feel I'm not good at it.
Those moments....when my child(ren) are yelling at me, kicking me, not listening, running away, not listening...I HATE it. Oh, it makes me so mad.

I hate not being able to bring about peace. I hate not being able to get through to my sons and have them listen and obey. I hate being mad. I hate feeling mad. I hate the thoughts that run through my head and the look that is on my face. I hate being ineffective. I hate hurting their feelings. I hate being angry.

In those moments I would rather be anywhere than in the heat of that moment and in that angry space.

Do you ever feel this way? Do you ever want to escape a moment?
How do you avoid the anger?

Maybe I need a support group....a dealing with our blessings group.

These kiddos are my blessings. I love them with my whole heart. Loving them doesn't mean parenting is easy. It's not. Not for me anyway. The frustration and anger I would trade in a heartbeat. My children? Not for anything would I trade them in. Not even if the Gypsy's knocked on my door right now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Want A Cat

In a previous life I had the best cat. The most loviest, purring, sweetest, toothless cat.
*sigh* But I traded him in for a husband. Seriously.:)

Tonight while perusing inter-blogging friends' blogs, what do I see but a little grey mouse climb into our fireplace!!!!! The little jerk. He keeps peeking out at me.

I wish I had a cat!!

So, as every strong woman would do, I put on my black and pink rain boots, marched out to the garage and told my sweet husband that there are mice in our house.

He's on his way to purchase traps. It's 10pm here.

I wish Petland was open.
I want a cat!

Mouse-Mission Update
This morning two of the little rodents have been caught.
Hot damn & hallelujah!
Poor W though....he sat at the deck doors, staring out the window at the trap talking to the mouse. Not THAT morbid everyone! It's one of those trap them alive traps, with a glass window on the top which is why W could see the little rodent in there....enjoying his new condo. Gah! It's my favorite husband's job to "set him free".
The one caught in the fire place? That happened before W & I started our day and thankfully it was not a humane trap. The peeping mouser....fixed his little red wagon.
Hopefully, his buddies got the message and have not moved in.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Proud Grandkids

These little critters love their grandparents. On both sides of the family.
They were lucky to have Gram Oh Doe and Gramps visit last weekend and then Grama G here for the whole week.


With children there are always firsts.
First full night of sleep.
First steps.
Firsts, firsts....and now, the first day of kindergarten and preschool.

The boys are enjoying their first week of school. Of course, it's not without it's trials.
Both boys are so tired! Wuhoo! I love that they are in bed early and sleeping a good 12-13 hrs until 7am!!! Hallelujah.

Bup is learning how to listen to someone other than his parents. He's loving the play kitchen, all other stations and really....snack time!

W who loves to learn, thrives on it, is adjusting well. He is in a small class, 4 & 4. We walk to school. He gets on well with his new SNA and is winning hearts in the classroom.

There were no tears on anyone's part. Just smiles, and being called back so that I could beg for a kiss!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pretending...a Rant

I hate pretending.
I used to hate confrontation....and still do....but pretending is worse.
Pretending that feelings aren't there....that everything is alright...that everyone likes each other....that I'm a happy calm parent....that, that, that....I could go on and on and on.

How does it benefit anyone in the long run? Stuffing feelings, emotions, ideas inside. They all come eventually in one way or another. Some come out in the size of my butt! Emotional eating.
Maybe a distant attitude. Smile, nod, say hi and walk the other way. Gaggghhh!

So, I'm not doing it anymore. About anything.
Might make me a little punchy, even more b*#$!@! in some people's opinions. Oh well. I guess I've just jumped on the honesty train.

Who knows how this will affect this blog. Maybe it won't. Maybe there'll be less posts...more....???

On the realism approach, what do you NOT pretend about? What are you real about, that maybe others in your life are not?

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Little Boy's Blue prescription eyeglasses.
Perfect condition.
Finger prints on lenses can be wiped off with appropriate cloth.
Last seen??? Possibly in" the laundry room. In the pants."
Missing one week now.
Reward is a Big Date. Will include ice cream & play at McDonald's.

Glasses found. Buried in the sand box.
Found by Gram Oh Doe & Bup.
Big Date enjoyed by Gram, Bup and Me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Magic, rainy camping

Ah, the last long weekend of summer. Often, signals the end of season. The end of camping and on to new Autumnal adventures.

This camp out was the FIRST
time we have camped just as our little family, with no friends or family joining us. It was FANTASTIC!! I love camping with friends. However, to spend three full days with each other on a happy, slow paced, outdoor adventure was beautiful.

First there was the sunshine which brought magic.
Richard Young the Magician to be exact.
W and I took in the show while R slept at the trailer with
Daddio. The sun shone while W and I sat in our comfy chairs and laughed, oo'ed and aahh'ed with the other guests. Mr. Magician was truly magical. W was thrilled to be a magician's helped. I was the proud mom in the crowd snapping pictures like crazy and just shocked that my W sat through the whole show, with some wiggling on my lap, a little cut on his finger that needed a bandaid...from a pop can...keep your finger out!....and then there was the chance to pet Archie the Duck (dove). How cute is W standing there, waiting to pet the dove, holding his finger out for Archie to perch on?!
Bup he enjoyed the chokecherry bushes that were beside our trailer.After one lovely day of sunshine, the magic turned to
It rained and rained for 24 hrs. We enjoyed the quiet, the naps and the walk in our rain gear. Exploring the campground, following the river, throwing rocks into it, and finding treasure. An old pin/button is Bup's found "treasure".

We all enjoyed each other.

VBS Baobob Blast

The Baobob Blast Vacation Bible School in August was a mixed blessing for our boys.
W loved it! Not only did he have fun, but a little buddy was in his class too. W learned to play musical chairs, play an instrument, and learned about "Joseph and his brothers dipped his coat in blood." Talk about capturing a boy's attention...Bible Stories! Some of them are pretty violent, gory, and action packed when you get right down to it and this appeals to most little boys. Good guys vs. the Bad Guys. David and Goliath, etc.
Traditionally the end of session program is a hard one for W. To stay focussed with the group, and stay with the class is hard and sometimes impossible. This was the exception!!! W participated in the recital/program at the end of the week. I am still so so SO PROUD of him!

Bup. Well, it was a learning experience for R. There were a lot of tears. Every morning when I left he cried, but it got better as the week went on. Especially because big brother W was there to help. As I would go the two of them would be side by side on the pew, with W holding R's hand while R struggled to keep his tears in check. Poor fella. He learned that Mom always, always comes back. "But I sad Mom."
He's a crier, this one.
On a good note, he loved showing off the crafts he made and beating his little coffee can drum.

A definite do-again next summer!

Birthday Shirt

Our friends' little cutie turned 1 yr recently.
The sweater I knit didn't quite turn out how I wanted so I put this little T together. His father loves to fish so the "I'm a Keeper" theme is perfect for father & son.

No credit can be taken for sewing the shirt as I purchased it and then embellished it with the fishy & saying. For extra adhesiveness, I used an iron on for the back of the fish fabric and then machine stitched around it. The words and bubbles were added with a fabric pen.

Super easy and kinda cute!

Friday, September 3, 2010


As I write this my hair is uncombed, sticking out like a short version of Medusa with the back of her head flat. I am wearing jeans and a plaid shirt. The boys are outside playing with giant bubbles and the breakfast dishes are sitting beside me on the table.

"Mom I want you to be fancy.
Wear a fancy dress,
make up,
maybe a fancy hat,
and fancy underwear.
Bahaha....oh! You don't have fancy underwear!"

"I love it when you're beautiful Mom and wear fancy things." Says my W as he strokes my cheek and looks into my eyes while almost nose to nose.

"Do you know Fancy Nancy? You can look like her." little boy wants me to be beautiful. It's too cute and too funny and too sweet. His sweetness and requests make me want to put on a circle skirt, big belt, fitted shirt, bright red lipstick and wear a bow in my hair. Vintage Housewife-ish. {image courtesy of The Vintage Housewife}

He warms my heart.

Do you think he'll notice that I'm nowhere near Fancy this morning? More farmer. Ungroomed farmer. Definitely not Mink and Manure farmer.

I''ll leave you with that....Mink and Manure.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's Up Buttercup?

Camping, Vacation Bible School, summer colds, temporary loss of hearing, wiggly hands, time spent with friends, kindergarten info night, urology appointments, family visits, late nights, no routine, and our summer is coming to an end.

R - Mr. 3...a 2yr old on speed, cause that is 3, right Mrs. Mittens?....who copies his brother just to be a bug, begged for soap when threatened with hot sauce for incessantly saying "stupid mugger", learned that his momma will always come back when at gymnastics and VBS after all the tears and hand holding from W, refuses to eat salad with fresh dill cause "I no eat grass!!", can be heard singing a variety of songs such as the theme song to the Wonderpets, Itty Itty Spider, ABCs, etc and dances on his tip toes with his little hands in the air. This Carebear lovin' guy wants to " snuggle on the moon and swing from the stars that tickle my toes" with Funshine Bear and Grumpy Bear. His favorites. Bup is a funny little fella who often shocks me with what is going on within his little mind.

W - Mr. 5! The summer he turned 5 and is so proud to be 5. A little Star Wars birthday gathering complete with oodles of Star Wars lego. Our house now resembles a the wreckage after a star wars lego filled pinata exploded. By the way, they hurt when stepped on. Yowzza!! Summer colds that result in a loss of hearing which means LOUD TV watching and a lot of yelling. W continues to want to explore how everything works which is why toys are taken apart with a screwdriver and sometimes put back together. There's been a little level of trust gained and given such as riding his bike around the block alone....two times. I can't believe I did that!! And showing off his wonderful big brother skills by holding Bup's hand as he cried at gymnastics and vacation bible school. By the way, did you know that God, Jesus and the Statue of Liberty rule the world? They do. W told me so.

B & me...well, we have another summer behind our parenting, married belts. A summer of camping, friends, work and a little more camping. A milestone summer with our baby turning 5yrs. Nights by the campfire talking, watching the stars and swatting the mosquitoes.

Now, the month is turning. Tomorrow is September. Fall has begun. The mornings are chilly, it's dark by 9pm, there are a mere few camping weekends left in the season, kindergarten starts in one week, and the boys' activities start next weekend. The busy, carefree pace of summer is on the cusp of ending.

Farewell summer. Hello Fall.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Love War

These are three little words one does not want to hear from their child. "I love War"

It's out of hand at the RWB household.

W is obsessed with anything to do with war, fighting, guns, killing, etc. It's all he wants. The stores and kids movies completely support this obsession. I do not.

What do we do? Do we nix anything to do with fighting/war? army men from Toy Story, no Incredibles, no Transformer toys, no Star Wars toys (which are his all time favorite), no violent kids movies, etc, etc??? We've never been a huge supporter of this kind of play. W has no toy guns. He has not watched Star Wars although he does have a Lego Star Wars visual dictionary. This kind of stuff.

Or do we let him have some. The fantasy stuff such as pirates, knights, swords, Star Wars. Feed his desire a little bit and explain that war, police, gun toys are off limits (because they are not fantasy based?)

Fast forward to the teen age this like...okay you can have some drugs... just pot...but not the hard core stuff like meth?

Where do we draw the line?

I KNOW that the superhero stuff, etc is a part of being a boy BUT I feel like it's gone too far at our house, with our boy. I hate it all. At the same time, I don't want to raise a wimpy, momma's boy who has no friends, grows geraniums for fun, is scared of his shadow, etc.

Help! Totally lost in boyhood...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Paula Deen Gluten Free

No, I did not attempt to massacre one of Paula Deen's scrumptious southern recipes with the Free Eating madness. For the record, I love Paula Deen. She tugs at my deep southern roots.
The food, the accent and even the hair. Also, she's hilarious. Did you see the episode when she added a large hard chunk of butter to a working mixer and it flew out? Complete with screams and guffaws from her and Oprah.
Yes, it was a Paula Deen moment in the kitchen last night.
It was cooking/baking madness and the Peach Crumble recipe called for heated pineapple juice with tapioca starch as thickener. Well, wouldn't it be easier to blend in the blender? Maybe.....if the lid didn't pop off and hot pineapple juice flew revved everywhere. Luckily my reflexes managed to kick in and I jumped out of the way. Paula Deen and the butter all the way!
On the stove, in the oven or the blender there was Peach Crumble, adapted from Alicia what's her name of the popular vegan book....
Banana Date Muffin Tops from my favorite churchy cookbook...the Sat sabbath people, what's their names? 7 Secrets Cookbook.
Spicy Peanut Veggie Soup ala How It All Vegan...those cute, cute, cute girls from the West Coast.
My thoughts were crumble all week for breakfast, soup all week for lunch and the muffin tops for VBS snack. The Muffin tops are delish and won't last until tomorrow's VBS! W thinks the date chunks are jam. Cutie!

Btw, if you want any of the above recipes, let me know and I'll post them just for you!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Camping, camping, camping

T'is the season for some outdoor dwelling. We're off to enjoy the great outdoors, good friends, laughs and a little sunshine.
Hope you're enjoying these dog days of summer too!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Knitting Opinions Please

Okay, I have a dilemma. I'm feeling the need for some summer knitting. Fast knitting.
This yarn in Cafe Mocha, has been in my "Kraft Corner" for some time now and is begging to be knit up. Keep in mind end result will be variegated. My least favorite by the way. Why did I buy this yarn??? It's mother's knitting and that is not my style. Maybe I should knit something for her?
I'm at a loss.
So many options.
So indecisive.
I've narrowed it down to a sweater/coat for moi or a cabled blanket for our home. Or another sweater.
You pick.
(images courtesy of Ravelry)