Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Amazingness

I've been told by several people that I should do an infomercial for baking soda and vinegar. I get a little over-excited when I can introduce a friend to their awesome powers! I seriously love them! They are useful in so many ways, relatively cheap, safe around children and pets, and good for the environment.

So I have decided to compile a list of different uses for baking soda and vinegar (that I have discovered anyway!). Now sit back, and let me blow your mind!

Baking Soda
is good for...

~Cleaning sinks - porcelain, ceramic, stainless steel, plastic - Baking soda is not picky! I just get a wet face cloth, sprinkle baking soda on to it, and wipe! The dirt and stains just melt away!

~Cleaning counter tops.

~Cleaning toilet seats and exteriors. I use a mix of baking soda AND white vinegar for the bowl, probably about a half cup each, then I let it sit and fester for a while, then scrub with the brush and voila, clean! It will help keep your pipes clean too.

~Cleaning bath tubs. This is my favourite! Our tub gets really bad since Dave is a dirty roofer. Other cleaners won't touch it, but I just put a little baking soda on my cloth and it takes very little effort to make the tub sparkle! The tar goes running for its mama! And it gets the hard water stains off too. (Anything CLR can do, baking soda can do better!)

~Adding 1/2 cup in a load of laundry to boost cleaning power and zap odors!

~Adding to dishwasher detergent (I do 2 parts detergent to 1 part baking soda), to help clean, cut down the amount of soap you need, and keep the machine itself and drain clean!

~Scrubbing nasty dishes and cutting boards. Baking soda combined with some elbow grease will get off the stains and crusted food that dish soap can't.

~Washing walls and cupboards. I used baking soda to clean out our old apartment when we moved, and it did a fabulous job! Make sure to wipe with just water afterward, or it may leave a white residue.

~Cleaning stoves and hoods (and other appliances!). When we moved I thought I'd try baking soda on the hood over the stove, and it worked so well! It was yellow, caked with grease, when we moved in, but white and sparkling when we moved out! I wish I had thought of that earlier...

~Cleaning carpets. I usually go at a spill or stain with baking soda on a cloth (sometimes vinegar too if it's bad). It was especially good when the cat or toddler had an accident, it killed the smell! It may leave a white residue, but that is easily vacuumed up once it's dry.

~Mopping. I add 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar to a mop bucket, and fill with hot water. It works great on my tile kitchen, lino bathrooms and it also worked great on the laminate wood floors at our old apartment.

~Cleaning dried spills and stains in general. Most things come off easily with baking soda and a little scrubbing.

~Cleaning out garbage cans and diaper pails, along with white vinegar. I usually add equal parts of each and let it sit for a while, then add water and swish around, scrub if necessary.

~Curbing odors. I sprinkle some in the bottom of garbage cans, diaper pails, nasty shoes etc. I've heard some people use it as deodorant too, I haven't tried it myself though. People often keep a small box in the fridge to curb odors there.

~Brushing teeth, it really helps whiten and get your teeth squeaky clean! You get over the taste eventually.

~Cleaning your scalp. In the shower, add a bit of water to a handful of baking soda to make a paste, then scrub all over your scalp, leave for a few minutes, and rinse thoroughly out. Dave used to have nasty flakes, but they were gone after just one use of baking soda!

~Cleaning your body. Make the same kind of paste as for your scalp, and rub it on your face and body. It will leave your skin feeling soooo smooth! Or add a cup to your bath!

~Preventing cancer (supposedly). Make sure the baking soda is aluminum-free. Take a half tea spoon in some water every night to help neutralize your body. I don't really know for sure if this is true or not, but apparently lowering the acidity of your body will help get more oxygen in your blood, which kills cancer cells.

~Making baked goods. Duh.

~Putting out fires. Especially grease or oven fires. Just throw the baking soda on top of the fire and it will go out! Ask me how I know...

White Vinegar is good for...

~Cleaning mirrors, windows, and any kind of glass. Works soooooo well! I usually put a bit of water in the sink and add some vinegar, about 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Then I soak a cloth and wipe down the surface of what I'm cleaning, then dry it with a towel or newspaper, and it's soooo amazingly clean! You can almost see into other dimensions! You could also make up a spray bottle of the diluted vinegar, and just spray the surface and wipe.

~Cleaning faucets and anything shiny. I loooove doing my sink and shower faucets with vinegar. I use the same process as with glass, it looks so amazing after!

~Using as an all-purpose cleaner. I have a spray bottle with 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water, and I spray the surface (wall, table, chair, toy, floor, etc) then wipe try with a microfibre cloth. It works really well! You can add a few drops of tea tree oil if you like.

~Adding to the rinse cycle for laundry. It helps remove soap residue, and also kills yeast (so it's good for your underwear or non-PUL cloth diapers if your baby is having yeast rashes).

~Putting in the 'Jet-Dry' spot on your dishwasher. No one ever suggested this to me, I just decided to do it, and I like to think that is why my glasses and cutlery come out so shiny. =) It keeps the dishwasher itself clean too.

~Using with baking soda for toilets, garbage cans, carpets and mopping (see above).

~Getting burnt-on stuff off of pots and pans. Simmer diluted vinegar in the pot, then scrub! Not that I ever burn anything while cooking.... =P

~Cooking and pickling. I can't stand the taste of vinegar though!

~Rinsing your hair. Put about a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a squirt or peri bottle (I use an old mustard squeeze bottle), and fill the rest with water and then squirt all over your hair and rinse well. It will get the dirt and soaps/chemicals out but leave your natural oils (and help distribute them) so your hair will be soft. It's not so great on my curly hair unless I use a leave-in conditioner after, but it leaves Dave's straight hair really nice.

~Adding to water. Dave occasionally adds a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to his water bottle. Apparently it's good for you, although it makes me want to barf, lol.

If anyone else has other uses for baking soda and vinegar, PLEASE let me know and I will add them to my list! Seriously, they are my favourite 'home maker' products out there! I don't use ANYTHING else for cleaning. I do have some bleach, I bought a jug of it when we moved out west (3.5 years ago), and it's still about half full. Most of that went to bleaching Ruthie's placenta, and occasionally I will give my diapers a bleach. We used it once when the toilet backed up too. But other than that, it's baking soda and vinegar all the way!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Play Time!

Kissing Ruthie's hand.

Gideon is a cuddler.

"It's ok Mommy, I don't mind!"

"Talk to the HAND, sister!"

Good times. <3

Friday, January 29, 2010

Roast Chicken

No one has ever shown me how to roast a chicken, so this is what I came up with on my own. I loooooove roast chicken, so this is a staple in our house (once a month anyway, I do a different supper every night of the month).

Preheat oven to 375F, wash and pat dry a 3-4 pound whole, fresh (or thawed) chicken.

Coarsely chop 1 med/large onion, and peel & crush one whole bulb of garlic.

In a small bowl, combine approx. 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp kosher salt, 2 tsp parsley, and 1 tsp each of sage, rosemary and thyme (it came to me in a song one day!). I never actually measure anything, though. Mix well.

Grease the bottom of a roast pan with butter, and/or drizzle with olive oil.

Take the oil mixture and rub it with your fingers all over the chicken, making sure to get the salt evenly all over it (the salt tends to sink to the bottom of the bowl). Place the chicken in the roast pan, and stuff about 1/3 of the garlic and onions into the bird, and the rest put alongside the chicken in the pan.

Put the lid on the roast pan, and cook for an hour (or 20 mins for each pound).

Remove lid, baste the chicken, and then cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until internal temperature at the thickest part is at least 165F.

*You can also add chopped (or mini) potatoes that have been covered in olive oil and seasoning salt (or whatever herbs you like, I prefer parsley and rosemary) to the roast pan with the chicken at the beginning, and use those as a side dish!

Don't forget to save the bones so you can make chicken stock! Simmer the bones and any remaining bits in a stock pot for 24 hours, then add parsley about 10 mins before it's done. Strain when it's ready and then you will have a lovely, healthy stock to use for other meals! I usually wait until I have 2 carcasses so I can simmer 2 at a time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

1000 Gifts: 156 - 170

156 - Having to pay only $380 of the over $1500 it cost for all our dental work this week thanks to Dave's benefits.

157 - Money in the mail specifically for usage at Tim Hortons.

158 - The hammock's ability to get Ruthie to sleep for hours, up to 7 hours at night!

159 - Laughing with friends for the first time in a loooooooong time!

160 - Gideon's infatuation with robots.

161 - Finally getting the chip in my tooth fixed.

162 - Watching a beautiful sunrise over the city-scape (even though it meant I was up and out of the house earlier than I'd like, it was worth it).

163 - My mei tai.

164 - A friend who came and did my dishes after I had a really rough night with the kids.

165 - A recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough truffles, stay tuned for that! (Thanks Jess!)

166 - Snow that made the scenery out my window pretty (it's all the snow is good for IMO).

167 - Having a dryer on the days where I really don't have it in me to hang everything.

168 - Baking soda and vinegar. Man, they are awesome for everything!

169 - The sparkle in Ruthie's eyes.

170 - Meal plans, I'd be so lost without them!

Now a message from Gideon, who has been sitting on my lap the whole time, desperately trying to communicate with you, it would seem:

mdcccccccccccccccccccccccccccvvxxxzn jjjjjj''' bbvvvcvcb;

(He has taken an interest in the computer this week, and he can already maneuver the mouse and click on things! And he loves to sing the ABC song while pretending to type!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


So Judith and I were looking through old videos the other day, and we came across this from 2 years ago:

So, she had to call Daddy up at work (she knows how to use the speed-dial) and tell him she needed more Mi Goreng! He had no problem with this, as it meant he could score some decent sushi at the Asian market.

Then she insisted we make a new video:

Yeah, so what if we had cappuccino, Tim Bits and Mi Goreng for lunch. Shut up.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


A friend of mine noted on her blog a little while ago how children are always completely present in everything they do. I've watched my children, and it's so true. When they do something, they are 100% there; in mind, body, and soul. They aren't worrying about anything else, their attention isn't divided, and they can focus completely on the task at hand, whether it's building a Lego tower or throwing the world's worst tantrum. Nothing else matters. Even Judith, who bounces from thing to thing to thing with boundless energy, is still totally present, all the time.

I can learn a lot from them. These days it seems like I am never entirely present. I think it's a survival mechanism, something I've developed to cope with the stress of mothering. I don't give myself fully to anything. It's almost like I've put walls up to prevent myself from being completely immersed in reality. But it really doesn't help at all. It actually hinders my daily life and relationships. I feel terrible about it, because my kids deserve better. It's hard as a mom these days, I feel like there is so much expected of me. I need to do 2 or 3 things at a time just to survive. Even right now, I am typing on the computer, watching a movie with Judith, and trying to keep Gideon from rolling on to Ruthie (his favourite way of showing affection) who is lying beside me since she just finished nursing. I know sometimes it has to be that way to get things done, especially with a nursing baby. But I know that I could be wiser with my time and energy, and focus more on being fully present, no matter what I'm doing. Things will still get chaotic, but it would be better to take a deep breath and dive in fully to where I am at that moment, rather than try and take it all on at once.

I've been conducting a little experiment lately. I've made a point in spending at least some time every day, focused 100% on the kids. You know what, it's HARD! It takes a lot of effort, and most of the time I fail. I get easily distracted by other things that need to be done, and most of the time I catch my mind wandering elsewhere, like to what's for supper, the latest parenting issue, something I read on facebook, or how dirty my carpets are (etc etc etc). It drives me CRAZY, and I so badly just want to 'check out' mentally. I try to escape by disengaging my heart and mind. Or I will sit at the computer, then get frustrated when the kids will not leave me alone. But when I can do it, when I can be completely present with the kids for a little while - physically, mentally and emotionally - it's amazing. I learn so much about them, and fall in love in new ways. I get intoxicated by the smell of breastmilk on Ruthie's breath, enchanted by the sparkle in Gideon's eye, and astounded by the beauty in every move Judith makes. They are SUCH amazing little people! It's so worth it, I don't know why I let myself get distracted by other things all the time.

The kids are also so happy when I can focus on them! They behave so well, and I feel like I can be the parent they deserve. I enjoy it too! I find when I am 100% there with the kids, the stress in my life just melts away. I can find joy in the little things again. Simple activities like making cookies with Judith, building train tracks with Gideon, or just sitting and staring at Ruthie while I nurse, makes SUCH a difference for them! When I look deep into their eyes while we interact, all is well with the world, they feel safe and loved. It's wonderful for me too. The colour starts coming back into my life, and I can't help but taste pure delight.

The same applies to time spent with Dave. I've been making a point of talking and cuddling with him at night instead of reading or going on the computer, and he appreciates that. Even just a few minutes leaves me feeling a lot more connected.

I could even apply this to housework. When I can focus and put myself totally into what I'm doing, not worrying about the big picture but merely doing the task at hand, it gets done faster and better. I can feel satisfaction in what I am doing, and what I have accomplished.

I need to apply this to my "me" time as well (when I actually get it). That is the hardest part. I don't get a whole lot of time, but when I do, my brain and my heart are always elsewhere. I've got a million 'to-do's' on my mind, and worries in my heart. That's probably why I never feel recharged after.

There are so many great things about living in this technological day and age. I love that I can keep in touch with my friends and family all over the world, that every kind of information is available right at my finger tips, and I don't have to slave away all day just to survive. But this lifestyle is still a busy one. My brain is overwhelmed and overloaded, my heart is divided between so many things, and my time mysteriously slips away day after day. It seems almost impossible to simply focus on one thing at a time. It takes a lot of effort and intention. But if I can do it, even just for a little while every day, I feel so much happier and in control of my life. I definitely don't have it all figured out, and I really need to work on this, but I think it's worth it to try. My family deserves it, and this time I have while they are with me is too precious to waste by spreading myself too thin. Maybe eventually I will regain that ability I seem to have lost in adulthood, to be absolutely and completely present in everything that I do. To be like a child again.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book - Week 4

Outside my window... Cold and snowy, again.

I am thinking... My house is so much nicer when it's clean.

I am thankful for... The turkey sandwich that I made earlier and forgot about, then I went into the kitchen a minute ago looking for something to eat, and there it was ready for me! I'm eating it right now. Sometimes my terrible memory causes wonderful surprises (other times, not so wonderful surprises...).

I am wearing... Brown cords, black tank top, brown, green, orange and white striped sweater.

I am remembering... That I have library books due this week. I will not forget this time! I hope...

I am going... To the dentist Wednesday to get 2 fillings, and I have to admit I'm pretty scared!

I am currently reading... Discipline Without Distress by Judy Arnall. I didn't get any reading done in the book this week AGAIN. But my excuse this time is that I got my Mothering magazine in the mail. That magazine is seriously the best, I have never gotten through an issue without crying! The only problem is it's never long enough. I burn through it in a day, because it's so good the rest of my life gets put on hold, and then I'm left wanting more, but have to wait TWO whole months for the next issue, not fair!

I am hoping... I have time to make cinnamon buns in the near future. That would be awesome.

On my mind... I really want to become a doula, and am thinking about taking the course in May. BUT, also wondering if this is the right time, or that maybe I should wait until next year, or later. I want to do it now, and I know I could handle the course and reading right now, but I don't know anyone who's birth(s) I could attend in order to get my certification. And I don't think I'm in a position to actually be a doula right now, while I'm still having babies myself. But I waaaaaaant to!

Noticing that... Keeping my house relatively tidy isn't as much effort as it used to be.

Pondering these words... "At this time in history, assuming that society will protect you can be a dangerous belief." ~Peggy O'Mara

From the kitchen... Lots and lots of fresh fruit! It's all we ate all morning.

Around the house... Toys still left out from our play date this morning.

One of my favorite things... Watching my kids play together and love on each other. They bring me so much joy.

From my picture journal... Me & my little man. <3

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Haiti Blogs

Just a few blogs I want to share:

Also, my friend Mandi (who I met through our blogs) is heading to Haiti in a couple months with Heartline Ministries. Here's her blog post about it:

Another friend I met through blogs in involved with this ministry:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Excuses vs Limitations

I want to elaborate more on my post from last week. There's a difference between excuses and limitations. When I was sick this week, there was no way I could keep up with the house. I just did the bare minimum, which really is still a lot with the kids, but my routines and chores went out the window. Thankfully my inlaws were here and they took care of the house and older kids so I could rest a bit. I can't label sickness as an excuse for not getting things done, it's a real limitation. Sometimes other things come up too that are real limitations, that you can't control. Like appointments and emergencies, for example. Sometimes you just can't do it all, and that's ok. Don't kill yourself just to keep a clean house. But what I was talking about was excuses I make that aren't really valid. I try to rationalize and validate myself in my head, but I know I could do better. Like, honestly, there really is no reason that I can't read my Bible every day, exercise, do my cleaning routines, keep my kids' faces and bums clean, spend time doing "school", make meals relatively on time, tidy the house at the end of the day, etc. I'm a stay-at-home-mom, this is my job. It's just easy to get lazy, and/or let the fatigue get to me, when I could easily get over myself with some discipline and willingness to work hard.

I am the type of person that can't handle failure though. So if I screw up one day, it sets me off for the rest of the week, and I just want to quit altogether. What motherhood has taught me, and I am continuing to learn, is that all I have is this moment. All I can do, is make the best of THIS moment. I can stop being lazy and complaining right NOW. I actually can do that, I have the power. It doesn't matter what I did yesterday, this morning, or a minute ago. Maybe it was bad. But it's gone forever, nothing I can do about it, but I CAN change what I am doing NOW. There's no point in dwelling on it, just pick myself up and start over, wherever I can. Getting SOMETHING accomplished is better than nothing, even if I can't do everything. This is a hard concept for me, believe it or not, but starting to practice it has been very liberating. It's grace. Not a license to be lazy or put my work off until later, but the freedom to chose to do the right thing right now. Sometimes I can't do it all, but I need to do what I can.

I still stand by what I wrote in this post as well. It's important to always remind myself what is truly important and urgent, but also organize my time and discipline myself to get the mundane things that need to be done accomplished as well. This is my new challenge for myself.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book - Week 3

Outside my window... Looks pretty nice, actually. The weather was beautiful for my inlaws' entire visit!

I am thinking... I should be napping, since all 3 kids miraculously are at the same time, but I am enjoying the quiet.

I am thankful for... The wonderful visit we had with Dave's parents!

I am wearing... Jeans, turquoise tshirt and black cardigan.

I am remembering... Haiti in my prayers.

I am going... To get my cavities filled next week. We all went to the dentist today for the first time in almost 3 years...

I am currently reading... Discipline Without Distress by Judy Arnall. I didn't get any farther, I didn't read at all this week.

I am hoping... The pediatric dentist Judith has to see won't cost too much, she has a lot of work to be done and will probably need to be sedated.

On my mind... Judith's teeth and Gideon's upcoming surgery, my poor kids!

Noticing that... I'm so much happier when it isn't freezing out.

Pondering these words... Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

From the kitchen... Fresh lemonade Judith and I made this morning.

Around the house... It's actually quiet for once.

One of my favorite things... Spending quality time with family.

From my picture journal... Us with Oma & Opa.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


(These are some old photos from when we made lemonade the first time.)

Step 1: Make a simple syrup. Combine 1 cup sugar (we used raw, organic) and 1 cup water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and mix. Place in the refrigerator to cool.

Step 2: Juice 6 large lemons, or enough to make 1 cup of juice.

Step 3: Once the syrup is cool, combine with the lemon juice in a large pitcher. Add 4 cups of cold water (add more water if you like, until it reaches your taste preference). Add ice and lemon slices, and enjoy!

*For an extra zip, zest some of the lemon peels and add to the juice!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

1000 Gifts: 141 - 155

141. Sibling love between Gideon and Ruthie.

142. My inlaws visiting this week from Ontario!

143. Making it to 2 appointments this week and only having to take Ruthie (it's soooo easy going out with just the baby when I am used to having to manage all 3!).

144. Finding out that my hernias will not require surgery, thank you Lord!

145. Judith's art.

146. Going out yesterday without needing a jacket.

147. Surviving on the highway after running out of washer fluid!

148. These cheeks!

149. Silence in a house full of people, even if I have to stay up ridiculously late to find it.

150. Clementines on sale!

151. A constantly clean kitchen (thanks to my inlaws).

152. Sparkling clean windows!

153. My preschooler who proudly breastfeeds her babies.

154. Two iced cappuccinos in one week.

155. Super cool kids!

(Dirty faces are a sign of good food)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I had an interesting conversation with a dear friend online this week. It started out being about breastfeeding (how so many women don't despite all of the evidence that it is best for babies), and then became more of an observation about our culture in general. We talked about how self-centered we are, infatuated with comfort and convenience, and so quick to give up when things get tough. Our society teaches us not to judge, and encourages everyone to do "what's right for them". In a lot of aspects, this is a good thing. But what about in cases where there is a clear "right" thing to do? One of the phrases my friend used, which she was told by a counselor, was "The right thing to do is the right thing to do, ya know?" This really made me think.

Now, I am a fairly shy person, and have always had problems standing up for myself or for what is right (at least in person, it's easier in writing). I really don't want to offend anyone or have them upset at me. But is this attitude really helping anyone? Would I, and those around me, be better off if I had the guts to confront people about serious issues? If more parents felt pressure to do the right thing, would that be so bad? Most people automatically get so defensive when confronted about parenting issues, instead of thinking about what the actual consequences of their actions might be. Why do we always feel such an incredible amount of guilt? Maybe sometimes people just genuinely want to help, even if they are, in fact, judging. Does that have to be such a horrible thing? My friend also said "Women already feel guilty about things like breastfeeding. They just need to know that it's ok to actually fix the problem. To go ahead and be mothers to their children. I know I needed that push." It's ok to try and be something better, to try and do the right thing when you are confronted with it. Accepting encouragement and making changes is a positive thing. Sometimes we need to lay down our pride for the sake of our kids.

I had a really hard time with breastfeeding when Judith was a baby (you can read My Breastfeeding Story via the link on the left column of my blog), but everyone around me pushed me to persevere. I hated it. I felt judged and inadequate, and I wished someone would tell me it's ok to give up and give her a bottle. But I was blessed enough to continuously be told that breastfeeding was best, and that was my only option. It was so hard at the time, and I didn't think I could do it. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. But I did it. And it made me a better mother, not just because I was feeding my baby the best food possible, but because that experience taught me that I could do ANYTHING. That it was ok to endure pain and suffer for a good cause. That my kids are worth it all. That parenting is hard work, and I can't pawn it off on anyone else. I wouldn't have learned those lessons by giving up.

I know I've probably offended someone by now. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. I really don't want anyone to feel guilty or bad about themselves or past decisions, there's nothing anyone can do about that. Everyone has their own individual story, reasons for their decisions, and experiences. All we have is right now, and we can choose to make changes right now, and for the future. If you're offended, I'd encourage you to take a moment and think about why you feel that way. But that's not where I'm going with this.

The conversation I had with my friend made me think about myself. How often do I make excuses? There are so many things that I should do, that I just don't. I have my list of excuses; I'm too tired, I don't feel up to it, I had a rough day, my feelings are hurt, I'm afraid, I don't know how, etc. I know and accept that my feelings are real and valid, but should they be allowed to derail my life? My grandmothers didn't have that option. But my generation seems to constantly grope for reasons to be lazy. I'm not saying I should kill myself in order to keep an immaculate house, but I probably could do better. And hey, if I did better, I might even feel better.

Tonight (Monday night) was very rough. Dave was out and I put the kids to bed myself. It took about 3 hours to tidy up the house, give the kids a bath, get them dressed, teeth brushed, books read, all the while trying to nurse, burp, or console Ruthie (she was NOT in a good mood). At any given moment there was at least 1, if not 3, children screaming and/or crying. Most of the time I was crying too, but I didn't have a choice, I had to persevere, keep pushing to get things done, and try to keep it all together. I was so frustrated and exhausted. But right now, now that it's all done, I'm glad I did it and feel much better. I was really tempted to skip tidying the house, but now that it's tidy I have a great sense of satisfaction. I would have felt like crap waking up tomorrow to the mess. I'm glad I didn't give in to the excuses to quit that were running through my head.

In the past I have struggled with depression, and I know back then I wouldn't have been able to push through and get everything done like I did tonight. But even if I were to become depressed again, I don't think that would give me the right to wallow in it. My kids deserve better than that. Having been through that already, I know that there is help out there, and it would be up to me to get it. I would have to talk to my doctor (naturopath) about it, and seek counseling, even if I didn't want to. It's hard to find the initiative to get help when you're depressed, but you can do it.

I really want to work on my discipline. It's severely lacking in my life. I could use the excuse that I have 3 kids, and yes, my house will never be perfect because of this, but I bet I could do better. I want to organize my time and my life better, I'm sure that would help me be less stressed, and allow me the freedom to be more present in each moment, and have more focus on the task at hand. There are some moms I know that get SO much accomplished in a day, without losing their minds, and I want to be like that. I want to give more to my husband, my kids, my house, and myself. I don't want my feelings and circumstances to own me.

Anyways, it's late, and my brain doesn't have much juice left (there I go making excuses again!), but I hope this makes sense. I just want to start holding myself to higher standards. I don't want to motivate myself with guilt, I've had enough of that in my life, but rather with the possibility of something better. I'm tired of these lame excuses holding me back.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book - Week 2

Outside my window... There's still lots of snow, but it's slowly melting with the above-freezing temps we've finally had for a few days.

I am thinking... I should get up early every day and get stuff done, but I'm so not a morning person.

I am thankful for... Friends that are coming over to visit today, and another friend who came last week. They help me feel less crazy. =)

I am wearing... Pj pants, navy tshirt and black hoodie, but I need to change soon.

I am remembering... How cute it was watching Judith having a tea party with Ruthie the other night.

I am going... To pick up my inlaws at the airport tomorrow for a week-long visit, yay!

I am currently reading... Discipline Without Distress by Judy Arnall. I only got through 2 chapters this past week, I wish I had more time to sit and read!

I am hoping... That the weather stays nice for a long time. I'm so done with winter already.

On my mind... How I need to quit letting my feelings get in the way of getting things done.

Noticing that... I haven't had any alone time all week and it's really affecting my moods.

Pondering these words... "They just need to know that it's ok to actually fix the problem." My friend Lindsay said this on her blog when talking about discussing parenting issues with others, and how people would rather be defensive than think about what's going on or what's best for their kid.

From the kitchen... Not too much the last few days besides meals.

Around the house... It has actually been relatively tidy this past week.

One of my favorite things... How much both Judith and Gideon love Ruthie.

From my picture journal... Mama & Baby.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why Having Lots of Junk Around is Good... promotes creativity! Judith made a fishing rod out of a piece of broken chair, a ribbon from one of her birthday balloons, a paperclip and a fish she made herself.

Hours of self-made fun.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gideon is a Robot

Please excuse my messy house and the fact that Gideon has yogurt spilled down his shirt, I just had a baby, so I can't keep on top of everything. =)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cake Doughnuts

New Years Day we started a new tradition and made doughnuts! This is my Grandma's recipe for cake doughnuts.

In a medium bowl, sift together:

3 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp nutmeg

In a large bowl (or stand mixer), mix:

2 beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla

Gradually add dry mixture to wet and mix well.

Roll out dough and cut into doughnut shapes (or just make small, flat discs to make "doughnut holes").

Cook in hot olive oil, 1/2 inch or so deep, over medium heat. Flip so both sides cook to golden brown. Or if you have something you could deep fry them in, that would be better!

Place cooked doughnuts on a cooling rack, paper towels, or a brown paper bag to cool.

If desired, place cool doughnuts in a container with icing sugar, close lid and shake to coat doughnuts.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

1000 Gifts: 121 - 140

It's about time I started this again!

121 - A most wonderful birth experience.

122 - Mountains of confidence and self-esteem from the birth experience.

123 - My beautiful little Ruthie.

124 - A quick recovery.

125 - A freezer full of dinners that lasted several weeks!

126 - No milk supply or breastfeeding issues.

127 - Fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes at 2 weeks postpartum. =)

128 - 2 week babymoon full of rest and bonding, not worrying about the house, meals or older kids thanks to my mom.

129 - A smooth transition to big-brotherhood for Gideon with no signs of jealousy.

130 - Co-sleeping with Ruthie, it's so sweet and she sleeps so well!

131 - A few random successes with elimination communication.

132 - A husband who likes to babywear!

133 - Getting help from Dave with bed time for the older kids.

134 - Judith's excitement about Christmas and all of the presents from all the grandparents.

135 - Staying way under my Christmas budget, while getting more gifts for the kids than I anticipated (thanks to kijiji).


137 - Quiet, laid-back holidays.

138 - Junk food and a family movie night for New Years.

139 - Newborn prefolds, they're so cute AND are so much better at containing poops than disposables!

140 - Finding so much joy in being a mom of 3. My kids are so awesome and beautiful. I'm so blessed!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How to Prepare for Children

I don't remember if I have posted this before, but I found it in another blog and I need to post it, mostly for you, Ashley. =)

How to Prepare for Children

Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Place a fish stick
behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

Obtain a 55-gallon box of LEGOs (or you may substitute roofing
tacks). Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a
blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream
because this would wake a child at night.

Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them
with you as you shop. Always keep them in sight and pay for
anything they eat or damage.

Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net
bag making sure that all the arms stay inside.

Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend
from the ceiling with a cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to
insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal into the mouth of the jug, while
pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on
the floor.

Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8-12
pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 3:00 p.m. begin
to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00 p.m. Lay down your bag
and set your alarm for 10:00 p.m. Get up, pick up your bag, and
sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more
and sing these too until 4:00 a. m. Set alarm for 5:00 a.m. Get
up and make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and pot of paint,
turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet paper tube and turn
it into an attractive Christmas candle. Use only scotch tape and
a piece of foil. Last, take a milk carton, a Ping-Pong ball, and
an empty box of Cocoa Puffs. Make an exact replica of the Eiffel

Forget the BMW and buy a station wagon. Buy a chocolate ice cream
cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a
dime. Stick it into the cassette player. Take a family size
package of chocolate chip cookies. Mash them into the back seat.
Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There, perfect.

Obtain a large bean bag chair and attach it to the front of your
clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10 of the beans.

Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask
the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store.
Go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be
directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home
and read it quietly for the last time.

Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how
they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet
training and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can
improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their
children to run wild. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last
time you will have all the answers.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hidden Valley Thoughts

For the next while, I'm going to try following some weekly memes to see if that will help inspire me to blog more. Yesterday I did the Simple Woman's Day Book, which I'm going to try and do Mondays. Tuesdays I want to try and do Hidden Valley Thoughts. I also want to continue with my 1000 Gifts project. There are buttons for all of these on the left column of my blog if you want more info. Fridays I will try and post a recipe, I enjoy doing those. The other days will be the usual programming, if I can come up with stuff. Let me know if there are any other fun memes or blog ideas out there!

About Hidden Valley Thoughts:

"As a career woman, turned stay-at-home-mom, I have learned what it means to live in a hidden valley.

"Moms live in a hidden valley day after day, completing tasks that will never be recognized but always taken for granted, putting in longer days than even the most ambitious career woman, and playing more roles than a well paid movie actress.

"They wake up each morning, longing to write that book, open that art gallery, record the music CD, start that exercise studio, and then fall into bed each night, too exhausted to pursue those dreams.

"There are tears that no one sees, laughter that no one hears, and lessons that few people ever hear about.

"Once a week, those who want to share a particular lesson or incident that took place in their Hidden Valley, can do so. It may be something God taught you, a moment of letting your kids play in the mud as you realize a little dirt doesn't hurt anybody, or a video that stuck a chord in your soul. Whatever it is, if it touched you, share it with us!"

I want to start off with this video, this is totally my life since becoming a mother:

I love Gypsee Yo. =)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book - Week 1

Outside my window... Snow still covers the ground, the sky is gray and uninviting.

I am thinking... I should set my sleeping Ruthie down and get some chores done, but she's just so sweet sleeping on my chest!

I am thankful for... Dave being able to work today, the weather has not been favourable lately and it is hurting us financially.

I am wearing... Pj pants, blue tank top and black cardigan.

I am remembering... How nice and quiet the holidays were.

I am going... To take Gideon to the Urologist on Wednesday at the Children's Hospital with the other 2 kids in tow as well, not looking forward to that.

I am currently reading... Discipline Without Distress by Judy Arnall. Judith has gotten a little out of hand since she turned 4/Ruthie arrived, with good reason of course, but I want to figure out how to better meet her needs (and for the love of God STOP the incessant screaming!!!).

I am hoping... To get dishes, laundry and vacuuming done today, HAHAHA! High hopes.

On my mind... Trying to find ways to be more present and intentional with the kids.

Noticing that... I tend to go online in an attempt to "hide" from everything that is stressing me out.

Pondering these words... "The good mother is a great artist ever creating beauty out of chaos." (From a Starbucks cup)

From the kitchen... Home made doughnuts!!!

Around the house... Lots of toys and clutter.

One of my favorite things... Ruthie's little grunts, snorts and squeaks.

From my picture journal... I brought the play mat up from the basement for Ruthie, but she wasn't the only one who enjoyed it!