Tag Archives: kids

When did Trouble get so big?

9 Aug

Someone should tell this guy that he can’t get into everything until he can walk for real.

Maybe someone should also stop letting his dad dress him 🙂 Or are polo onesies and athletic shorts an acceptable combo?

Poor Gemma…wherever she goes, there he is a moment later, wanting what she has, whacking at her toys, pulling on her ponytails, anything to get her attention and her things. His interest in anything remotely resembling a baby toy is long gone, and his favorite pastime is emptying…toy baskets, bookshelves, blocks, dishwashers, crayon boxes, puzzles, etc.

His being able to reach into the toy box brought a whole new world to empty – at least the whole top layer within reach of those adorable little dimpled hands.  Cupboard locks have been reinstalled and I am readjusting to having my doors slam shut every time I pull them open an inch and forget about that little catch needing to be pushed down.

I can’t say I really blame Gemma for getting frustrated – I get a little frustrated myself when I’m working in the kitchen and he is pulling himself up with his fingernails by the sensitive skin of my calves, slamming the oven drawer into my shins, showing up inside my fridge the second I open it, pulling the sharpest knives out of the dishwasher, and opening and closing the pantry door with his body blocking entry or exit.

But we are all adjusting quickly since I’m sure it’ll only get busier from here!  We just try to think of any possible distraction that might keep him busy for a minute or three.

Until he realizes there is grass to eat, throws up, and moves on to taste the dirt and flowers.

I am beginning to realize how true a line I read recently is: when you have boys you spend their lives trying to prevent them for killing themselves.  I can’t even count how many times each day I pull something out of this guy’s mouth or pick him up after a crash down from a chair or coffee table whose distance he misjudged. He sometimes thinks he knows how to walk and turns away from whatever he’s holding onto so he can gracefully fall face-first into/onto the nearest hard surface.

I don’t plan to get anything done, besides keeping him alive, until he’s at least 26.

Unless he is safely strapped in somewhere, busy just oozing cuteness!


Daddy’s girls vs. Mama’s boys

25 Jul

Why does “Mama’s boy” have such a negative connotation, while “Daddy’s girl” is considered sweet and acceptable?

I think both are sweet and should be encouraged, maybe not for all of life, but certainly for the childhood years.  Kids should be attached to both parents in this way, preferring them over any other adult or peer influence…the time this lasts is all too short as it is, and boys no more than girls should not be expected to start life with an independent, emotionally closed off, self-sufficient approach.

Personally, I would be offended if my baby boy wasn’t a mama’s boy.  Really, I carried him for 9 months, brought him into the world with gritted teeth, fed, bathed, clothed, entertained, and comforted him, and am one of only a handful of people he sees on a regular basis and knows by voice, smell and touch.

He sure as the seasons better love the stuffing out of me.

Let me go to my mama.

I am going to be thankful for and enjoy the snuggles now and hope to be the kind of mother who can accept it and assist him when one day that love and devotion transfers to a new lucky lady. For now I’ll take my cuddles and chuckle inwardly (and outwardly) when he clings to me with a big goofy grin when someone else offers outstretched arms.


18 Jul

About a week ago K-fer reached what is, in my mind, a pretty big milestone.  I know crawling, walking and talking are some of the biggest, but I’d say this ranks in the top 5 along with those.  He mastered fork skills!  I’m a proud mama, and he’s a proud, adorable boy.

Now, I know the big trend these days is to let babies feed themselves, so they can experience texture and improve their motor skills and be more willing to eat different foods and blabbity blah blah.  And I also know I have many negative personality traits that could use some work, and one of those is saying “blabbity blah blah” about things people do that I don’t agree with – I’ve been told it’s a little bit less than nice.  I’m sorry.  That area clearly needs a bit more work, and I really will try.  And I truly don’t judge you if you do it, I am just secure in the fact that it is not for me.

One of my traits that may be seen as negative that may or may not be related to my baby-feeding methods is my slight (maybe more-than-slight) tendency to OCD.  I like piles straight, I like my kids’ toys put away exactly as they arrived from the store, lined up in their dishrack or stacked from biggest to smallest, I like symmetrical lamps, and yes, I like my kids’ meals to land up at least 90% in their mouths.

Really, I’m pretty sure this trait is the only thing that keeps me cleaning bathrooms and washing dishes, so I won’t be trying to improve that area anytime soon.

This is why it’s a good thing I’m married.

I tend to think a child probably shouldn’t be allowed to feed themselves until around age 2, when motor skills are reasonably developed and they also have the mental capacity to understand where food belongs and that trouble will ensure if food starts making appearances on the wall across the table.

Carl, thankfully, gives kids a little more credit.  While I was happy to continue inserting food into K-fer’s compliant 10-month-old mouth, Carl quickly grew bored with this tedium and, while I wasn’t watching, showed the little guy how to use a fork!  What a good man.

In other news, over the past couple days both at home and in my sister’s kitchen with the help of my beautiful sister and mother, I’ve made 7 new recipes I can’t wait to share with you!  Once I emerge, hopefully unscathed, from the resulting pile of dishes and scribbled recipe notes, there’ll be a bunch of goodness coming your way 🙂

Happy Monday!

Bacon Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

23 Jun

With hot summer weather comes cool summer suppers!

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

I’ve been making this recipe for awhile after having something similar in Mitch Miller’s restaurant in Abbotsford.  I ordered a chicken caesar salad and there were NOODLES in it!  Now, if you know my feelings about pasta you know exactly how I felt about that – GIDDY would not be an overstatement.  Why had I never put pasta in my salad before?  Well, I would make up for it as expediently as possible.

I love pasta salads, Carl won’t touch them with a 10-foot pole.  Cold food makes his heart bleed. But Carl DOES love caesar salad.  And pasta.  Hmmmm.  Do you see where this is going?

YES, this is the perfect compromise for him, and it’s great for kids who aren’t big on lettuce too since there is plenty of substance with the noodles and chicken and bacon to keep them full and happy.  When I brought it to the table and sat down Gemma held up her hands and asked, “But Mom, what about the other supper?”  In other words, “Is this it?”  Obviously we usually have our salads on the side.  But she loved it!  And I just love lettuce and chicken and bacon and cheese and PASTA. I’ve also made this with leftover turkey – a great alternative to typical “leftover turkey” dishes.

If you aren’t like Carl and DO like pasta salads, this is actually a great pasta salad without the lettuce and croutons, as a Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad.  It travels great this way if you have to bring something to a party and don’t feel like bringing lettuce and croutons to add last minute, since if you add them at home you will be known as the one who brought the soggy salad and, as reputations go, yours could be better.

A pretty pasta salad already!

But if you want a full meal of deliciousness, add the lettuce and croutons and serve with a side of fresh crusty bread of some sort.  This recipes serves 2-4, depending if you have bread as well – 3 of us ate only salad and were full to the brim.  

First, one more note – you can use any kind of lettuce for this, and romaine would be the traditional caesar salad choice but I just love the fresh red leaf lettuce that’s out right now.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  Carl bought it for me 🙂  Way better than flowers that die and have to be thrown out – I am all about edible gifts.

A bouquet from my love


1 cup dry pasta, cooked according to package directions (rotini or bowtie pasta holds the dressing nicely)

6 slices bacon, cooked; reserve 1 Tbsp bacon drippings to toss with pasta

1 cup cooked chicken, chopped

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional – definitely use it if you’re making it as a pasta salad)

1/2 a large head of lettuce


Caesar dressing (I really think Renee’s Caesar dressing is the best there is, you can find it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, usually near the lettuce)

Fresh black pepper


Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, cook bacon and prep all other ingredients.  

Drain pasta and rinse under cold water.  Transfer to bowl and toss with 1 tbsp bacon drippings (doesn’t “drippings” sound so much better than “grease”?  But really, this is important to get the best flavour, don’t skip it!  If you’re making this ahead, it also keeps the pasta from sticking together.)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat thoroughly with dressing.  Serve immediately.


*If you’re not serving it immediately, toss all ingredients EXCEPT lettuce and croutons together and store in the fridge.  When ready to serve, add lettuce and croutons and additional dressing and black pepper.

And I just had to share a picture of my mini-me – she always makes “dinner” in her own kitchen while I cook, and invariably makes the same thing I am making, so today she had a big salad.  When I went to take a picture of mine she didn’t want her work of art to be left out, so she grabbed her own “camera” (a block) and followed me outside.  When I exclaimed, “Oh, I forgot the croutons!” she clapped her hands to her cheeks and shouted “Me too!” and we both hurried inside to remedy the situation.  She cracks me up every day.

A food blogger in the making

Hers looks delicious too!


22 Jun


Gemma loves to eat outside (as long as no bugs are in sight), but so far this year it’s been mostly too cold or too hot so a breezy warm day was just what we needed!  There’s something about the excitement of being outside that means she will eat pretty much anything I put in front of her, so I figure this summer this will be a good way to introduce more raw veggies and dip under the guise of “fun”.

She really is lovely company, my little conversationalist, and with Kristopher napping we didn’t have to worry about little fingers snatching the food or little mouths full of grass, which made for a nice relaxing snack time!  Now that she’s given up napping we’ll have to start doing more lunches outside since there won’t be such a rush to get the food down and get her into bed…we’ll save that for dinner time 🙂


A guest post by the kids

19 Jun

Dear Daddy, we are here today to tell you…

Why you are the best Dad ever: 

You tell us that you love us

Even when we’re bad,

You take the time to talk to us

And find out why we’re sad.


You laugh at every trick we have

And teach us new ones too;

You change our stinky diapers;

Wipe us when we use the loo.


You build the best block people

And treasure chests and trains,

You let us jump in puddles

Every time it rains.


You hold us when we’re cranky

And when mommy needs a break.

You teach us how to exercise

Yet always share your cake.


You try to get some work done

But we always find you there

And you love us all enough

To be distracted from your chair.


We love each moment with you

And that’s why we wake you up

To tell you about piggy

Or to fill our pink juice cup.


We give high fives and sweet kisses

And clap and sing along.

You encourage us to learn and grow,

And show us we belong.


Seeing you’s exciting,

We bounce and jump and giggle

And show how much we love you

By the force of all our wiggles.


You never act too old

To enjoy our childish games

And we love to watch you trying hard

To hide your giant frame.


You spend time with us gladly

And never make a fuss

When mom goes off to school

And leaves you just with us.


You work hard for your family

Where you feel you’re called

And set us the example

That money is not all.


You tell us we can be

Anything that we might choose

And that even if we fail,

Your love we’ll never lose.


You tell us that we’re charming

In our dresses or our jeans

You make us feel self-confident

And foster self-esteem.


You tell us that we’re special

And show us that it’s true

When you shower us with snuggles

And discipline us too.


You show us how to balance

Work and life and love,

And you’re such a special daddy

We give you all our love.


So much love,

Gemma (3) and Kristopher (9 months)

A new addition

15 Jun

Well, our family grew by one more yesterday!  

Everyone, meet PP!

One more piggy, that is.

Gemma got a stuffed piggy as a gift when she was a newborn and latched onto it almost immediately, and along with that came a serious love for all pigs, whether alive, statuesque or stuffed.

This guy was the highlight of our trip to the zoo:

We recently also discovered the EcoDairy near our house, which we’ll certainly be visiting weekly not just because they have amazing fresh local and organic produce and specialty products at great prices, but also because they have a row of animals outside to pet and admire, including two very friendly pigs!  

And yesterday at the store Gemma spotted not one, but TWO new piggies she just HAD to have.  One was a fluffy kids’ stool with a pig face as the seat, but I couldn’t think of a reason I’d want to fill more floor space with that.  The other, however, was a PILLOW pig!  Since Gemma’s well-worn old piggy is in fact what she uses as a pillow, this was too good to be true.  Here was a pig pillow that is actually MEANT to go in the washing machine and dryer!  And he can be velcroed together so he stands up, which is just the cutest thing.  Into the buggy he went, with a very happy Gemma who loudly informed the checkout lady that he was NOT to go in a bag, but right back to her arms.

And I am happy to report that old piggy has been moved to the side of the bed and new piggy (Pillow Piggy, aka PP, as he’s been named) functioned successfully as a pillow.  I don’t expect old gray piggy will be making a disappearance anytime soon but hopefully with a few less washings he will live out his golden years in happy one-piece-ness.  

Gemma spent the afternoon introducing all her pigs to each other and making sure they were all friends, then informed me with great relief that they were all getting along, sharing and taking turns.  

Time for a bigger bed I think!

 These kinds of family additions are really very easy to adapt to.  

Gemma in her glory!


(PS: A very happy milestone birthday to my dear friend Andrea’s lovely mom!! 🙂 )

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