Monday, March 29, 2010

monday - it's almost over

Today was insane for me. The morning started with a technician coming to look at our dishwasher - it's broken and will stay that way for another week or so. They need to order a part will be a week. Needless to say I have a mountain of dishes.

Then off to get some money at the bank to pay for our music class; then to music class. Thank you oh so much for music class as it was the only fun part of the day for me. C Monster had lost of fun all day at my expense; but for me music class was the highlight of the day. While we were at music class I picked up a copy of the teachers CD From Sun to Sun - C Monster loves it. After we got home all he wanted the CD to be playing all the time. We had to get this CD right before Criss Cross Apple Sauce E Monster Eva's daughter introduces the song as "Christophe Apple Sauce". If you go to Music For Life's website you can here it - On the left hand site you can listen to a sample of songs just select Criss Cross Apple Sauce.

After Music was lunch we made pizza. I prepared the dough last night in our bread machine - that also broke. Will probably be about 1 week or so for the replacement part. The crust just came out OK once I have my bread machine back and I perfect the recipe I will post it.

After lunch came nap - C Monster did go down in his bed after a fight and nursing for so long I swear I felt like my boob was going to fall off. During nap; did laundry; did some sewing; watched True Blood; cleaned up a bit; checked on my seedlings; answered my emails; planned C Monster schedule for the month of April. After only being down for an hour (that is how long it took me to do everything noted above) C Monster woke to only fall back asleep in my arms downstairs - there goes everything else I wanted to do. He slept till 4pm.

Once he woke up for the second time - pack him up in the stroller and off we go run errands. Pick up a coupling drive from Butlers for our blender that broke last Friday; pick up bread from the bakery (since we do not have a bread machine); get groceries. Arrived back home slightly after 6pm.

Make supper - mac & cheese from a box - yes it's that kind of day. (It's organic mac& cheese)

After supper put groceries away - C Monster helps - he is in charge of putting the fruit in the fruit drawer.

7:30pm going crazy; I am solo parenting as Geoff is out for the evening - I decide to distract C monster by calling my parents - it works like a charm for almost an hour. During that time I amke poached pears (We currently have around 30 pears - so I figured this would be a great way to use up 20 or so).

8pm C Monster hangs up with my mom (they do web calls using Skype) - I need to put away the pears before we head up for bed he wont let me - I cave in and let him watch Thomas.

8:30pm we go upstairs - C Monster puts on his pj's brushes his teeth - attempt one at putting him down last till 9:15. I tell him he can play or sleep but mama is going to do a few things and I will be back in a few minutes. C Monster complains for 10 minutes - no crying just complaining - the he starts crying so I go up to him right away.

9:30pm attempt number 2 at going to sleep - he is down in 15 minutes or so.

10:00pm I am sitting dead tired in front of the TV watching Chuck and waiting for Geoff.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tulip / Maple / Aunt Tara's


Saturday this week was packed full of fun. We started the morning with breakfast at a local diner: The Tulip. When we were getting ready in the morning I asked C Monster what he wanted to eat. I went through a list and he said no to everything; so I asked him "do you want to eat at a restaurant," and he said a very enthusiastic "yeah" - off we went.

Tulip is your typical diner, good food, good prices. The service has always felt a bit rushed to me but I don't blame them as they are crazy busy all the time. They do not have a kids menu, we just share our meal with the C Monster.

After a great brunch C Monster and papa were off to the gym while I got some time to work on my LLL application.


The hunt for an organic Maple Syrup Farm open to the public in Ontario started almost 3 weeks ago. I only found a few farms:

McCutcheon's Maple Syrup

Robinson Maple Products
Hoover's Maple Syrup

We ended up going to McCutcheon's mostly because they were the closest to our home - a very close 1 hour and 45 minutes drive. I think the drive was worth it.

First of all, if you are looking for a tourist attraction with rides, a pancake house and all that you are in the wrong place - this is a true working farm run by a great family.

When we got there we were greeted by Mr. McCutcheon; he started the farm in the 70's and from my understand it is still to this day family run and operated. His daughter was also in the store - she helped me with my purchase. The store is a loose term as it is a section of the processing building for the syrup that they have a cash and products set up for display. They are open during the season everyday from 1 to 5pm. - I would call ahead just in case especially if you are traveling a few hours like we did.

We ended up purchasing 5 bottles of syrup a total of 8.6 litters (yes we use a lot of syrup in a year); I also picked up a jar of maple butter and a few maple leaf candies.

After our shopping was done we took a look at the processing equipment that were all dormant that day - we chose the first day in weeks were the sap was not running. However while we were there the pump did kick in once and C Monster got to see the sap rushing in. - the little sap there was. Mr. McCutcheon offered us a sample of the sap to taste. It's taste just like water with a little sugar added - it's amazing that someone figured out that you could make such a fantastic syrup from that.

Then off for a walk in the woods - oh no a stop at the heavy machinery. C Monster loves all types of trucks - when Mr. McCutcheon offered to let him climb in, I think it made his day. After 10-15 minutes of ridding the big rigs; we kinda convinced C Monster to go for a walk in the woods.

We only walked for 30 minutes of so; next year I would like to come earlier so we can stay longer and enjoy the outdoors a little more with C Monster. We looked at the sap running in the pips and tried to follow it to determined witch tree it was coming from - I gave up as there were way too many trees. C Monster played with some sticks, looked at moss growing on trees and even tried to eat a piece of a tree.

This is definitely the Farm we will come back to year after year - a great big thank you to the McCutcheon for sharing their great Sugar Maple Farm with us.

Aunt Tara's

On the way home C Monster was begging to get out of the car so we called Aunt Tara and guess what: she was home. It's neat to watch C Monster play with her kids now as they interact with him and vice versa - instead of the ever so popular reaction kids have to babies: he is cute but what do I do with him? C Monster had a double bonus as Grandpapa Roy was also there.

The kids played; I sorted hand-me-downs.

When were ready to leave the kids followed C Monster outside and they had some races from a good 15 minutes or so. Of course C Monster came in last he was against a 5 and 6 1/2 year old (Sorry Tara if I got the ages wrong). However he had a blast and it was so much fun watching them.

Looking Forward To

Seeing Tara and the Kids again in a few weeks.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A little late but here is Friday...

Peanut Butter is it good or bad?

At our last visit with our homeopath she suggested to curb back the amount of peanut butter C Monster consumes because it is linked to cancer. Weather it is my homeopath or my doctor that says to do something we always question and try to do our own research.

Their is a fungus that grows on peanuts that has been linked to cancer. Not all peanuts have this fungus it seems to be that this fungus thrives in humid climate.

Some links with good information:

All that being said C Monster loves peanut butter and is very picky so anything that is somewhat healthy that he is willing to eat he gets; so I decided I needed more information on the peanut butter we buy for him so I sent the company (MaraNatha) we get out Peanut butter from this letter:


As a concerned mother of a 2 year old that loves your peanut butter I wanted to receive a bit more information about the product.

Could you please inform me as to were the peanuts used to make your butter are grown?

Thank you"

Once I get an answer back from them I will update you on the peanut butter situation; as it stands for now C Monster will keep eating peanut butter, until I have a bit more information to make a fully informed choice as to what to do.


Our Kitchen Aid Blender died today; it's the second time in 4 years since we have had this blender that the exact same part dies...

Trying to figure out if we are going to fix it again or buy a new one?

Chips Chips Chips

I went on a chip kick today, I think it's because grandmama was visiting so I had free hands to do as I pleased; since she was entertaining the C Monster.

I made Kale Chips for the second time; other then the fact that I over salted them they were great. The first time we made well we threw them out... I used a recipe found via tastespotting for a guide - by Savour Fare I did not change much up:

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale

1 tablespoon oilve oil

1 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Wash and dry the kale; remove the central vein and slice the kale leaf in half length-wise.

In a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar and salt. Toss the kale the in the mixture until well coated then spread leafs on baking sheets, lined with parchment paper.

Bake until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Check at 10 minutes then almost every minute after mine where ready in 13 minutes, the first time we made these they burnt and were gross.

After finishing the Kale Chips I wanted to try some sweet potato chips. I used the cooking guidelines for the beet chips I made a few days back, but other then that I made it up as I was going along:

Sweet potato chips

2 large sweet potatoes cut in thin slices lengthwise using a mandolin
olive oil
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 250. Spread potatoes slices on cookie sheets lined with parchement paper. Bake for 60 to 80 minutes. Check them at 60 minutes then every 5 minutes after that until they are crisp - once again you do not want to burn them.

Place chips in a large bowl drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt - toss then serve.

A note to ones that are new making chips, all baked vegetable chips tend to go soft again after a day or so; if you do not finish them all the same day you made them - just toss in the oven at 250 for a few minutes before you eat them and they should crisp up again.

Looking Forward To

Going to the maple syrup farm tomorrow...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Terrible 2s / Sprouts / Bad Plastics

Terrible twos

Today I did something I never though I would after C Monster hit me in the head hard enough for me to see stars I told him mama was leaving him in his room alone for a few minutes because he hurt me and needed to think about what he did.

I left him there for a total of about 10 minutes - I was sure he was going to cry as soon as I left but instead he said "mama ouch" and played for a bit with some blocks. When I came back to the room he gave me a hug and a kiss and asked to nurse so we did.

What I though I would not do is just put him in his room if he was "bad" and leave. I always told myself that this is not how you resolve conflict. If he does things like this typically we talk about feelings and why did he hurt. However today, well we had been having a ruff day and this was the tipping point; I was scared if I stayed with him and he did it again that I might scream at him instead of reacting calmly. I think I needed the time out as much as he did.

As I write this and C Monster is upstairs getting ready for bed with papa I heard papa say "Are you done throwing stuff at me, can I come back now?"


For a few years now we have been making our own sprouts instead of buying them at the grocery store. It's pretty easy as long as you have a sprouting jar. I really like the crunchy bean and pea sprouts you can buy; so I decided to try to make some at home. It was super simple here is what I did (the instruction are assuming you are using a sprouting jar)

Use 3 tablespoon dried whole peas soak for 8 to 10 hours. After that rinse and make sure you rinse the peas twice a day and drain. After about 3 to 4 days you will crunchy sprouted peas to add to salads or just snack on.

Bad Plastics

I was looking for some information on polystyrene the other day and came across this great website that really brakes down well good and bad plastics and explains the reasons why one would call a plastic bad in very understandable terms. You should check it out:

Looking Forward To

The maple syrup farm - assuming the weather is cooperating this weekend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

All in a Wednesday

Did that really happen?

This morning was so glorious that I decided to take C Monster out to the playground instead of staying home and taking care of some tasks. He loves going to the park; he loves playing with the other kids; he loves the slides; he loves the swings; he loves the sand box - the only part he does not love us leaving.

When we were at the park a dad I know was there with his twins ( they are close to C Monster in age ) We were chatting all while keeping an eye one our kids when suddenly one of his boys (twin A) fell and started to cry; at the same time a group from a kindergarten was getting ready to leave when one of the women watching the group opened the gate twin B took a run for it. I had my back turned and did not really see what happened but the dad yelled at his boy to stop (all while trying to console the other one) twin B did not stop. I quickly asked him is that your son and said I'll go get him - and promptly retrieved him. My problem with this situation is that the 3 women that work the kindergarten did not notice a 2 year old walking threw the gate they were holding open without an adult - or worst they did notice and did noting about it.

Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking.


I made a sicker reward sheet for C Monster last week. We wanted to find a way that he could see his good behavior to encourage it more often. He gets a sticker for the following things: brushing his teeth, trying a new food, taking his vitamins, tidying up, sitting on the potty - or anything else that he did that was extra helpful or special. I have not yet decided if it is working to entice him to do these things but it's not hurting and well he loves getting a sticker.

To make the sheet toddler friendly I made a large grid - one square for one sticker. I also made some rows and at the beginning of each row is an image of the task he needs to do to get a sticker. Last but not least I print them on old paper that has already one side used.

Science Center

Once again we made it to the Science Center today here is little clip of my favorite moment - C Monster practicing his motorcycle stunts.

C Monster Space - Living Room

We have a small house it's probably around 13' wide by 28' long - I am not kidding. Needless to say we do not have enough room to designate an area for C Monster alone - so his space is our space and we need to make it work that way. The biggest challenge is to keep the space clean that is were lots of storage bins come in play. As you can see these are the same bins that are in his bedroom that way I can easily rotate around his toys.

That being said he does have corners that are his in all our rooms. I have an old little table and chair set up beside our couch - I use this space to set up different activities for him. One day it might be puzzles the other crayons and a book or his abacus. The table and chair itself have history. My mother got the set plus one more chair from an old school in Moncton that was closing down (needless to say it is extra sturdy) the set was my sisters first; then passed down to me. My dad refinished the table and one chair (not the one in this picture). My mother kept the table all this time; the missing chair is at my sisters (she refuses to part with it) and the little white chair that is in the picture was my grandmothers chair for many years. My grandmother was a very petite lady and disliked all the chairs in her home because her feet could not reach the ground however this small child's chair was perfect for her. When she passed away last year we took the chair home with us - above the table is a painting of my grandmother this way she is always watching over C Monster while he plays in the living room.

I need to rant

Ok so an idiot cut me off today and I almost crashed into him - license plate BJBE 057. I was making a right hand turn unto Greenwood and well they decided to make a right hand turn from the middle lane right in front of me. I was frustrated - C Monster on the other hand though it was funny that mommy honked the horn and wanted to do it again.

Looking Forward To

Tea with my friends tomorrow and Grandmama visit on Friday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 23, 2010

Outside my window...
Is Rain, a police car, trees trying to bloom and one hopes spring.

I am thinking...
Of my friend Lisa

I am thankful for...
For many things this list could go on forever but today I am most thankful for "Skype" yes I know that is weird but everytime I see C Monster talk to my mom and dad over Skype and how he interacts with them I can't help but be thankful. If it was not for all this technology I am sure C monster would barely know his grandparents

From the learning rooms...(if this applies) Puzzles lots an lots of puzzles

From the kitchen... Today I just threw a vegetable soup together with all the veggies in the fridge: peas, carrots, celery, onion. I added some beans and pasta. Even tossed in some old pasta sauce that needed to be eaten. Spiced it up with marjoram, chives and summer savory. - it ended up turning into a great minestrone soup.

I am wearing...
Jeans from Vallue Village & a T-shirt found on Etsy.

I am creating...
Nothing - I just finished my sons frog now working on deciding the next task

I am going...
To my LLLC meeting tonight

I am reading...
Mothering your nursing toddler - this is a must for anyone who wants to nurse past the age of one - it really gives the support that is sometimes oh so hard to find.

I am hoping...
That my husband gets home soon

I am hearing...
My neighbors child cry and my son laughing - such an odd contrast (he is not laughing at the crying but at his annoying toy that also makes laughing noises)

Around the house...
Too much laundry

One of my favorite things...
Hearing my son laugh

A few plans for the rest of the week: Going to the Science Center, seeing grandmama and going to the sugar shack

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

To read other Daybook by some fantastic women go to:

Toronto Water Lead Testing

Back in October 2008, we'd had our water tested for lead levels by the city, and blogged about it. A recent study has implied that if you have a partial pipe replacement at your home, your lead levels may spike rather than going down, and that it might be better to leave old lead pipes in place than to replace part of the pipe (although a full replacement is still an improvement).

Having read this, I inquired if a friend had had his area's pipes replaced, and when he said that they had, I suggested he consider getting his water tested. I pointed him to our blog post and he looked into it, and has discovered that the process has changed somewhat. When we had our water tested, the city dropped off a sample bottle and picked it up again. Now, you have to go and pick up the bottle and drop it off, which is probably a sensible optimization on the city's part, although it is obviously less convenient. The locations and process are are documented on the City of Toronto website.

So if you're interested in having your lead level tested in Toronto or if you've had a partial pipe replacement, this might be a good time to go read up on getting your lead level tested.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cheaters Lunch / Doc / Bottled Water

Cheaters Lunch

Even the beast mothers in the world sometimes "cheat" when it comes to lunch. I would like to say that I always make elaborate meals and never feed my son food from a box (I can however honestly say he never gets lunch out of can) but life gets in the way and sometimes you just don't feel like cooking.

On the menu today for lunch was Annies's Organic Whole Wheat Shells & Cheddar. If I am going to buy something pre-made I try to get items that have all real ingredients (no dyes or chemicals added). We have a few pre-package foods that we like to keep on hand in the house the above is one and the other is Amy's Organic Frozen Cheese Pizza.

Both of those are not cheep; and I like that because it's makes me think twice before opening the box and serving it for lunch. We don't get these to cut cost; cutting cost is done by making our own breads, sauces and all sorts of stuff - We truly just get these for convenience. I feel like I can justify it by making sure that all the ingrediants on the list are similar to stuff I have in my pantry - am I just kidding myself who know?

Is there anything you buy for shear convenience?


C Monster had his 2 year check up today. We had a good visit; a good discussion about vaccination and what vaccines he would get this year. When we bring him to see the doctor it's never a one way conversation; the doctor can not just tell me to do something and I will - it's a partnership he tells me what he wants and I tell him what I am willing to do and we come to an understanding.

So, the Monster will be getting 4 vaccines this year; his last combo for Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis/Polio/Hib and 3 for Pneumo conjugate. One vaccine every 3 months.

The C Monster weighted in at 33.5 lbs and is an incredible 35.25" tall.

The Story of Bottled Water

A good reminder to all to fill up a reusable bottle with water before leaving the house... Thanks for sharing this with me Geoff

Looking Forward To

Attending my LLLC meeting Tomorow

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nursery No More / Toronto Life / Grandpa

Nursery No More

One of my readers requested a peek in C Monster's space how it is set up and so on. I though a great way to start the series on the Monster's space would be with his room. In the next few days I will follow this up with another post about his play areas in our home.

I uses the title for this section as Nursery No More because well his room definitely is no longer a nursery; the crib is long gone and so is the rocking chair and baby mobile. These have been replaced with a big boy bed and a reading corner.

I have to say if we ever have a second baby we will probably not use the crib; C Monster ended up co-sleeping with us until he was old enough to be on a mattress on the floor. When we first got the mattress he rolled off a few times and then that was that - he seemed to understand were the edge was and now pretty much never rolls out of bed. I have to say he is a pretty lucky boy this is a premium bed: all natural organic cotton mattress an sheets with shredded rubber pillows (matching mom and tot). The main large blanket is mine from childhood my grandmother made it; the knitted blanket at the foot of the bed was a gift from my sister and the 2 little throw pillow I made from 2 cloth bags we received with pj's from grand-mama.

I have to mention that the little rocking chair in the picture was found on the side of the curb - it was too cute to leave there.

I use the same bins in C Monster room; the kitchen and living room to sort his toys; that way once every two weeks I can rotate the bins so that he does not always have the same toys downstairs. However we make sure to keep an abundant supply of books and puzzles in his room as these are his favorite before bed activities. The rocking horse was a gift from my mom and travel to Toronto all the way from Moncton - she found it at a yard sale for 2$.

As you can all see for yourself his nursery is now a little boys room...

Toronto Life

During my blogging hiatus I kept busy - and I also got interviewed for Toronto Life. If you want to take a look at the article -

Grandpa Roy

C Monster was trilled today to spend the afternoon and evening with his Grandpa. I love watching him interact with other members of the family - I think it's so important for him to know his grandparents. Maybe this comes from the fact that I probably spent more of my childhood at my memere's then any-where's else.

Grandpa also brought us to Mahar one of the locale Indian restaurants on the strip. C Monster is getting a bit more eventurous with food - typically he would have only eaten naan but today he had some samosas and barfi along with his naan.

Looking Forward To

Friday, March 19, 2010

Diapers, Chocolate, Day Off

Diapers in the Compost?

I recently received the following email from a reader:

I came across your blog and was very impressed with everything I read!

I gathered you live in the Toronto area
Here is a question I hope you may be able to answer (as I live in Quebec and am so curious)

Toronto has an organic waste program
I was interested to learn that diapers (with WASTE ? in them??) are placed into these containers and shipped away to the compost heap??
My question is any diapers (even those "plastic " ones; like Pampers??)

I use cloth and eco friendly diapers exclusively because I didnt want to place more of a burden on the environment than I already have (laundry is a necessary evil...)
So I was so baffled to learn that "plastic" diapers were being composed of in TORONTO.

I hope you can clear this all up for me.

Eagerly awaiting your reply
mom of a spunky one year old in Montreal, QC"

Answer is yes. We can put diapers in our green bin all kinds of disposable diapers does not matter whether it is a G Diaper, Pampers, Huggies, Seventh Generation and so on... The city uses a processing technique that separates the plastic from the compostable materials. This is what the city of Toronto say about it on their website.

"Toronto’s program was created to maximize convenience for residents which included being able to use plastic bags and to accept hard-to-process materials such as diapers."

Any plastic that goes into the system is removed as residue."

The disposal of plastic residue is the responsibility of our contractors. Our contracts specify that our residue must go to our own Green Lane landfill."

The system that Toronto chose to process our green bin materials is different than that used by other, less urban municipalities. The City’s own primary processing facility is functioning flawlessly and was built to remove the plastics in the system. This facility is also able to handle diapers. The plastic in diapers is removed as residue and fully accounted for but the remaining material is digested and composted."

Have I ever used the city's compost - no; so I can not comment on how effective the process is or the quality of the compost. I do know that many people line up every year to get the compost and the city always runs out. This year we need a large quantity of compost as we are going to plant lawn in our back yard; I am thinking of getting the city compost because it is free. If I do I will blog about it.

For the burden on the environment; It seems the debate never ends especially when you can toss your diapers in the compost. We decided that a combination works best for our family and our conscious (as to the burden on the environment) When we are home C Monster is in cloth and we use cloth wipes. We wash our diapers once every 3 or 4 days and use natural products to do so (vinegar, natural laundry soap, borax - it all depends on the day). When he is out and about for more then an hour (i.e. he will probably need a diaper change) we typically use Gdiapers. I say typically because we received 2 large boxes of pamper style diapers from my sister-in-law. I am not crazy we used them; to replace them with the same amount of Gdiapers would have probably cost over $200 - also they were already purchased whether I use them or someone else does. This combination of diaper styles seems to rest well with us; I think no matter what you choose unless you EC will tax the planet in one way or another - it's a matter of finding something you are comfortable with.

Chocolate & San Pellegrino

I rarely buy candy bars; if I want chocolate I will do the short walk to Kakayo and get an hand made organic truffle ( I know sound decadent - they are ). Today the chocolate monster that lives in me convinced me to buy not one but 2 candy bars (an Aero and Cadbury) and to wash them down a San Pellegrino Limonata.

The guilt monster in me fells horrible not one but 2 of these products are owned my Nestle - I don't like Nestle as a corporation.

Mama get's a brake

and C Monster spends the day with Papa... [Except for his needed mama and C Monster mandatory lolo (nursing) moments]

@ the drop in

why are you taking my picture - i just woke up

trip to the park

@ the park

must eat every last drop - ice cream

my money
What do you wash your dishes with?

We have had a dishwasher now for just over half a year and I think I have tried more bad dishwasher liquid or powders then good ones - this is why that our soap of choice deserves a mention here.

First lets start with the worst of the soaps we tried - hands down it is Nature Clean Automatic Dishwasher Gel. It left the inside of our dishwasher with a nasty film of grime and well the dishes also.

Now the winner is EcoEthic Automatic Dishwashing Powder. It come in a plastic container that is recyclable; I prefer the plastic over the cardboard box because I don't need to worry about getting the packaging wet. Geoff saves the empties and uses them to package up oil (from motorcycle oil changes) to drop off at the hazardous wast transfer station. It has a bit of citrus smell that does not bother me. But most important of all it gets the job done; dishes come up clean.

In case you are wondering we purchase it from Green Cricket.

Seedlings - Soy Beans

Play Ground

The afternoon finished with a trip to the play ground; were we lucked out and bumped into some friends Marnie, A Monster and J Monster.

Looking Forward To

The eating home made bread my husband is working on.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lots of Creative Cooking and a bit of Gardening

Paper Maché Part I

This morning C Monster and I had some fun ripping up a bunch of paper ( the paper is one month worth of junk mail - I think it is sad that it only took one month to accumulate this much unwanted mail). Sometime in the next few days we will use these strips of paper to make some paper maché car garages and tunnels for C Monster to play with.

Cassava Peanut Butter Cookies

So we have had a box of Cassava Crackers for over a year now and wont eat them because well we don't like them. I decided to get creative and try to make something out of them - I remembered making crumb cookies almost a year ago when we had enough bread crumbs to leave a trail from here to Florida. ( I am in Canada) I figured I could alter it some and make cookies with the Cassava Crackers - and guess what it worked. These are not my favorite PB cookies (well my favorite recipie for PB cookies comes from a pastry chef so what do you expect) but I would give them a strong 3.5 out of 5 stars and C Monster seems to love them.

The recipe used for inspiration was Bread Crumb Cookie by Thrifty Fun. Below is the new ingredient list the basic direction to make the cookies stayed the same.
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup raw cocoa nibs
  • 1 1/4 cups panela (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups cassava cracker crumbs (place crackers in food processor)
  • 2/3 cups peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup quick cook oats
Beets; Beets; Beets

In our food box this week we had some beets; while reading TasteSpotting I stumbled on a beet chip recipe that I wanted to try. C Monster refuses to eat beets - I though maybe if they were a little more fun he might try them. I was right he gobble a handful up before bedtime.

The recipe calls for simple syrup and I also had a jar of this left over from making candied grapefruit peels - so it was perfect.

After I was done all the beets I collected the remaining simple syrup now turned red from the beets and made some lemonade with it. (Some very pink lemonade).

1 1/2 cup simple syrup - or to taste
1 cup lemon juice
3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)
Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher; serve chilled.

Garden Prep

This week has been so nice with everyday above 15. Today was no exception so C Monster and I went out back in the afternoon for a few hours he played and I did some work. Then he helped me with some work on prepping the yard for a vegetable garden. This year we are expanding with an additional row along our neighbors fence here we will plant soy beans and lettuce.

I am so excited my soy bean seeds arrived today. We ordered them from West Coast Seeds; soy bean seeds seem to be hard to find despite the fact that is started from seedling they will grow wonderfully in Canada (at least that is what I am told) - On the agenda for tomorrow with C Monster is planting the seeds in seedling pots. It's the first time I ordered anything from West Coast Seeds; I am sure they are fine but will let you know in a few weeks when they sprout.

Looking Forward To

To Saturday morning and working on my LLLC Leader application.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To Do, Chickpea - Babble

To Do List

Many people say I am the most organized person they have met; well that is because otherwise I forget everything. Just how crazy am I about making list well lets see - we have shopping list; to do list; cleaning list and so one. I also have a daily to do list this is the stuff that I need to do everyday. I post the list on my white board and as the day goes by check stuff off as it is done.

How do you keep yourself organized?

Beans & Chickpeas

It's not a secret despite my best effort C Monster pretty much only eats pizza, pasta, crackers, eggs, cheese, edemame, peas, corn, smoothies, dried fruit in all forms. I was floored when he started eating chickpeas and black eye peas last night- he even did a repeat performance for supper tonight.

C Monster Babble No More

C Monster is slowly mastering his vocabulary and is developing some favorite sentences here is a peek in his vocab:
  • Come papa (this is said every-time he sees a motorcycle; because his papa drives one)
  • Help mama
  • Mama Aide
  • More mama up vroom vroom (this is said every-time we are in the car and I drive over speed bumps)
  • Mine Mine Mine
  • Meow en haut, down (by this he means the cat is on the counter and should get down)
  • More juice
  • There it is
  • Yeah vroum vroum
  • Papa this (and points at the toy he wants his dad to play with)
  • Papa bye bye vroum vroum (this means papa went to work in the car)
  • En haut cho-cho (this is used the describe a train on a bridge)
Looking Forward

To more sunny days...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Seedlings; Kids On the Hip and I am not Perfect

Seeds are Sprouting

I am so excited my seeds are taking and my sprouts are growing... I planted a few more last weekend and will do the same this weekend - by spreading out when you start your seedlings you have a variety of plants at different point is their growing cycle so you end up with a more continuous crop.

Kids on the Hip is closing. All week, everything is 25% off; next week starting on Saterday everything is 40% off, then that is it: bye bye Kids on the Hip. I went by today and picked up a few things for the C Monster including great little toy cars for an Easter Hunt. My plan this year is to hide some paper eggs around the house with some clues on them leading you from egg to egg. With each egg I will hide a little car - at the end when he gets to the final egg their will be a small chocolate egg for him.

The cars are from Plan Toys - mini trucks and cars II.

Keeping it Real

Inspired by fellow blogger Boho mom I decided to post about my imperfections:

  • I make tonnes of typos (many of which are cleaned up later by my helpful husband)
  • My dishes are not done
  • The laundry is piling up
  • My son is down to only one nighttime diaper - I so need to wash diapers
  • We had ice cream for lunch (chocolate of course)
  • I have granola crumbs stuck to my butt
Looking Forward

To a great lunch on Friday with my friends.

Monday, March 15, 2010

No post tonight because -

I hate tax software.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Weekend - Guelph Style


Grandmama treated us to breakfast at With the Grain. I have to say I have mixed opinions about this little cafe both good and bad. On one side of the street is their bakery were you will find some of the best breads and pastries I have ever had that were not home made. The Bee Sting was to die for. The service was fast and friendly nothing to complain about.

Where we had a negative experience was at the cafe; we got there and their was a wait of about 15-20 minutes. This would have been less annoying if their was not some tables for 2 free and some tables for 4 with only 2 people at them - we were waiting for a table for 4. (eventually some of the patrons moved to a table of 2 and we got a table - I just wish the waitress would have asked them to if they were willing to move) While we waited Geoff tried to go order a coffee at the "to go" side of the cafe to drink while he was waiting and they said it was too complicated to keep the orders straight if he ordered his coffee from the "to go" side and then sat down in the cafe.

Once we actually got seated the service was great and so was the food. - just a few annoyances before we got or table.

Nancy & I Monster

When we go to Guelph there are always friends we try to see; it's great to see old friends and also for C Monster to get a chance to play with other toddlers.

One of the moms from my "Mommy Group" has recently moved to Guelph and C Monster had not seen his little friend since before
Christmas. As I guessed correctly C Monster did not seem to remember Nancy or I Monster but that did not stop him from having a good time.


Sick C Monster & Me

Well it's official we are sick both of us; Geoff is the only one that has eluded this nasty cold. C Monster has a fever and his nose is dripping like a faucet. This means the Visit with Kim and her family that I was oh so looking forward to is canceled. Geoff is still going to sneak out to say hi but we are grounded at grandmama's.

I want to talk about what I take when I am sick. Since I still breastfeeding the C Monster I am super careful as to what I put in my body. Many drugs are "compatible" with breastfeeding however some of the drug still passes threw to your child in your breast milk; this being said it is my belief that due to this you should try to avoid drugs all together unless necessary. Also always talk to you doctor before taking any drugs while breastfeeding - even over the counter drugs.

So what do I do to make myself more comfortable? Here is a list of the products I like and find effective. Remember I am not qualified to give medical advice, I am just a mom and this is what I find works - if you are sick for a prolonged period of time always talk to your doctor.

Thayers Slipery Elm Lozenges
These are great alternative to traditional lozenges; they help sooth an irritated throat from too much coughing.

Wedderspoon Organic Manuka Honey Lozenges with Ginger and Echinacea Active 15+
Double hitter has the healing power of Menuka Honey combined in a lozenges, these are great to suck on when your throat feels dry.

Wedderspoon 100% Raw organic Manuka Honey Active 16+
"Manuka honey is from bees who feed on the flowers of the Manuka bush, also known as the "Tea Tree" to produce a honey that has anti-bacterial properties. Tea tree oil is commonly from the related Melaleuca tree native to Australia and is used as a topical antibiotic and antifungal for wounds that fail to close." - Wikipedia

Herbal Teas I drink lots of herbal teas, the warmth is very soothing to the throat. If you are a breastfeeding mama make sure to vary the teas you drink to much of one tea could end up with a concentration of that herb or plant in your system and some herbs in large quantities are contradictory to breastfeeding. Such as: Sage; Peppermint; Ginseng; Rhubarb to name only a few.

Their is a great article about this on

Febriplex by Unda
This basically helps your body cope with a fever, we take one immediately upon onset of a fever.

Drosera Plex by Unda
This basically helps your cough be more productive.

Looking Forward

To finishing assembling C Monster Frog & for my cough to go away.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wednesday; Thursday; Friday All Wrapped Up In 1 Pkg



I feel like all I am talking about these days is Sprig Toys. This morning I realized that C Monster's Discover Rig was no longer playing music or lighting up - needless to say C Monster was devastated. So while he napped I sneaked out to exchange it at Winners. ( Geoff works from home - so no I did not leave a 2 year old home alone) I did not have my receipt so I was a bit nervous that they would not do the exchange but nope they were fantastic; 5 minutes after I was in the store I had a new Discover Rig for the C Monster.

Also in response to a comment previously made on one my entries regarding Sprig; I have sent Sprig the follow letter:

"Hello, I am an avid blogger and parent of a 2 year old. I recently found out that Sprig was purchased by Wham-o. I also heard from one of the shops that sells the toys that the intentions is to close the Canadian plant and move the operations to Mexico. I know some of the toys are already produced in Mexico is their truth to this rumor?

baAlso as a very concerned parent and activist I wanted to understand in greater detail the current practices in the Mexico plant. Are the workers paid wages equal to the same wages the Canadian workers get. Do they receive benefits such as health care and so on. Do they get paid vacation? Does the plant have measures in place to ensure the worker safety and are all properly educated on the dangers of heavy machinery? How long of a shift do they work? Do they get brakes?

Thank you very much for your help in this matter."

Play Dates

Often "play dates" are a highlight of the week. Christophe gets to play with his friends and I get to have tea with mine. All so very civilized. Who ever though that I would like "play dates" so much.

Baby-wearing - dangerous?

So the hot topic out there these days is that slings = death. I know that is harshly put. I think one has to be careful before they speak; slings if used properly are 100% safe and an amazing way to care for your child. I used one with C Monster from the time he was 1 month old.

"The head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Inez Tenenbaum, said Tuesday that her agency is getting ready to issue a general warning to the public, likely to go out this week, about the slings." - taken from Govt to warn on baby slings because of deaths by the Associated Press.

I think this is a big hit to the attachment parenting community as many of us use slings on a regular basis or have in the past. I feel for all the families that have lost a child due to an accident using a sling or a carrier however it is important to note that there are tones of various carriers out there - not all of them might be safe. If we compare slings to another hot topic lately cribs.

"I definitely feel for the families of the infants who have died. But when a baby tragically dies in a crib, we don't say "all cribs are dangerous" and stop using them." - taken from Baby-wearing is safe by Momlogic.

When a child dies in a crib we identify the problem and remove those cribs from the market. The same needs to be done in regards to slings. Some sling violate all basic baby-wearing rules like the Infantino Slingrider; I felt this way about that particular carry from the first time I saw it even before I had a child.

"Baby should be close enough to kiss.
Baby should never have his chin resting on his chest.
Baby's head should be above the rest of her body.
Baby's knees should be higher than his butt.
Baby's face shouldn't be covered by fabric.
Baby's head should be supported."
Taken from Babywearing the real deal on safety by Undercover Mother

In summary:
Do I think Baby-wearing is dangerous? - No
Do I think some carriers are badly designed? - Yes
Will I baby-wear even if the government says not to? - Yes (there are many thing I think the government is not always right about)
Have I had a scary moment with baby-wearing? - Yes (but I was practicing all the safe baby-wearing guidelines so all was OK in the end)
Do I still baby-wear C Monster? -


Shopping Score

C Monster has been more and more drinking from cups; but I find our cups are a bit too wide mouth for him and had been keeping an eye open for some glasses for him - of course they had to be made of glass. When I was in IQ Living today looking for mini-loaf pans that do not have any non-stick coating on them (did not find any so if anyone out there knows were to get some please let me know) on the sales rack I found these by Leonardo from Germany. They were half off so that made them $5 each.

I have often mentioned in my blog Red Tent Sisters as I was in the shop today one thing came to mind.

Where else can someone: rent a porno; buy condoms; stop to nurse their baby; buy baby bottles paraphernalia; browse books; by a book; purchase a vibrator; pick up some sanitary napkins; and lets not forget have some good conversation with a great gal.

Sexy Voice - or not so

It's official I am sick - I am loosing my voice so as I like to say I have a sexy phone operator voice. Just in time for our trip to Guelph.



We arrived last night with a sleeping C Monster in the car. Just enjoying a lazy day with Grandma.

Slings again

As I am finishing this post my phone vibrates, it's an email notification the email is from Health Canada and reads:

"Provided here for your convenience is a link to 1 advisory:

Health Canada Reminds Parents to Exercise Caution When Using Infant Slings
and Soft Infant Carriers

See also:"

Looking Forward

I though I would start ending my post with a Looking Forward section just a quick note about something coming up that I am excited about.

To seeing our friends Nancy, Ivy, Kim, Basil and Sebastian.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Seedlings, Supper and Terrible Twos


This afternoon C Monster and I planted most of our seedlings for the vegetable garden. I say most because I am recycling plastic containers, toilet paper rolls and other various containers for planters - and well ran out of planters. I bought a bag of potting soil and dragged it into the kitchen were we worked together at filing all the containers - C Monster quite enjoyed playing with dirt in the house. I did the actual seed planting because C Monster was way to excited and I am pretty sure if I would have let him handle the seeds they would of all ended up on the ground.

We planted chard, kale, onions, broccoli, cauliflower and beans. The seedlings are going to be placed on the window box in our master bedroom; until they sprout I am going to keep them in plastic bags - this causes a greenhouse effect.


Tonight for supper I think I outdid myself we had homemade soda bread; lemonade and soup. The soda bread was crazy good. As always I followed a recipe but modified the ingredients - Irish Soda Bread with Dates by Phoebe Bites.

All-purpose flour, 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons
Whole Wheat Bread Flour, 2 cups
Granulated sugar, 1/4 cup
Baking soda, 1 teaspoon
Salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons
Unsalted butter, 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick), cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Whole milk, 1 3/4 cup
Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 teaspoon
Egg, 1 extra-large
Zest of 3 Blood oranges
Cranberries dried, 1 cup
Flax seeds, 1/4 cup
Pumpkin Seeds, 1/2 cup

Terrible Twos

I try really hard to only use positive discipline - try not to say no. Today well I was not that good at it; I caught myself over and over saying no out of frustration as C Monster was driving me crazy with his shenanigans.
  1. Tackles E Monster not once not twice but 5 times during their play date
  2. Dumps his snack on the floor 2 seconds after I give it to him
  3. Discovers if he shakes is sippy cup that contained smoothie it will splash all over the place
  4. Spits at E Monster
  5. Throws is edamame all over the kitchen
  6. Throws one of the planters for my seedlings up in the air when it's full of dirt
  7. Bit me
  8. Pinched my nipple when I told him he could not nurse
  9. Kicked me in the face while nursing (twice) - this is why I told him he could not nurse
  10. Dumped his soup in his juice then asked for more juice
  11. Raspberry style spit in my face
Despite all of those crazy annoying things C Monster did today he also:
  1. Kissed me good morning
  2. Helped me pot my seedlings
  3. Ran around the house wearing a crown for most of the day
  4. Helped clean up the potting mess
  5. Let E Monster play with his favorite toy all morning
  6. Said mine and mmm to the bread I baked
  7. Sat on the potty
  8. Is asking for help when needing instead of screaming in frustration
  9. Kinda let me brush his teeth (only after a fight)
  10. Kissed E Monster all better every time he tackled her without me asking him to
  11. Gave me a great big hug ans kiss goodnight

Geoff hurry up and finish the book on discipline you are reading....

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ah Mondays..

Smells Like Home Continued...

Yesterday I mentioned I was making maple baked beans well 3 meals later they are all gone. They were not my best beans yet or my worst. It's been 3 years now that I have been trying to find the perfect baked bean recipe. Do you have a favorite? If so please share...

Toronto Botanical Garden

Thanks to my awesome friend Debra and her pint size companion F Monster; the C Monster and me got to hang out in The Children Center at the Toronto Botanical Garden and drop in on a Sprout Club day.

Every Monday (except next week due to March Brake) the Toronto Botanical Garden has a free drop in Story Time in their library at 11am. Their story teller John is so amazing with the kids definitely worth to check out. C Monster quite enjoyed it today; however as always his short attention span for anything that demands him to sit down caused him to wander off after 2 stories.

They also have a Sprout Club for kids 0-3 on Monday mornings at 10am; cost is 55$ and registration is required due to limited spaces. We arrived half way threw their class but from what I saw C Monster would definitely like this. The Children Center were the Sprout Club is an Attachment Parenting dream; lots of nature themed activities; crafts; nature items to play with; dirt play; sand play; and on and on... I think I might sign him up for the May session.

After the story time in the Library John (on of Debra's friends) opened up the Children Center for the F and C Monster to play; they had so much fun.

Thank you Debra and John for a great time.

One of the many reason I love of husband....

We compliment each other in many of these is that we both think it's important to keep things simple when it comes to home life. We do a lot of baking as we try to limit the package goods that we purchase - I make muffins, scones, biscuits, deserts and so on; however the only bread I have patience to make is in the bread machine. Geoff on the other hand loves making both bread and crackers the old fashion way. Geoff for every time I have complained that the kitchen exploded after a baking adventure by you - remember I love you and the fact you make bread the way it was always meant to be.

Sprig Toys

Most of you know that I love Sprig Toys, toys manufactured in Canada made from a combination of reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. This great company recently got bought out by Wham-O and the rumor mill has it that they will be closing their Canadian plant and moving the operations to Mexico - reason to cut down on cost. Just another company that fell casualty to the big corporations - once the toys are label made in Mexico I will no longer purchasing them for the C Monster. We have nothing against purchasing toys made outside of Canada; however we do not purchase any toys made in countries that do not treat their workers ethically.

Everyday Something New

I just realized today that C Monster can fully complete this puzzle all by himself. He has had this puzzle since his first birthday and used to put the pieces in all mixed up; then he started matching a few of the obvious ones. Today he got them all - when he got to the cat he looked at it brought beside the fish and said "Ummm No" then put it beside the cat. How I love you C Monster.