Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The tricky thing is to make sure the meatballs are not too dry. I hate dry meatballs myself even if they are covered in a sauce. I learned a great tip off one of those Food Network shows and so here is how I make my meatballs.
1/4 cup oatmeal
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Seriously, if you don't hear from me tomorrow.. send help. You might want to start looking over by the washing machine.. that foot sticking out from under the mound of dirty laundry, just might be me. Or I might be in the back bedroom suffocated by the smell of urine soaked crib sheets or I might have my head in the oven, passed out from cleaning it. Those fumes are deadly.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I love cilantro. I don't know what it is about this herb but I just love the smell of it. Whenever I bite into something with that smell it just makes my senses soar. So I'm always looking for ways to use it in my dishes. This dish was a hit with my family. My kids like salmon but don't like too much fuss with it so this was just right.
You will need:
* bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped
* 1 tsp butter or oil
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* juice from one lime or 3 TBS lime juice
* 1 1/2 cups of honey
* salt & pepper
Now you can either grill or bake:
Grilling: lightly oil grill plate so fish doesn't stick. Grill on high heat approx minutes each side or until fish flakes easily with fork.
Baking: Bake at 350 degrees in a foil lined pan for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork. I like to make a foil pouch covering the salmon steaks so they don't get too dried out on top. Be careful you don't overcook or it tastes like rubber.
What makes this such a great recipe is that prep time was like 10 - 15 minutes (including marinade time). If you get your fish marinading them you can prep the rest of the meal and have everything cooking at the same time.
Some extra Tips:
Now you don't have to thaw these ahead of time according to the package. You could throw these in the oven straight from the freezer with a little salt and pepper but it does help to have them slightly thawed for the marinade to actually work.
To make the meal even quicker,I used canned potatoes. Now normally I don't like things out of can but these potatoes are precooked, all you have to do is put them in a pan with a little butter and pop them in the oven with the salmon and voila, 2 dishes done in a flash. Just add your favourite vegetable and you are all set.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Last night as we're getting ready for bed I come across J sitting on the toilet reading a potty training book swinging her little feet.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Are change tables really necessary? Not always. It all depends on your lifestyle and budget. Having a safe place to change your baby on the other hand, is important.
The traditional change table is expensive and pretty much useless once your baby is grown out of it. Did I say useless? Well maybe not so much useless but rather an eyesore. Use it as you may for storage etc, it doesn't really add to any room decor that I am aware of and quite often takes up precious space.
Having said that, if you can pick one up second hand for a reasonable price, go ahead. There is a reason why you have to be first in line at the rummage sales to get these coveted baby items. When I had my first child, I was fortunate in that my brother gave me his old one and with a little paint, we had a fresh new table for free.
However, if you can afford it why not buy a more versatile piece of furniture. Just look in any baby store these days and they are selling lovely sets of coordinating dressers with space on top for a change pad. Not only does it add to your room decor, but it's also a more mature look that will grow with your child especially if you are purchasing one of those convertible cribs. You remove the change paid and voila an ordinary dresser again.
As for the change pad, I would recommend buying a foam change pad which curves inward. It not only has a belt attached to it for securing your child but it also comes with straps at the back that you can firmly screw into the back of the dresser to insure it will stay in place. Although, I have found the foam alone sufficient for non movement.
While baby furniture can be expensive, a versatile dresser is a great investment. You don't have to stick with the baby stores either. When we were expecting our second child, I chose to go with a modest 4 drawer pine dresser from a non-baby store which was much cheaper and made out of solid pine. The bonus was that it came unfinished so I could stain it to whatever color scheme I chose. The foam pad works great and I've now been through two children with this system. I still haven't made up my mind what color to stain the dresser though. (There's that commitment issue coming up again)
I liked having the traditional table in the kid's bedrooms because I could put their diapers, baby blankets etc on it. However, because each one of our children slept in a cradle in our bedroom for the first six months or so it became a pain to take them out of the bedroom to change them all the time. That's when I opted for using the top of the dresser for a change table. The drawback being that you have to use the top drawer for their diapers and wipes. The drawback to the change table is that when the baby starts crawling, all that stuff will be tossed off the shelves before you can say "boo".
As always safety is important. Never leave your child unattended on a change table and always make sure your furniture is properly assembled and shop smart.
I'd love to hear from you on what your preferred system was.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Diaper Bags: The Bane of My Existence! You can get diaper bags in all shapes, sizes and varying price tags. Three children later I have yet to find the perfect diaper bag. Perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
Diaper Bag #1: I went for the cute and cuddly, sage green Pooh Bear bag. While this diaper bag was adorable and roomy and was really actually quite versatile and not too feminine for hubby to carry around, it did not hold up. Within a year that vinyl, easily washable interior was separating from its seams and the whole bag had to be trashed.
In the end, I ended up using a trendy nylon sport bag from Avon which held everything I needed and looked great on my shoulder. (It was Pink)
Diaper Bag #2: With the advent of our second child, I decided it was time to purchase a new diaper bag. This time, forgoing the cute and cuddly diaper bags,I shopped high and low until I found this practical nylon (inside and out) diaper bag that would easily be thrown into the wash. TA DAH! I found it, the "perfect bag". Uh, not exactly. This bag while although it is versatile and durable, it wasn't quite roomy enough for the doings of two children. However, for just one baby, I'd recommend it. It's by BABY ESSENTIALS and was purchased at HBC at around $30.00.
To its testimony though, I still have the bag and it is still in great shape. I've just learned to pack lighter.
Diaper Bag #3: With the birth of our third child I became aware of a program through Nestle where if you sign up for their baby program they send you out a "free" diaper bag filled with coupons, samples and a bottle. Who can say no to free stuff? Initially I loved this bag. It's a backpack style with one strap. It's fairly versatile, easy to carry and doesn't look like you're carrying a diaper bag at all. Especially for young moms, I think this is a stylish solution. However, if you have more than one small child, it's not big enough. It fits just the basics, diapers, wipes, maybe one outfit and that's it. Any more than that and it's constantly popping open.
This is our current diaper bag to date. Diaper bag #2 having been retired since we only have one child in diapers left (hallelujah) and don't need to have two going at the same time.
This type of bag can be found in a variety of colours and prices tags at a variety of stores.
To find the perfect fit for you, it is essential to determine your needs and style. Is it for just one child, will you be traveling a lot with it, is style or durability more important to you?
In the end it comes down to personal taste and what you can afford. If you are wooed by the cute Disney models, just be sure to check the interior. Is the vinyl interior thin and brittle feeling, are the seams well sewn and sturdy. Do the zippers zip smoothly? Does the color match your eyes? (Just kidding) Does it have enough pockets and accessories to suit your needs. Most moms end up using their diaper bag as a purse to save carrying two bags around, so pockets can be important.
My best recommendation is if you know you are planning on having more than one child or even twins, you may need to go for the less adorable and more practical styles. Nylon is very durable and washable and if you can find a bag with nylon inside and out, it's a good buy. You may need to spend a little more and get quality now. However, this is not always the case so be sure to be a smart shopper.
A diaper bag alternative for all you stylish and possibly sporty moms is a sports bag. These come in many different colors and styles and nowadays are quite trendy. Again, just be sure to check the quality of the materials used in its making. Think, can I wash this if something leaks?
One final thought: Costly does not always mean better so get out there and shop smart!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
I, like many others, love to look at the sales flyers that come with my weekly newspaper. Who doesn't love the idea of a sale and seeing what's new in the retail world. However, lately those flyers have been making me a little envious as I stare at the $3,500 bracelet touted as the "perfect gift for mom". The subtle message being relayed is that there is no limit as to how much you should spend for a gift and that it is actually the norm, most people out there wouldn't hesitate to drop that kind of dough on a piece of jewelry; and therefore, you are somehow lacking because you can't.
Reality is we can't afford that and most others can't either. How must our men feel though? They work hard to put food on the table and a roof over our head. Most of our men these days are "metrosexual", involved in just about every aspect of house and home. They love their wives. They would love to be able to buy us everything our little heart desires. But can they? No. Then how must these advertising messages be affecting them? Do you not think it would be somewhat demoralizing to be confronted on a weekly basis as what is and is not the norm to buy their sweeties no matter what the cost. To know they will never be able to afford it. I feel sorry for the impossibly high standard being set for our men.
It doesn't just stop there though. I recall another familiar big store commercial where this supposedly average women is doing her Christmas shopping, including a $2,000.00 laptop for her brother. Seriously, who can afford to buy computer equipment for a sibling never mind their own child for Christmas. I once bought my brother a $200.00 VCR and he was choked. You see he couldn't afford to buy me a $200.00 gift, he had a young family while I was single with a good paying job. I hurt his pride even though I just wanted to give him something I knew he needed. I will never do that again.
We are inundated with messages to spend, spend and spend some more. No wonder North Americans are suffering under an ever increasing debt load. Our children are growing up expecting to be handed their every desire to them on a platter. Witness the young girl throwing a tantrum on Oprah because her mother wouldn't buy her a different cell phone. She already had several.
I don't know what the answer is. The media is not going to suddenly change their ways and cut down their advertising. Retailers are not suddenly going to drop their prices and make these things more affordable for the everyday joe. Society will continue to be obsessed with celebrities and their fashionable lives. We must, however, strive to instill into our children decent work ethics and that money doesn't just fall from trees. You have to work for what you get and sometimes you have to work very hard, sometimes for very little. Teach them the value of a dollar and one day you will see them become the successful people they were meant to be.
Okay, I sound like my grandfather but it really rings true to me.
So I no longer read the flyers, they stay in the newspaper and make their way directly to the recycling bin. Hey, most days I don't even read the paper at all. If only I could some how get those darn cell phone commercials to stop playing, I'd be more content. Cause right now I'm lusting after one of those phones that you can blog on the internet etc with. How cool is that? *Cough*
My husband doesn 't say much, but still I wonder if it does really bother him.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Yesterday Hubby had the day off on Wednesday, which is why I didn't get to post anything but I digress.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
So I was pretty upset and there was no way we could afford going for the "serious" infertility treatment. So that's when I got back on the web and found an interesting little article by Dr. John R. Lee. You may have heard of him, he is a well known authority on the benefits of using natural hormone supplements to balance women's hormones particularly in menopausal women. The article I stumbled across talked about estrogen dominance and the surprising number of women who suffered from this along with a list of symptoms. I was fairly intrigued by this article and especially how Dr. Lee used progesterone cream to treat infertility in his patients by placing them on the cream for 3 months from days 5 to 26, stopping on day 26 to bring on menstruation. This made sense to me, if you are short in progesterone, why not boost your body up a bit first. I didn't even have to do that.
I was even more determined to try this when I approached a local pharmacist regarding the cream and Dr. Lee and she had heard about him and indeed, recently attended a seminar on the uses of progesterone cream. Being a woman about to enter the menopausal years, she was curious to discover more. With material prepared by her and, of course, Dr. Lee's facts, I was able to approach my family doctor with the information and he was willing to prescribe the cream to me.
From then on, I basically had to "quack" myself. My family doctor didn't quite seem to get it, neither did the pharmacist, they weren't thinking infertility and the whole ovulation cycle so I proceeded on my own once I had the cream in my hands. Solely by reviewing the information in this article, I used a fertility monitor to track ovulation, once I determined that I had ovulated I promptly began using the recommended dosage of progesterone cream and continued using it for 14 days. I did a pregnancy test on day 14 and if the test was negative, then I discontinued the cream.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
My kids, my angels, my adorable ones, my monsters decided to make us breakfast this a.m. now I was not particularly receptive at this point as along with my nocturnal awakenings by O they woke us up after a mere 5 hours sleep with a screaming match in their bedroom. These are the times I wish they didn't share a room.
I recently came across this article/post I had drafted some time ago for Helium, an online forum that supposedly helps pays you for your posts and enables you to be in touch with potential work through the marketplace. It does pay, but it's based on a rating system based on the opinions of your fellow writers. Which is fine but even if you're #1 in your topic it still is only pennies. You have to submit several articles a day I am sure just to make it work for you. I just didn't have that time. Anyways, I figured I would share this because I cannot impress enough on couples struggling with fertility to explore the whole hormone issue as I had.
Relax, it will just happen. You're trying too hard. A couple of the most inane and surprisingly common suggestions ever and exactly what you do not want to hear if you have been trying for any length of time to conceive. I mean, really, how could I be "trying too hard"? Of course, then there are stories about a friend of a friend, cousin's uncle's niece who got pregnant when she stopped trying, cause she relaxed and took a vacation. Uh huh, yeah I am sure that was the reason.
I struggled with infertility for over two years. I got to know my body pretty well and began to realize just how crazy wanting to have a baby can make you. Let's wake up at the same time every morning, don't move an inch except to reach out for your thermometer so you can take your temperature and painstakingly record it on this little chart, which no one seems to really pay all that much attention to by the way. Let's lie still after hubby makes a deposit with your legs so romantically raised in the air, hoping everything will travel down or up rather to reach the eggs. It was amazing when I found out that there is only a 25% chance of conceiving each cycle. That floored me. Yes, I took biology but those little facts lay way back in my high school brain. My more recent adult brain drained of all pertinent school learning information seemed think that everyone I knew got pregnant just by thinking lusty thoughts.
Eventually I was referred to a fertility specialist. I live in a small community where having fertility treatment meant a 2 hour ride on the ferry to the big city. So I wasn't going to be starting anything drastic to start. My doctor looked at my temperature charts, sent me for regular blood tests to assess my hormones and eventually put me on a cycle of clomid. That didn't work at all. I did think I was pregnant one time but ended up bleeding so excessively I am sure that that pregnancy didn't "take". Oh, did I mention I also went into the hospital for this simply horrid treatment where he shoots die up my tubes to see if they are blocked. Now I've been through the pain of childbirth but I can say that this is right up there in agony. Men are so lucky!
I researched the web as much as possible to educate myself and learned about a little thing called luteal phase defect, which basically was that if the time between ovulation and when your hormones spiked again was too short, there wasn't enough time for an egg to actually implant into the uterus lining. Looking at my temperature chart mine seemed on the short side, ideally it's supposed to be 14 days, mine seemed less. My doctor looked at it and said yeah it was a little on the short said but didn't think that was the problem. Instead let's get you checked out for endometriosis even though you have absolutely no history of endometriosis. So on our 3rd anniversary, I went in the hospital to have a procedure done where a camera is inserted in me to check the lining of my uterus etc. A complete waste of time I thought because I had never had any symptoms like that at all but I didn't want to be difficult or to come across like I wasn't cooperative. So, I did it and there was nothing to report, course. The kicker was when my doctor called to report, he seemed fairly dismissive, didn't inquire once into how I was feeling or how I was recuperating and said it was up to me now, maybe he could send me over to the city to see a specialist, to let him know. I felt like he had just brushed me off. Like I can't figure out what your problem is so oh well. I was now the victim of the phenomenon called "unexplained infertility".