Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

So here is an awesome trick (or is a tip?) for you. I just discovered this trick on Sunday, when I went to make pancakes and had no mix. So I thought, ok no big deal, I'll make them from scratch. 

Then I discovered I had no baking powder. Ok, no big deal, I'll make waffles. 

I still had no baking powder. Ok, no big deal, I'll find a recipe for pancakes that does not require baking powder.

None exist!

Then I learned how to make baking powder.

And it is crazy simple. 

2 parts Cream of Tartar (example 2 tbsp)
1 part Baking Soda (example 1 tbsp)


That is it. 

Use like normal in a recipe. For example, the Chocolate Waffles I ended up making. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Epic Sunday Morning

There is nothing better then pancakes and bacon on Sunday morning, except when it becomes chocolate waffles and peppercorn bacon.

Yes you read that correctly. We had chocolate waffles with peppercorn bacon and it was epic.

Since I am a nice person, I'll even share the recipe with you.

Yep, it was as good as it looks.
1.5 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup milk
2 eggs
4 tbsp butter, melted

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, add liquid ingredients. Stir well until smooth. In the meantime, preheat your waffle iron.

Spray the waffle iron with non stick spray. Pour batter onto hot griddle, cook until golden brown.
Serve hot.

Sprinkle with icing sugar for an added cuteness.

Original recipe can be found here.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

An Exciting Saturday Night

I'm about to describe to you just how exciting a Saturday night can be when you are a mom.

We organized all of Kaleb's too small clothes.

Yes, you read that correctly. We organized clothes, and it was exciting. Ok, well it wasn't exactly exciting, but I'm glad it is done. It was one of those things on my list of things to do that I never have time (nor the energy) to do.

It was incredibly easy and took less then 2 hours. We just brought everything up from the basement, organized by size on the floor, then put in appropriately sized boxes. Project done.

I did realize a few things though:
One: My baby was tiny. I actually forgot how tiny he was.
Two: My baby is growing fast.
Three: My baby has/had tons of clothes.
Four: My baby is no longer a baby.

Seeing how tiny some of those clothes are brought tears to my eyes. I can't believe it's been a whole year since he wore them, and they were too big when he did!

Anyway, that was my night. I'm going to bed now.

What a week!

This week was quite eventful!

It started with Kaleb getting his one year shots on Monday. My poor baby, he cried crocodile tears. I was off that day so we ended up spending the day at home. I wish I could say we cuddled all day and I made him feel better, but alas, I have a tough little boy who was good to go by the time we got home. 

Tuesday was a day at work for me, meaning Kaleb was with his babysitter. It's so heartbreaking when he doesn't want to leave my arms, then full out crying when I manage to pass him over. Hopefully he'll get over it soon, but for some reason I doubt it. Jason stayed home trying to get over a cold, so was able to get him early, which they both loved. 

Wednesday we were up super early to go to Toronto. We always take the plane down, since it would take us somewhere between 10-12 hours to drive. We did some shopping, met up with a friend for supper, then did some more shopping. 

Thursday we were at Sick Kids doing some now routine tests and following-up with one of his specialists. This trip wasn't much different from the others, except we'll be back to see that specialists in 3 months and that is when we'll decide if we'll operate or not. The rest of the day was spent waiting for Kaleb to pee for one of his tests (it took him 3 hours!) and a bit more shopping before heading to the airport. We got home a little after 10:00 and were exhausted!

Friday, Jason went to work and I stayed home with Kaleb. I managed to get the cold that Kaleb got form Jason. So we spent the day sleeping and cuddling. It really sucks when you're kid is sick, but I don't mind the cuddles so much. 

Today was uneventful thankfully. We did groceries, made a quick trip to Wal-Mart and that was it! I'm glad it was so quiet, I really would like to get over this cold. 

Hope you had an awesome week!

This Week's Menu

So obviously I haven't written my weekly menu in about a month. This does not mean that we have not been eating though, cause we have. Especially me. I've gained over 5 pounds SINCE New Year's. Not during Christmas, during the month of January. That my friends, is what I like to call talent.

The only outstanding thing we made during those weeks was homemade French Onion Soup. My awesome husband basically followed this recipe. The only thing we did different was we used a box of beef broth instead of the chicken. We also didn't have bread or gruyere, so we used butter croutons and mozzarella. It was really good, even Kaleb couldn't get enough.

This week's menu is going to look something like this:

Saturday: Pulled pork with oven fries.

Sunday: Chicken legs with home fries and broccoli with cheese sauce. I'll probably do a variation of this recipe for the chicken. 

Monday: Left over pulled pork with salad

Tuesday: Pork chops with rice and bok choy

Wednesday: Some sort of crockpot meal

Thursday: Burritos with Mexican Rice.

Friday: Pizza! (I've been making my dough a little differently lately, and we like it much better. Check out how here.)

I'm thinking it's going to be a delicious week.

Super duper late Wordless Wednesday

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ice Ornaments - Update

I just wanted to share what my outdoor tree looked like once it was all decorated with my Ice Ornaments!

It looked so awesome, even at night when the lights would reflect off of them. Sadly though, last week we had warm weather and I thought they had all melted. Turns out, they just fell off their strings. How do I know you ask? Because the weather was even milder today and with the snow melting, I can see them all lying there!

So next year we'll have to figure out a better way.

It's a Winter ONEderland

The cupcakes and Kaleb's smash cake
We decided to have Kaleb's First Birthday party while we were back home so that our family would have a chance to come. We also decided on doing a bit of a theme: Winter ONEderland.

Some of the sugar cookies!
It was a nice simple party, however there was a lot of prepping involved!  We cleaned, we baked, we decorated and then we cleaned some more. We made beef barley soup, we cut up veggies and we made sandwiches. We moved the couches to the second floor and we brought in 40 chairs. We baked cupcakes. Eighty-eight chocolate and vanilla bean cupcakes to be exact, most of which were iced by Jason's 15 year old brother (I think he has a future in a cupcake shop). My father-in-law and I also iced I don't know how many sugar cookies. Afterwards we decorated and set up.  For decorations we went all out with snowflakes. My mom bought different types from the dollar store (it was Christmas time after all) so we hung and stuck them everywhere! We didn't stop until 11:30, when we became zombies. 
Hot Chocolate Bar!
Surrounded by gifts!

Saturday was the big day. The morning was spent getting the finishing touches in order. Setting out the beverages, making a huge pot of coffee. Organizing the hot chocolate bar, lunch and cookies and cupcakes. 

For the hot chocolate bar I made a Crockpot Hot Chocolate recipe I found on Pinterest. Instead of using vanilla extract, I used a bean with the seeds scraped in to the mixture, and the 2 leftover beans from making cupcakes. It turned out soooo yummy. For the toppings we used crushed candy canes, chocolate sprinkles, real whipped cream and homemade marshmallows. Tip of the day: when cutting your marshmallows, use icing sugar to coat your knife, then coat the marshmallow pieces to prevent sticking. And by the way, homemade marshmallows are the simplest, yummiest thing ever! 

This picture says it all.
At first he wasn't too sure
Kaleb's party started at noon and went so smoothly. He didn't get his full nap in the morning, so we were very worried how he would do, but he was fantastic. The party was scheduled to be only for 2 hours so we wouldn't wear him out, and it was an excellent decision. We started by letting everyone eat, followed by opening gifts. Once again, he was spoiled! We are so lucky to have such generous family and friends. After the gifts it was cake time. (This time we took the cake out of the fridge the night before.) At first he wasn't so sure about it, then we managed to get him to try a piece, at which point he said yumm and destroyed the cake. He also insisted on sharing with mommy and daddy which was interesting! By the time he was done, he was COVERED in cake. It was awesome!


Today is Kaleb's Birthday, and in honour I though I'd write briefly about his birth and the weeks leading up to it.

My original due date was January 31, but for some reason I knew right from the beginning that I wasn't going to make that far. Sure enough in November my blood pressure began climbing.

High blood pressure (and other things like protein in urine) is not good when pregnant. It's a sign of pre-eclampsia, which left untreated, leads to eclampsia which is really really not good. I'm not a doctor, so I won't go into details but that is the gist of it.

By December, I had full out pre-eclampsia and was being watched closely. I was prescribed blood pressure medicine, followed by being hospitalized the first week of January in an attempt to get my pressure, proteins and swelling down.

In 3 days, I lost something like 7 pounds in water and both the proteins and my blood pressure went down, so I was allowed to go home and told to take it easy. Three days later at my regular OB appointment, we made the decision to induce. Everything was back up again and the BioPhysical profile (special ultrasound) showed that baby was ready. My doctor stripped the membranes and told me to come by in the morning to get Cervadil. That didn't happen, another girl (whom I'm now friends with!) went into labour, meaning the only labour room was occupied.

We would just wait until Wednesday and go in for our scheduled induction. Wednesday finally came and we were up nice and early to be at the hospital for 7:30. I was asked what felt like a bazillion questions, hooked up to the fancy machine that watched contractions, baby's heart beat and my blood pressure (they took my bp every 10 minutes). I was told that what I thought was baby's butt pushing up was actually contractions and they were five minutes apart! Who knew! They got my IV going and started pumping me with Pitocin at 8:30. Everything was fine until they decided to break my water. OUCH. My contractions really picked up then and I gave in and got an epidural. It was highly recommended that I get it, since with every contraction, my bp would shoot through the roof. 

Once the epi took, I was able to relax again, joke with my nurse and watch some TV. My bp went down slightly too. By 4:00 pm, I was 10 cm dilated and we waited until I got the urge to push, which was just over an hour later. Twenty minutes later, at 6:08 p.m. my baby BOY was born! Any mother can tell you this, but there is nothing to compare the feelings you have when they place YOUR baby on your chest. It is so surreal. 

Jason cut the cord and got to hold him, and while I got stitched up, he followed him to the nursery where they weighed him, gave him a shot and checked him out once again. He weighed in at only 6lb 1oz and was 18.5 inches long. He was teeny tiny! Once we were all back in our room, we finally decided on a name: Kaleb. 

One year later, he is somewhere around 23lbs and fiercely independent. And almost everyday I look at him and am amazed. 

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Boy!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Christmas Week

What can I say about Christmas week? It was crazy. It was non-stop. It was hectic. It involved lots of travelling. It was full of family. It was awesome.

We left home on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. and arrived at my mom's shortly after lunch. When I say we, it is: Myself, Jason, Kaleb, Boomer, Bella, my brother and all sorts of stuff. (Side note: I use to think our truck was huge, and it is quite big, but it sure seems tiny when its packed to the brim.) The next morning, we packed up all our stuff, minus my brother, and headed to Jason's parents.

We arrived at his parents just before lunch and spent the afternoon there (making marshmallows!) before getting all dressed up and heading to his grandmother's for Christmas Eve supper. There were 20 some adults and a handful of kids all crammed into her house! We had an amazing meal, followed by the younger grandchildren and now great-grandchildren getting gifts, and grandma opening all sorts from the family. And I have to say I'm pretty proud of my boy. We were there until almost 10:00 p.m. and he never complained. He was having fun playing with his cars and all the tissue paper!

What a handsome little man!
Christmas morning was spent with Jason's parents. We spent the morning opening gifts followed by brunch. Afterwards, we headed back to my mom's and opened gifts there as well. Kaleb was spoiled by his grandparents and uncles! We had Christmas supper with my mom and played a few games of Euchre afterwards.

Boxing Day was spent running to the grocery store and baking. We made homemade french onion soup as an appetizer for supper as well as Kaleb's cakes, one for his photo shoot and one for his birthday party. The day was finished by some more Euchre!

The next morning we packed up all our stuff again and headed to the photographer's for our Family/Kaleb's First Birthday photos. This where I had a mommy fail: we had put the cake in the porch the night before since the icing was melting from the heat of the kitchen. When we took it out the next morning, it was hard! And it hadn't thawed any when we got to the photographer's. Ooops. So we broke a couple pieces of icing for Kaleb, but after stuffing his mouth with a huge chunk of icing, he was no longer interested.

After we headed back to Jason's parents, where his mom and brother watched Kaleb while Jason and I headed back to town to have lunch and do shopping for his party. It was so weird to not have him with us. It was one of the first times ever. 

Friday was spent preparing for Kaleb's party and Saturday was the actual day! It went so smoothly, I was so relieved. I'll write all about in a new post tomorrow. 
All of his toys

The next morning, our week was over. We packed up (again), headed to my mom's for lunch and my brother's things (he hitched a ride with my aunt who had a little more room) and headed home. Kaleb and I slept most of the way, while daddy drank coffee and listed to sports. Were we ever glad to be home, until we realized the Christmas tree had to come down to get all of Kaleb's new toys in! Thankfully we were done within an hour, and his new toy storage was up and filled in another hour. 

It truly was a great week, but next year will definitely be more quiet. I can't wait. 

Sunday, January 06, 2013

It's Back to Work I Go

I used to love my job. I loved getting up and going into work (almost) every morning. I could see myself doing it for the next 30 years.

Then I had a kid.

An adorably sweet, loveable and always happy little boy who's got his mama's eyes and his grandfather's copper hair.

And suddenly, my priorities changed.

Don't get me wrong, I still love my job. It's just so hard to get up in the morning and leave my baby behind. Especially when he's laughing away because he learned to wave good bye. THAT is the definition of heartbreak.

And this week was "easy", he was home with Jason. Tomorrow is the real challenge. He starts going to his babysitter. I don't know how I am going to do it, dropping my baby off with a complete stranger. 

But I will manage. Why? Because I am a mom. It's in the job description. I will shed a tear or two, but I will remain strong. Because going back to work is what is best for our family right now. 

By going back to work, I am helping to give him a roof over his head, food in his big belly, plenty of toys to play and learn with, and most importantly, providing him a future. I am beyond lucky to live in a country that allowed me the opportunity to stay home for a year. I have plenty of mama friends who went back to work as early as 6 weeks. The lucky ones went back at 12.  If they can do it, so can I (especially since my "baby" is one step away from toddlerdom).

In a perfect, easy world, I'd be a full-time stay at home mom. And I think I'd be good at it. However, for now at least, I must work.

To all the moms, whether you stay-at-home or work, I salute you!

Oh and please wish me luck.

We Now Return to Regularly Scheduled Programming

Hi. My name is Sara. I am a blogging failure.

I have good reasons, although I am sure they'll just come across as excuses.

I'll tell you anyway.

First: I got sick, at the beginning of December, for THREE  WEEKS. Not cool world, not cool. I had all these amazing plans and projects in my head for the 25 Days of Christmas Challenge. That did not happen. I barely got our Christmas gifts to family made before we left to go home for a week.

Which is reason numero deux: We went home for a week. I even brought my laptop in hopes of getting a few posts up. That did not happen. Our week was a hectic, non-stop on the go crazytown. It was an awesome week, and I'll write all about it tomorrow. I promise.

Third (the biggest one): I WENT BACK TO WORK.  (If you are looking for me, I'm over there crying in a corner). I started on Wednesday and have been working non-stop since. I've already missed two bedtimes, and will be missing at least one more this week. And I'm sooooo exhausted. I was tired before I had a kid, now, it's like a million times worse. But I will survive and thrive! Just bear with me while I get my life re-organized.

So there are my reasons. Do you forgive me? Please do. I promise I'll be better.

Oh and by the way, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! 

Photo-a-day 27: Night Time

Photo-a-day 26: Grateful

Photo-a-day 25: Morning

Photo-a-day 24: Favourite Part of Christmas Eve

Photo-a-day 23: Scarf

Photo-a-day 22: Tradition

Photo-a-day 21: Peace