Thursday, September 29, 2011

One of Those Weeks

This week is one of those weeks that I have every couple of months where I feel like everything that has been working - routine, discipline, activities - gets thrown out the door and my kids are replaced with new versions of themselves that have totally different needs, wants and reactions.

Deep breath.

The good news: usually after a few days of a heightened amount of screaming, butting of heads and extreme feelings of guilt and frustration, something adjusts (I try to change my approach and be really conscious of how I respond to things) and things settle down to the normal amount of craziness and enjoyment, cooperation and being able to turn my back for longer than a millisecond returns.

Maybe it's the start of school, exposure to new kids, growth spurts, I'm not sure, but my eldest specifically has been pushing the limit, BIG time. Everything is a push back - what he wants for snack, what park he wants to go to (really? is there such thing as an un-fun park?) and he seems to have a need for a lot more physical activity. He goes in waves from being so exhausted he can barely keep his eyes open to running around the house in circles looking for sparring partners.

Today I can laugh about it. Yesterday was insane.

Don't you find these changes and stages so tough. It is true what they say, "right when you have things figured out with your kids, things change again ..."

I do think it is these stages that test you as parents and make us rise to the occasion if we want to do our jobs as a parents well. Screaming and screaming and being angry all the time is one option ... or you can sit back, evaluate and make some changes. Ahhhhh  being a (good) stay-at-home Mom is by far THE most challenging and ever-changing job I have ever had in my life.

Hope you're NOT having one of those week!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two Cakes in Two Weeks

We just passed birthday season in my house where both of my boys have birthdays within eight days of each other. It's a bit crazy with multiple cakes, presents, get togethers and phonecalls, but throw in the start of JK and nursery school and it elevates to insanity.

We are through it now, thus it is time to share with you my cake creations. To date, I have just done some homemade cakes with a knife and some candy from the bulk barn being my only tools to decorate with. This year I borrowed all the fancy icing tips from my sister-in -law and I was really happy with the results.

My youngest really likes Winnie the Pooh, so naturally the cake had to sport his favourite honey-lovin' bear:

My now four-year-old requested an anklyosaurus (that's the dinosaur with the club on its tail for those of you wondering) cake leading up to the big event, but then made a last minute change to Batman. "Not just his face Mommy, I want the whole body on the cake ..." Great! That's not hard at all! ... I settled for waist and up.

I thought the designs turned out pretty well, especially Batman's abdominal region :) But I still haven't mastered how to get the plain white background/base icing on the cake smooth so you can't see all of my knife strokes. Oh well, that can be next year's goal.

This week's goal is reintroducing exercise into my life in order to fight the consequences of ingesting so much cake and butter icing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I Love Cheese

Like most females, I adore cheese. There aren't too many types that I don't enjoy, except for maybe the blue genre. My taste buds haven't quite "matured" to that level yet I guess.

Recently at a girls' weekend, my friend E. introduced us all to Halloumi cheese - have you heard of this? It is a cheese, originally from Cyprus and very popular in the middle east. Click here for a wikipedia link. Anyways, the thing I loved about this cheese is that it doesn't melt when it is cooked. At first, you may think that this is a negative , but then imagine this:

Yes, you can use it on your kabobs on the barbecue and it actually stays in tact. Kabobs just got a whole lot better with the addition of cheeeeeese.

When on a skewer, it kinds of looks like chicken. Here's a close up:

It doesn't have a super strong flavour and the texture is unique. All I can say is that it kind of squeaks when you chew it. I know, sounds a bit weird, but you'll understand once you try it.  And when I told my kids it squeaked, they tried it a few times so that was a bonus too!

I bought it at Longo's in the deli section.

Let me know if you have tried it? Like it? Have any other ideas for uses.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getting Cozy Again

Ahhh ... September.

Enter: FALL

I absolutely love this time of year. I actually think it is my favourite.

I have heard/read a lot of people saying it's the kids going back to school that makes it so great, but that's not it for me.

After a long, hot, summer with most of our time being spent outside, it's the feeling of getting all cozy again that I love ...

... the crisp air setting in

...  the wind making my ears cold (September cold ... not December cold)

... wearing socks

 ... putting on jeans  (hopefully they fit after all those s'mores)

... reaching for the comfy, cozy sweaters

... snuggling in my duvet at night with the window open and a cool breeze

... wrapping my hands around a warm cup of tea

Hope you're enjoying the change of season, back to school, increased commute traffic and all the good and bad September has to offer.

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