Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This Week:

This week I survived a screaming banshee attack with more poise than I thought possible.
This week I learned that my mom is a better mom than me... with toddlers anyway.
This week I ate local food almost everyday.
This week I figured out how to get Toby to brush his teeth with no tears.... for two nights in a row at least... we'll see how long that lasts.
This week I sanded, plastered, and sanded, and plastered the walls of the downstairs bathroom. I am Ms.Bob the Builder.
This week I bought into the Bob the Builder merchandise...after a year of withholding....Toby watched the same movie three and a half times today.
This week Toby's new skill is immediately picking up words in songs, then singing along, then singing them to himself the rest of the day.
This week I made two batches of carob zucchini muffins a day apart, because Toby ate them all in a day and a half..
This week I reaffirmed my love for Value Village.
This week, upon being in Value Village, realized there are 61 days until Halloween!
This week I reaffirmed my love for the gourmet food section in Homesense.
This week I cleaned all the toys in the workshop and re-shelved them.
This week I blanched and froze 16 margerine tubs of beans... to add to the already large number I had in the freezer... mmmmm fresh beans for the winter.
This week I silently criticized a mother's attitude towards her kid at the library, and then realized later that day that I've been using the same tone with Toby occasionally.
This week I harvested like a kabillion tomatoes from the garden.
This week my grandparents (next door) are away, and I didn't realize how lonely the property is without them.
This week I ate that magic dinosaur oatmeal for the first time.
This week I realized that the summer is pretty much over, and I didn't visit with as many people as I was planning to.
This week I realized I haven't done a Positive Party post in a long time, but can't think of a good subject.
This week I started my sewing projects again, only to again take on too much and now it's all sitting in a heap on the sewing table... again... and yet here I sit on the computer...
This week I received an insufficient funds message while buying groceries for the second time this year/ever. I usually plan things out better.
This week I fell in love with Fred Penner again.
This week I loathed no-nap Toby, but now that the mood is a bit calmer I am enjoying the earlier bed time.
This week I learned that my dad's idea for barbequeing tomatoes, was not a good idea.
This week, I'm still alive, a little more tired, and a little wiser.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I'm not sure whether Toby is going through a phase or if food is the culprit yet again, but he's done almost nothing but scream demands at me for the last two weeks.
Usually when I find his moodiness unbearable, after 4 days it's done. I keep notes on a calendar, and it's usually 4 days. I've been able to tell myself a few times "just wait 4 days" and then things are more or less normal again.
I've also been trying to slowly introduce dairy and gluten into his diet and have been met with complete mood swings the day after. But not always. And the mood swings happen when we're not eating that stuff too. So it's hard to tell if it's coincidence or if it's truly food related.
I've been eating a lot of dairy this summer, which I shouldn't be, but things have been ok. I give Toby the odd piece of cheese which he usually rejects cause of the taste, but he's eaten goat feta all summer and I recently started putting goat mozzarella with his lunches.
We are now not eating any of that.
Though the moodiness continues.

I think part of the problem is he's trying to stop napping, and I need him to nap.
I think also he's trying to wean himself from nursing, but doesn't know how else to deal with his rage.

Today went something like this....

7:30am: Wake up. Wake mom up. Demand to nurse. Mom groans. Demand louder. Mom says just a minute. Demand louder and burst into tears. Mom gets annoyed at being woken up be screaming and says that she didn't say no, she said just a minute so please just relax. Declare loudly that he doesn't want to relax. Mom says to get up then. Insist on nursing. Nurse. Go back to sleep.

8:15am: Wake up and ask if Grampa is home. Mom says probably not. Hear someone in the bathroom. Mom says it's Shannon. Demand that mom get up. Mom says just a minute. Demand to nurse. Mom says I thought we were getting up. Insist that no, we're staying in bed to nurse. Nurse. Mom says she needs to pee. Scream that she does not have to and that we're staying in bed. Mom gets up anyway. Scream.

9am: Playing very nicely downstairs. Steal some of mom's breakfast after insisting that he doesn't want any of his own.

9:30am: Hear Grama upstairs. Grama comes to say hi. Grama has bath. Watch 'Really Wild Animal's' video.

10:15am: Shannon plays Duplo with Toby while mom and Grama talk about the flooring samples for the bathroom Grama brought home.

10:45am: Grama asks if Toby would like to come in the car to return the flooring samples, and we can go to the Farmer's Market too. Run to find mom. Mom suggests pants. Insist that no, we don't nee pants because we're staying here... with Grama and Shannon. Mom says that no, Grama has to go to town anyway, just we could go with her. Insist no. Grama get's ready to leave. Insist that we now go.

11am: Drive to Orillia.

11:20am: walk Farmers Market.

12pm: Go to flooring store.

12:15pm: Go to paint store

12:30pm: Ask to go out for lunch. Grama needs to get home, so no, but we can get drive through french fries.

12:40pm: Insist fries are too  hot and doesn't want them. Mom eats them. Screams. Lull, and asks nicely for more fries. Mom hands some over.

1pm: Home. Insist that we go back to a playground. Mom remembers that this request was made three days ago, so sure, why not.

1:15pm: In Sugarbush at playground. Really hot in the sun and forgot sunscreen. Mom doesn't want to stay long and wants to try to have a nap today.

1:40pm: Go home. March inside, even after insisting that outside play was in order. Play inside.

2pm: Go upstairs to find Grama and Aunt Shannon watching funeral coverage for Jack Layton. Loudly state arrival. Get told to speak quieter so people can listen. Get grumpy. Find a jar of hooks that Grama was using. Amused by them.

2:30pm Mom suggests that maybe we could try a nap now. Readily agree, much to everyone's surprise.

2:35pm: In bed, nursing. Flailing. Humming. Kicking. Mom says to stop nursing if there' no sleeping. Wants to get up. Mom says to get up, but she's having a nap. Doesn't like that idea, keeps nursing.

3pm: Keeps humming. Keeps flailing. Keeps kicking. Mom says to stop nursing until ready for sleep. Get up. Mom stays in bed.

3:15pm: Come back ans curls up beside mom to nurse. Continue being goofy. Mom says she's not nursing if there' no sleeping.

3:30pm: Get up. Mom stays in bed.

3:40 pm: Go next door with Grama and Shannon to set VCR to tape Doctor Who tonight.

4pm: Mom gets up.

4:15pm: Mom finds Toby outside with Aunt Shannon on the swing. Grama and Grampa leave to visit people.

4:30pm: Pick veggies from the garden.

4:45pm: Inside. Watch Fraggle Rock. Mom starts dinner.

5:30pm: Eat dinner.

6pm: Ask to finish watching Fraggle Rock. Mom agrees cause she needs to clean up and have a rest. Change mind, insist we go outside. Mom disagrees. Go outside anyway. Mom stays in to send an email.

6:10pm: Phone rings. Insist mom answer it. Mom says the machine will get it. Scream that mom answer the phone. Machine gets it, mom says to not worry about it. Scream that mom come outside. Mom says just a second. Scream louder. Mom freaks out. Comes outside. Sits on step. Tell mom to get off step cause that's where the truck drives. Mom gets up. Bee zooms by. Freak out. Mom says to relax. Freak out more. Mom suggest to go inside then. Freak out more. Mom goes inside.

6:20pm: Scream and cry on mom's shoulder. Mom says that this is why we have naps, so that noone is grumpy at the end of the day. Say that a nap would be good now. Mom says no, it's not bed time, there was a chance earlier to sleep. Freak out.

6:25pm: Ask to be carried up stairs. Mom carries upstairs. Freak out and say NO he wanted to walk up stairs alone. Mom carries back down the stairs. Freak out and say YES want to be picked up. Mom says it hurts her shoulder too much. Scream. Mom drags upstairs. Screams. Mom puts in bed. Insist that getting up is REALLY what he wants. Mom says fine. Scream that mom come to bed and nurse. Mom says she doesn't really want to, but maybe if asked nicely she would. Scream and demand that mom go to bed NOW. Mom says she had a nap already so no, Doesn't want to go to bed, but Toby is more than welcome to, and that's ok. Scream. Mom leaves.

6:35pm: Mom sitting in living room ignoring demands that she get up and go to bed. Mom says that when  the words are calmer and kinder she might consider it. Offer to nurse on couch for a moment. Scream that he doesn't want to nurse. Mom says ok. Mom screamed at to not say anything anymore. Mom stares out window saying nothing. Start hitting mom to make her get up. Mom gets up and barricades herself in bathroom.

6:45pm: Mom sitting against door on bathroom floor while Toby screams and punches the door from the other side. Demands that door be opened. Mom very quietly states that she's waiting for the screaming to stop. Declare loudly that he want's to be a grumpy Toby and that mom come out. Mom says it's ok to be grumpy but please dont yell or hit people who want to help. Scream louder. Start gagging and coughing. Sob louder. Demand mom open the door and go to bed. Mom says she's waiting for the yelling to stop. Yelling stops slightly and a request for a new shirt in made, cause this one is wet. Mom opens doors. Immediately start screaming that mom go to bed right now. Mom closes doors again.

6:55pm: Mom declares a time out, which has never happened before. Toby is dragged to room, and doors closed with the understanding that if mom is wanted in bed then asking instead of demanding is preferred. Mom holds door closed on the other side. Scream sobbing ensues. Tells mom to come back. Mom quetly states that she never left, but would prefer to open the door once things are calm and maybe a sorry is shared. No sorry but crying slowly stops. Mom realizes it's because the poster on the back of the door has been ripped down. Finally a please is asked. Doors open. Scream. Hit. Doors close.

7pm: Mom finally permitted access to room and tries to fix poster. Demand that mom get into bed. Mom says that once he's in bed and asking for me to join, then I will. Scream sobbing. Mom sits at end of bed and asks what we should do. Insist that mom get into bed. Mom gets into bed. Ask to nurse. Mom says that maybe he should get in bed too. Quietly say that no, wants to get up. Mom says she's not playing this game again. Finally crawls in bed. Insists on getting up. Mom says go ahead. Chose to stay in bed and nurse.

7:05pm: Say that he doesn't want to nurse. Mom says that's just fine. Cries and wants to nurse again. Doesn't close eyes. Mom says that since he's chosen to go to bed, he has to sleep.

7:20pm: Asleep.

7:30pm: Mom pours large glass of juice and rum.

7:45pm: Buzzed-blogging commences.

Is this a phase? Does anyone else have high-anxiety kids? How do I get him to sleep? How do I get him to just calm down and read with me? He used to love that. Now he hardly ever wants me to read to him or play music in the house. He's so focused on his trucks that I can't even play with him, cause I do it all wrong. But when I go do my own thing he comes after me and wants me to be with him. I feel neglectful, but he doesn't want to do anything with me.
I need the two hours in the middle of the day to just recuperate. Even though I try for 'rest time' instead of really making him sleep, I find that I just get tired, and he just gets more rambunctious. And then by the end of the day if no one else is around the both of us just melt down, but when he goes to bed too early then he wakes up really early and I'm a mess for the day, and need nap time even more.

Is it a phase? Is is a personality trait? Is it food? Is it me? It's been two weeks on off and on screaming fits surrounding bed-time and teeth brushing...
Blah.... going to bed... cause I need the sleep..

Thursday, August 18, 2011

'Don't Care' Day

It started when the power went out in the middle of the night.
I have no idea why, or really when it went out, or for how long, because we were sleeping, But At some point I woke up to Toby kicking my back asking to nurse and the clock blinking 1:35 - Indicating the power had been back on for a little over an hour and a half.
It was still dark out, so maybe 3 or 4 in the morning, based on when Toby usually wakes up.
I grumpily rolled over and Toby nursed a bit and I thought he went back to sleep so I rolled back to my comfort zone, however after a sneeze ans excessive nose rubbing Toby was sitting up in bed asking me to please roll over because he would like to nurse again please.
I've been trying to get him to stop nursing at night.
I've been trying for a year... or at least complaining about it for a year...and he's been doing pretty good, but seems to be going through a phase where he wakes up every two hours again and has a full blown panic attack when I tell him no.
I grumpily rolled over again to nurse, habitually looking over at the clock to see what bloody time it was, only to find it blinking still. 2: 25.
It was slowly getting brighter in the room, so it was probably closer to 5am, and it was then I made a decision for the day.
I don't care.
Sure whatever Toby, nurse, I don't care, whatever, go to sleep. He nursed for a bit and sort of fell asleep but not really and I finally rolled over with my back to him again. He grumbled and butted his head into my back.
"Go back to sleep Toby it's too early in the morning"
"Want to nurse..."
"I don't care, you have been for ages"

Wonder of wonders he went back to sleep.

I woke up again much later with the clock blinking 5:45. Toby was still asleep. I briefly wondered what time it actually was, with the sun clearly blazing away outside.
But today: I don't care. I closed my eyes again.
I finally got up to discover it was about 9:10. Awesome. I ate breakfast alone in the porch. I cleaned up the kitchen. Toby woke up close to 10.

Upon waking he immediately remembered the supermegafoxyawesome thing I bought him yesterday...

Found it second-hand in Once Upon A Child. I never usually cave to big stuff but I'd actually seen something like this before and it's pretty cool.
So, no breakfast, Toby just grabs his hard hat and flip flops and out to the garage.
I don't care.
Sat in a lawn chair for over an hour while he played. Usually I think of all the things I should be doing and try to bring something outside with me to do, or try to persuade Toby to go back in, but today: I don't care.
I finally brought out some apple slices to eat and Toby ate most of those. I thought briefly that he hadn't washed his hands... but then... I don't care.

After another hour of hammering and sawing I suggested we go play in the sand box. With the hose. He liked that idea.

He got water sprayed all over himself and mud up to his knees. Today: I don't care.
I ended up sitting beside him and trying to make sand castles before he hosed them over in an over-zealous attempt to make a moat.
"No, mummy. This is where the pond goes"
Sure thing Toby... I don't care.

Then somehow the subject came up to make Snail and Franklin out of sand.
So I did.

Sand between our toes and in our hair

I don't care.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gluten-free Goodness

Although neither Toby or I have been labeled as Celiac, I still try to do a lot of gluten-free baking and buy gluten free products for the variety. Toby has sometimes displayed extreme moodiness after having something with wheat it in. Still not sure if it's a coincidence or food related, but I've kept it cut back just for now to be sure.

Most times the reactions I get from people when I say what kind of 'diet' we're on is "Oh wow that must really suck".

Well why does it have to?? Gluten-free can be utterly delicious.

Ok, yes, if you take a bite form a gluten free pizza and then a bite from a 'normal' one, inevitably you're going to like the regular pizza better. But when you've eaten the stuff at the not-so-good end of the gluten-free spectrum you can truly appreciate the AMAZING stuff that they're coming out with.

-For one thing: Glutino.
Best. Brand. Ever.
Gluten-free pretzels. Honestly, better than regular pretzels.

And they have cookies that are better than 'real' cookies. Om nom nom

-Bob's Red Mill flours and mixes.

This is the brand of rice flour I get. Also was just turned on to the brownie mix. So freakin delicious. Tried their pizza dough mix and it was ok, but not fabulous. Still looking for a 'fluffy' GF pizza dough recipe..

-O'Dough's breads.

Closest thing to 'real' tasting bread I've found. Although there is a 'may contain traces of egg' clause and it gave Toby a rash... so no more fabulousness for me..

I've created a really good banana muffin recipe and have an amazing fruit cocktail cake recipe. It IS possible for things to taste good when gluten free.

People have been asking for my pie crust recipe. As far as I can tell, any kind of pastry is one of the hardest gluten free things to mimic because it just ends up being really crumbly.

The pie crust recipe I use is from a regular recipe, (The Canadian Living Cookbook, pg 226) I just substituted.

Double Crust pie steps
1. Prepare pastry for double-crust, 9-inch pie.
2. Prepare filling: In large bowl combine fruit, sugar and thickener, spices or other flavourings.
3. Line greased pie plate with pastry
4. Fill with fruit mixture
5. Cover with top crust
6. Back in 425F for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350F for 35-40 minutes more, until fruit is tender, juice in thickened and crust golden brown.

Basic Pie Crust (recipe makes two single shell pie crusts or one double-crust pie.)

2 1/4 cups pastry flour (I used rice flour)
1 tsp salt
(1 tsp xanthan gum, if gluten free)
3/4 cup shortening (I used lactose-free margerine)
4-6 Tbsp cold water

-In mixing bowl, combine flour and salt (and xanthan gum). Cut in shortening with pastry blender or rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few larger pieces. The fine crumbs produce tenderness, the larger produce flakiness.
(not sure if that last part really applies for gluten-free, but you get the idea)
-Stirring briskly with fork, gradually add just enough water, 1 Tbsp at a time, to make dough hold together. (I usually end up with 4 Tbsp i think) Press into ball. Cut in two, flatten each into a disc.
(This is where it get tricky if gluten-free. There will inevitably be crumbs, but hopefully the xanthan gum and water can combine enough to not make it fall apart completely. Just handle with care and try to keep it contained)
-Roll out between two pieces of wax paper to prevent sticking and cracking.
- Remove top layer of wax paper and carefully 'flip' crust into pie plate. (Maybe there's a more glamorous way of doing this, but it works... sometimes) Repeat for top crust.

Fruit/Sugar/Thickener ratios
Apple - 5 cups, peeled and sliced/1/2 to 1 cup sugar plus 1/2 tsp cinnamon/ none
Blueberry - 4 cups/ 3/4 cup/ 6 Tbsp flour or 3Tbsp cornstarch
Peach - 5 cups, peeled and sliced/ 3/4 cup/ 4 Tbsp flour or 2 Tbsp cornstarch
Raspberry - 4 cups/ 1 cup/ 4 Tbsp flour or 2 Tbsp cornstarch
Rhubarb - 4 cups, cut in 1/2" pieces/ 1 1/2 cups/ 6 Tbsp flour or 3 Tbsp cornstarch
Cherry - 4 cups, pitted/ 1 cup/ 4 Tbsp flour or 2 Tbsp cornstarch
Strawberry - 4 cups, halved/ 3/4 cup/ 4 Tbsp flour or 2 Tbsp cornstarch
Strawberry-Rhubarb - 3 cups strawberries plus 2 cups chopped rhubarb/ 1 1/2 cups/ 6 Tbsp flour or 3 Tbsp cornstarch

--If you are using frozen fruit instead of fresh, thaw just enough to separate, then proceed exactly as with the fresh fruit, but increase thickener. Generally frozen fruit requires twice as much thickener as fresh fruit because it produces more juice.

(For thickeners, flour will produce 'cloudy' juice and cornstarch will produce 'clear' juice. Rice flour tends to stay 'gritty' and doesn't fully dissolve, so I use cornstarch, but the pie needs to cook about 20 minutes longer to allow the cornstarch to cook fully)

Gluten-Free crumble topping
(This is my mom's creation since she loves apple crisp but can't have oats or flour)

1 cup GF flour
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup brown sugar
'Some margerine' (about 2 Tbsp... )
'Drizzle' of honey.... about a Tbsp or less.

-Combine flour, flax meal and sugar in medium sized bowl
- Mix in margerine with a fork using brisk movements. Should resemble coarse meal.
- Drizzle in honey and continue to mix with fork until all flour is mixed in and starts to resemble coarser meal with little balls.

-Spread on top of whatever fruity thing you're making, be it pie or crisp. Should be golden brown when done, but tends to burn if left too long... on pies that need to bake longer either wait until fruit is half cooked before spreading on, or cover with tin foil when top looks golden.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fear of Commitment

I don't think I've always had a fear of commitment. Not just in relationships, but in everyday decisions.
 If I order something at a restaurant, and then think I might change my mind, I don't call the waitress back and bother them to change my order... I live with the decision I made.
I haven't had a lot of true relationships with guys in my life but, however 'high school' the relationship was, it usually lasted close to a year.
I've always known I wanted to be with someone and get married and own a home.
Ever since that was pulled away from me I've denied that I've had commitment issues. I kept saying that I just wasn't ready to let it go.
But now, even though I feel I've moved past a lot of feelings, I still find that I push people away unnecessarily. I'll look forward to meeting someone, have a lovely conversation, and then on the drive home I pick out all the things that were wrong with them and decide that I can't live with them for the rest of my life. Sometimes it's justified. Other times I feel like it's a defense mechanism.
Usually it's stupid things like 'They like different music than I do', 'I didn't get to read a menu because they kept talking to me', 'He was an inch shorter than I thought he'd be'.
Other times they loudly voice opinions on parenting techniques and give me 'advice' thanks.

Is it a fear of commitment, or just a matter of not finding someone I click with? Shouldn't I give people more of a chance?

Commitments at home aren't going well either. I think I do pretty well to stick to my guns as far as discipline strategies, but the thing I can't stand that Toby still does is nurse to sleep. I'm getting to the point where I greatly dislike breastfeeding. It hurts my back and my neck and my shoulders to lie beside him in bed when he  takes half an hour to decide if he wants to sleep or not. I've said on several occasions in the last year that I don't like doing it and that he can hold my hand and cuddle, or i can leave him alone to sleep by himself.
It just results in a lot of screaming instead of sleeping. On both parts. From the beginning I've always rathered him to be comforted to sleep rather than lie there and cry. I tried to ignore him on a couple of occasions, and he just wakes himself up more instead of wearing himself out and then takes twice as long for me to calm him down again. Now that he's old enough for words he just screams for me to come back and that he please please just wants to nurse, and if he really isn't happy he just gets out of bed and runs away.

And so is it a fear of traumatizing my son for bedtime, or a fear of committing to what I say I'll do?

I've been saying I'm going to start a business for ages, but then I can't commit to it because, like, what if it's successful? Then I'll have to, like, keep up with it.

I can't even commit to going to bed when I say I"m going to... I got out of bed to turn my computer off... and there I am an hour later typing my brains out lol.

Ok... NOW I'm going to bed.... maybe....