Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Coconut Sugar Cookies

I've been a baking fool yet again and tried something new for 2010.  I've baked some gingerbread and sugar cookies following the same recipes as last year and they were a hit.  I must admit though using a better quality of spices certainly made the gingerbread much fuller bodied and lovely tasting.  Thank you Victorian Epicure ( for great spices for my great cookies.  The sugar cookies although good were not quite the statement that the gingerbread were with their flavour.  I've found gluten free oats and managed to make some great macaroons too that we ate WAY too quickly to be considered truly healthy. But yesterday MJ & I made coconut sugar cookies and they were so tasty.  Here's the recipe if you're interested.  I stole this straight from the package label but it bears sharing.
4 eggs
3/4c + 2 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup coconut flour - sifted
2 tsp cinnamon
Mix together eggs and sugar less 1 TBSP
Add butter and vanilla
Add flour and combine until well mixed.
Let sit 5-10 minutes to thicken (I was so surprised at how much it really does thicken)
Mix remaining sugar with cinnamon (I actually used more than what they say)
Form dough into 1 - 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in sugar mixture
Place on cookie sheet and flatten into 2 inch circles
Bake at 375 degree C for 15 minutes
These are soft lovely morsels to savour.
We got just over 2 dozen of various sizes since we were both shaping them... we didn't have a single nice round one - but that's ok we had a blast making them.
Try it for yourself.... we used organic ingredients so they were gluten free and totally organic!  YUM!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Baby A Week 1

Well we have survived week 1 with our newest addition Baby A.  She is wonderful.  She sleeps through the night from 630p.m. through to 715a.m.!!  She smiles and is happy.  She eats - sometimes what I serve her.  She is now snuggling with me and falling asleep in my arms (she wouldn't even really cuddle at first).  She lets me carry her around in my sling facing in when she's tired and out when she wants to see the world.  Her babbles bring a smile to every one's face no matter how crappy the rest of the day has been.
We have had social workers in and out and on the phone nonstop!  Today I had 2 different workers in my home and about 17 phone calls!  Yes seriously.  All while trying to get my own girls looked after and myself to the doctors and pharmacy.  THANK GOD Aunt Michelle was here.  (Hugs Mich I couldn't have done it without you today!)
Brian is out of town and has been since Monday evening but Michelle and her little girl Bre me down to lend a hand.  Thank goodness they were here this week.  I may have lost it otherwise or a child may have been lost in the shuffle.  Like I said today Michelle was a great help but yesterday she walked T to school and took the other 2 girls with her while I had a meeting with yet another social worker and Baby A.  I am also very thankful that Baby A sleeps so well or I wouldn't have made it without my night time team mate to pinch hit at 3a.m. had I needed him.
Now back to Baby A.  Like I said she's a doll.  But the way her visitation is working out is going to drive me crazy.... unless we can work out a better schedule.  Mom has been granted 3 visits per week of 3 hours each.  Which is great for mom and baby time.  BUT any 3 hour stretch runs over naps, meals or my kids schedules.  We need to do some major finagling to get Baby A TO see her mom and then back again and then trying to catch up on missed meals (mom claims she wouldn't eat because she doesn't like the food - funny how she eats it for me) or missed naps (baby won't sleep anywhere but in a darkened room in a crib according to mom - funny how she'll fall asleep in my arms).  So needless to say after visits there is a period of crankiness and tears.  But we just plug onward and hope Baby A gets over it quickly knowing she's back here and on schedule again.  Today was particularly bad and by the time she came home Michelle had to leave and I was left to my own devices.  But we managed somehow.  In between phone calls and social worker visits (again) we got through to supper and bath and bedtime.
My girls are really great too.  MJ sings Baby A a song every night at bed - unless she's in the tub at the time.  T and MJ help feed her and give her bottles.  They like playing with her most of the time too.  Like any siblings though they have their moments.  MJ is the worst for having moments.  She had already been having some behavioural issues and now they've been amplified but her out burst were limited pretty much to 24 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday evening.  Lets just say I'm glad the door has no holes in it and that Baby A is SUCH a great sleeper.  I think Michelle was completely shocked at seeing THAT side of MJ.  But hopefully in time all the initial anxiety of having a new addition will pass and we'll just have to deal with basic sibling rivalry.  That I can handle.
Well week 1 is over and no court date till Dec 17 so now we just go about our lives and work in visits and the rest of the 'stuff' that we need to do to help Baby A have the best opportunity she possibly can.
I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Baby On Board!

We finally have our very first foster baby!  Wow have the past 53 hours been CRAZY!  (I'm going to call her Baby A since she is our very first charge and we're keeping confidentially etc in mind.)
Wednesday afternoon I got a call about 3:30pm saying that we might have a placement within the next 36 hours... they weren't sure of the timing but did we want to have Baby A come to our home?  My response was almost "duh?!?!" but I refrained and said "of course.  We're ready when she comes"  Not even an hour later they called back and said they'd be here in 5 minutes!  AHHH!!!! What happened to 36 hours???
I had already called B at work and left a message letting him know we were getting a child in the next day or so.  When he finally called back was after I had gotten the 5 minute warning.
Five minutes turned out to be about 25 so the girls and I had time to tidy up and prepare ourselves for our new family member.  When Baby A and her CSW got here my heart melted.  Here was a beautiful bundle of a 9 month old baby girl.  Obviously Baby A was nervous but she got over it amazingly quickly and took right to me and the girls.  When B arrived home about 10 minutes later there was another love affair happening between baby and B. 
The CSW filled me in on pertinent baby info and told me nothing would happen till mom's court date Monday and she left us with our new charge.  WOW that was fast.  I was told that she should sleep though the night without waking - who'd think that!! And sure enough she did!  7:15 to 7:15!  I just wish I had slept that long.  Between my own adrenaline rush keeping me up till nearly 1a.m., the kids waking me up at 1:45 & 2:15 and my cold keeping me awake with coughing and a scratchy throat I managed merely 3 hours of sleep!  The amazing thing was that even though I didn't sleep and was up at 5:00am baking muffins, we had a really good first day!
T & MJ got up and helped us get ready to go to our regular play group.  They actually gt dressed and had breakfast without a fight!  I think that's a first.  Baby A got lots of attention from the other mommies at our playgroup and they gave me some great advice about how to deal with a 9 month old.... after all its been 3 years almost since I had one in the house and I didn't have a slow gradual lead in with this one.  It was an emotional thing to have everyone want to see 'my new baby'.  But it was nice to know everyone there would help if I needed it.
After play group it was home for a speedy lunch then off to school for T.  When we walked up the side walk everyone was in awe that I had 3 children instead of the 2 I normally have.  Only a few of them knew that we were registered as foster parents and we were just waiting for our first placement.  Baby A at this point was absolutely exhausted not having had a nap yet but she was SO well mannered and behaved.  MJ & I quickly walked Baby A home so we could get her down for her long overdue nap.  Much like when she went to bed she laid down quietly and appeared to bed drifting off to sleep.  But she didn't.  The little monkey played for about 30 minutes before falling asleep but since she was happy I just let her play. B came home from work early so I could let Baby A sleep instead of waking her to go get T and she slept until I went in to check on her after 2 hours.  She heard me come in and woke up very happy!
I must admit that because she is 9 months old  she's not the a tiny bundle of squishy baby I was hoping for BUT she is certainly wonderful!  In spite of some minor issues in her physical development, which can be fixed by regular exercise, she is happy and healthy.  She is truly such a joy to have in our house.
Our girls are adjusting.  Today was rougher than yesterday but it was also a VERY busy day full of appointments.  Let's see what tomorrow brings.
Yeah we have a baby in our home again!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One Proud Mama

I had a parent teacher interview with Miss T's SK teacher today.  All I have to say is colour me proud and glowing.  I can't stop grinning about what Mrs S. had to report about T's school work and behaviour as well as her growth inter personally and academically since last year.  T didn't lose anything over the summer... in spite of the fact that we totally let the ball drop and didn't do a single thing with her over the summer break.  T is already through the SK curriculum and is doing additional work in both mathematics and creative writing.  Both of which she comes by honestly.  Her father is the mathe-magician and writer but I too have been known to pen a tale or two. 
Not only is T excelling but her teacher has for the first time in her career put forth an application for an enrichment program to be set up through the school board.  Mrs. S was reviewing the info for grade 1 applications for enrichment programing and immediately thought of my girl and has talked with one of the primary enrichment coordinators to see if they can get permission to work with T in an enrichment capacity.  I knew this would happen and I was at one point thinking about trying to get her promoted to grade 1 this year but everyone talked me out of it in order to keep her with her peer group... well had she been moved with the students she was in a split class with last year then she would have been with her peers still.  That and the fact that she's one of the oldest in her class she could have made the move relatively seamlessly if you ask me.  But that ship has sailed.
Mrs S has strongly recommend that we apply to have T put into the french immersion program next year in order to 'challenge' her a little more.  Although Mrs S believes that T will just excel regardless of the language she is learning in because she grasps things so quickly and knows how to use them properly.  I have been saying all along that I want T in french immersion but B wasn't convinced.  He's afraid that we won't be able to help her if she learns in french and we can't read the directions for her homework and assignments.  Well who knows maybe I'll go take some courses at the local college and regain my own french skills at the same time so T and I can learn together and communicate in french together.  I was fluent about 20 years ago so I should be able to pick it up again pretty easily... in relative terms that is compared to other people with no french background.
One of her and daddy's creations...  Her imagination is so huge!  She is constantly creating.  I love it!

Well enough glowing from me.  I can get the grin off my face when thinking about just how proud I am of my little girl.  I have tried in many ways to tell her just how happy I am with her and how she is doing in school.  I have also tried to help her be proud of herself.  That one I think will take some work though... another parenting challenge I have yet to conquer - teaching my child how to believe in herself and b proud of herself without letting others bring her down or make her feel inferior about being who she is.  Because she is a wonderful, loving, compassionate, empathetic, kind person and she always has been.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween is over. Now on to Christmas!

Last night was a nice cold, windy night that reminded me of Halloweens during my own childhood.  I grew up out in the 'boonies' on a farm in the country and had to go into 'town' for trick or treating...  Town had a total population of 185 people!  Or was it 85??  I can never remember.  But what I do remember is going to my aunt and uncle's house for supper and smelling the hot candy as my aunt prepared her home made candy apples to hand out to every child in town!  They also handed out home made popcorn balls.  EVERYONE always went to their house to get the goodies.  But long gone are the days of giving or receiving home made goodies for Halloween trick or treat goodies. 
Really are people THAT evil?  I like to think that the mass populace are kind and thoughtful people. Aren't we always told that humans by nature are good? Maybe we just use the urban myths as excuses to save time or money by purchasing mass marketed treats to hand out.  Or maybe its the mass marketers who have propagated the urban myths to the point of fear mongering and causing us to buy their goodies instead of making our own.  Whatever the reason I think its sad that my children will never go to Mrs. Baker's down the street because she gives out HOME MADE treats.
That said my kids had a good evening.  We had Gramma L come and go out with us while daddy stayed home to hand out the goodies (store bought of course but NOT candy - we do playdough.... which my hubby thinks is quite humorous since we're a Celiac family).  The girls hit about 100 houses and we were out for just over 1 hour.  Not bad for a 3 & 5 year old.  The wind was cold though on our street.... but I think ours is the windiest street in the entire city!  Once we got onto the side streets the wind wasn't so bad so they wanted to keep going as they were warming up again.  The amount of candy we brought home is quite possibly obscene - but I bet some people would say we didn't get that much.  B and I already pilfered a bunch for ourselves and today I am trying SO hard to not eat every goodie in sight.  So far I have only had 2 mini O'Henry bars and 1 carmel square.  But alas I know there will be 1 or 2 more treats in my tummy before the night is through.
My girls were cute as buttons and the haul was plentiful so I'd say we had a good night.  They're sitting around this evening sorting through everything and categorizing it according to 'food groups' as they called them.  The gum, the chocolate, the hard candy, the chewy candy etc... at least its not just 'the ones we like' and the 'ones we don't like'.  So they're learning something too.... at least that's my theory.  BUT I'm having troubles getting them to eat their supper.  There's no candy until their plates are cleared of the healthy food first.  T is going along with it but MJ keeps saying 'I'm hungry".  So I respond "eat your supper".  To which she says "I'm not hungry for THAT!"... and the game continues.
My plan is to keep the goodies for 1 week then whatever is left will be tossed.  Does that seem harsh?  Na I know some parents that get rid of it the very day after Halloween....  Wait, I can't imagine tossing the candy today - I haven't had MY fill yet!
Well with All Hallows Eve gone and All Saints Day nearly over... On to CHRISTMAS!  I can't wait.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On a Sweeter Note

Well the next time I decide to decorate cup cakes with black and orange someone needs to give me a kick!  The cupcakes are for T's SK class party for Halloween.  Since she can't eat most of what is sent by the other families I feel compelled to send her with something she can eat.  Only this year I went a little over board.  A cupcake for each student and the teacher and EAs...   Being that its for Halloween I of course had to make them seasonally appropriate - thus the black and orange!
But I admit that I love baking and making special things for my little family.  The fact that I am able to make such lovely looking and tasting treats for my family is truly something for which I am glad .  My waistline is not so glad but that is another blog all on its own.
So here's hoping my girls and T's class mates enjoy the cupcakes.  I've had one already and besides the sugar buzz, it was tasty.  I am very glad to have found the Gluten Free white cake mix at our local bulk food store (where they take care to avoid cross contamination - I have yet to have had problems with anything from there and I've been purchasing their open bin GF stuff for  over 2 years now).
MMMMMMMM cupcakes!  BOO!

on chosing a life partner

Its the 28th of October and I let me kids dress up for the last day of preschool before Halloween... they are so gorgeous if I do say so myself. 
T is a Snow Princess and MJ a Lady Bug.  But what's really funny about this is that MJ wants to be a Puppy and T says that this is her wedding dress.  I just need to get her a 'vase' - aka veil.  When we first bought the costumes back in early September they we thrilled and couldn't wait for Halloween.  But like I said now MJ doesn't want to be a bug.  Right from the start T said this would be here wedding dress and was wondering when we were going to her boyfriend's house so they could get married!!  I told his mom about it and we both had a good giggle. 
T has been saying for nearly 2 years that she was going to marry this poor little fella... I keep reminding her that she has many years to make such an important decision.  Then I ask her why she wants to marry S.  Her answers are always striking.  She goes through a list of his best qualities, which are pretty impressive for a life partner.  She says among other things that he's thoughtful, caring, strong so he can protect her from dangers, he's smart, cute and fun to be around.  Not a bad list and I really hope she keeps this in mind as she gets older and the search for a life partner begins for real. 
I have to admit that I'm a little torn when she starts talking about this.  I'm glad that she thinks S is a kind, generous, nice young boy who could be her partner.  But I'm worried about the fact that she's planning her wedding and she's only 5!  Not to mention that she's been planning this for nearly 2 years now!  I remember 'marrying' boys and all that at her age but did I come across as serious as she does?  I don't think my parents ever really knew about my play marriages.  I talk to her about how long it will be until she can really get married and how things change and how she may not even be friends with S anymore when its time for her to get married.  Her reaction - she's marrying S!  No ifs, ands, or buts!   Am I over reacting??  I don't really know.  I guess I just have to keep reminding her that things change and when it really comes time to settle down for her, whatever choices she makes are hers and not mine.  I hope she takes some chances and meets lots of new people male and female and learns that love and friendship change and changes are part of life.  Right now she doesn't like change at all.
(T is very upset that one of our local restaurants which we frequent is building a new building right next to the current structure and the current building will be torn down.  Heaven forbid her favourite restaurant change!  The current building is old and worn out.  The floor tiles are chipping the wall paper peeling and paint chipping too.  There is definitely room for improvement and a new building is good too since it will be larger and be able to accommodate more families comfortably.)
On a similar but different note.  What is with girls swearing that they'll be best friends forever and then 'breaking up' with each other????  T's teacher has actually had to talk with her and her BFF K about just being friends and being friends with all of their class mates not only each other.  That playing with lots of people is more important than playing with only each other.  I've been stressing this too but a 5 year old who has a friend who calls her BFF just doesn't get why they shouldn't be BFFs.  Sure it seems cute and harmless but really it can be limiting especially when they tell others that they can't play unless its with their BFF.  Am I wrong?  I don't know.
Then there is wee little 3 year old MJ.  Apparently she wants to marry a girl.  Guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  Not that I haven't talked to her about it a little bit.  I've told that she can love whoever she likes boy or girl but that not everyone wants to be with people that are the same gender.  I've mentioned that most girls marry boys but if she chooses to marry a girl then so be it.  (Her big sis then interjects that "NO Girls Marry Boys!")  I've been told by the caregivers at her preschool group that she and one of the other little girls were hugging and kissing about 6 months ago but I didn't make anything of it - why would I?  T was hugging and kissing boys and girls at the same age.  No biggie.  But now that little girl in particular is the one MJ has said she thinks she wants to marry.  But the saving grace is that she more often says to me that she is troubled because she doesn't know who she wants to marry.  I tell MJ that it is quite normal to not know who you want to marry at her age and that she has many, many years to make such an important decision.  Then we discuss the qualities a person who we chose to marry should have.  Which starts with the ones her sister says S has.
So on love, life and the pursuit of happiness???  I hope my children take their time getting their life partner.  I took my time.  Met lots of other potentials.  But came back to My One and Only... it only took us 18 years to realize that he truly was my one and only.  Hmmm we met in 4th grade.  How is that different from T & S?  Only a few years.  I guess anything is possible!

Friday, October 22, 2010

So much for good intentions

Well here we sit and its nearing the end of October!  Wow I've not been staying on top of things.  Granted there have been a few different reasons/excuses for my negligence. 
After my last blog we were on call for 2 weeks with Family & Children's Services but didn't actually get a placement.  Then a week or 2 later we thought we were getting a placement but it fell through for some reason or other.  Now here we are just about at the end of October and we still don't have a placement.  BUT we're on call again.
The last 2 months have been full of back to school.  Business trips for B.  A sick cat requiring far too much money but worth every penny. And a sick me.  T started SK with the same teacher as last year so it made the adjustment period non-existent thank goodness.  She's motoring along doing a fantastic job at everything she does.  M can't wait to start JK next year.  On the other hand T doesn't want to go to grade 1 because she doesn't want to be away from mommy all day!  Isn't that sweet!
B was away for a couple of weeks during September so I was single parenting for a bit.  The girls and I did ok but we missed daddy especially when our big orange cat, let's call him F, got really sick.  I called my dad at 9pm and he and V came over to look at F.  Well the word was get him to the emergency clinic asap he probably won't make it through the  night.  Oh Crap!  Was all I said.  So I called a friend to come stay with the girls, thanks E, and off I went to the veterinary emergency clinic.
Let's just say that $3800 and 2 weeks later we had a happy, healthy kitty at home again.  Say good bye to the bathroom renovations and any possible thought at Vegas in November...  But F is worth it.  That and just seeing the girls eyes light up when we brought him home and they got to cuddle with him.  All I have to say is he'd better live at least 10 more years to make that kind of money worth it!  So of course now the big joke is that "when daddy's away, mommy will pay".  But just so you know B was home and made the decision to spend part of that money too.  It wasn't all me.
Then of course F gets better and I get sick.  Lets just leave it at I'm still not better but I really hope to never experience the same pain as I did during the first 24 ours of this whole mess.  I've be bouncing around between doctors and dentists and my naturopath and still no resolution but at least things are changing and hopefully a resolution will be found shortly.
So now we're off to get T from school and lay low for the rest of the afternoon.  Lets hope there'e some good mommy cuddle time in there somewhere.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week One On-Call

Here we are into our first week as After Hours On Call Foster Parents... and what does that mean?  Well from 430pm through 830am Monday through Friday and 430 Friday through 830am Monday if a child in our age range comes into care we get a call and have to house that child.  For how long?  We don't have a clue.  Nothing like adding a little instability to the house now is there?
After our first night on call the girls woke up wondering where the new baby was?  I had to explain to them that just because we're on call doesn't mean we will have a child placed with us right away... both went away saddened as they REALLY want to help mommy look after a small child.  Or so they say.  When the day finally comes and there is a new child in te house how will they really feel?  That's the question.
How do I feel about it?  Well I'm rather mixed up about the whole thing.  I really want to help.  But I also know that Brian will be away for 2 weeks in September and I really don't want to have a fussy baby on my hands without him around.  We have let them know that we only want to be on call till the 4th but if we get a child and they ask us to look after it longer term than just intake what will we say?  Guess we'll figure that one out when it happens.
So while we wait for a new addition to the house we are also readying to bring in some new pets to the hose.  Fish!  After having fish for several years and them all dying we took a break for a year or so and now the girls are like dogs with bones and just won't let it go... guess if we don't have a baby in the house for them to help with they want their own fish.  Both tanks are now in place and the larger one has the filter running (however not filtering as we need to buy some refills for it) and the bubble wand is bubbling.  The girls are going to drive us nutty for sure until we get fish in the tanks.  But they're going to have to wait a few days/weeks until we know the big tank is healthy.  We'll be getting some betas and a small tank for MJ sooner but the big tank will just sit bubbling and filtering (once I buy those filters) away.
Now we have the baby room and the fish tanks ready to fill.  Which will come first? 
I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's Official

Well it is finally official! Brian and I are registered Foster Parents with the Region of Waterloo!! Wow! We started investigating last September and started the process in January and here I sit an official Foster Parent! Well this could change things just a wee little bit.
We have no idea when we might get a child placed within our home but we are ready - well nearly. The toddler bed is in place and the room has had our girls toys evacuated. The dresser is at the bottom of the basement stairs still since Brian's back is sore and I can't carry it up the stairs on my own and the crib remains in the garage but could be assembled in less than 2 hours if needed. We are working on getting together age appropriate clothes for both genders and toys that are more 'boyish' because although our girls have toys that are gender neutral we don't have any backhoes or the like for wee lads to play with if they wanted too. But there are lots of cars and Little People and the like in the meantime.
We're really nervous about having another child in the house but we're ready for the adventure all at the same time. We've requested children under the age of 3 of either gender. So with our 2 girls and another in the house we'll have our hands full for sure. T is old enough to help out a bit but MJ will be a little jealous I'm sure at first. We could get a child within the next 3 days but it may not be for the next 3 months. It all depends on the need within the region and it fluctuates and is absolutely unpredictable so here we are living on the edge... I don't deal well with uncertainty but in this case I'll have to deal with it until we have our first placement and learn the ropes so to speak.
I'll keep you posted on the Moffat household dramas as they unfold but until then - ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June oh June where did you go?

She says as she sits at the computer thinking about what to do with her kids this summer. And realizes that she hasn't written a blog all month! AGAIN!!
My big girl just finished her first year of 'big girl school' and boy oh boy did she make her mama proud. Well of course she did! Its MY child! In spite of last weeks bout with pneumonia she managed to feel well enough to attend her final 2 days of Junior Kindergarten... Imagine that missing the last full week of school! She was a sick wee thing - again! But now I need to get my act together and plan out some stuff to do so my kiddies don't drive me nutty!

First thing is first - July 1st long weekend. Here in Canada its Canada Day on Thursday. SO we're off to Auntie Michelle's house to take part in the Walkerton, ON festivities for the day. We're going to hang with Breanna and Michelle and maybe even head over to the beach in Kincardine for an afternoon or 2... depending on the weather. Gee I really should take a look at that so I know what to pack for the girls.
We still have our play group at the Early Years Centre to attend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays through until the last week of August... so that takes care of most mornings. One week is full day - day camp for T and half day - day camp for MJ so that week mama V gets a bit of a break. AND our family vacation in Kincardine for a week later in the summer.
I'm thinking some Thursdays at the St Jacob's Farmers Market with friends or on our own and other Thursdays at the YMCA to take advantage of some 'free' children's programming! Yeah Y membership. Fridays will mostly be spent hanging out with granddaddy and having sausages for lunch {a big deal for my girls - they LOVE sausages!!} After lunch there is lots of time for fishing or goofing off in the river in his back yard!
The weekends are reserved mostly for family time. A golf tournament here or extended family anniversary/function there but mostly for just us - The Moffats together. I think days of relaxing and maybe some day trips will fall in somewhere but we'll play that by ear.
I'll keep everyone posted on the happenings of the summer as it goes by.
We're also nearly through our application to Foster/Adopt!!! EEK! We have a meeting to sign off on reports Monday then we'll be meeting our social worker and setting some goals etc for our getting going with the fostering thing. We get our manual Monday so I guess that's our summer reading!!! The thing makes War and Peace seem short!! When we sign off on the papers we're going to finish getting the spare bedroom ready for action and we'll be waiting to see what happens next. Keep you posted there too!
I've also embarked on a new weight loss journey... wish me luck. I started at 198lbs am down already! YA ME! I'll be blogging on that journey separately.
My Norwex business is taking off in style! I can't wait to give away a bunch of free mops in July and August! Gotta love that mop! to check it out... send me a note if you want more info!
OK so wish me luck at getting through my first 'summer break' with the kids. Bet T will be looking to get back to class within a week! I may even want her back to class within a week.... na I like my kids most of the time and hope we have a great summer full of memories.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wow Madness!

So here it is and its nearly JUNE!! How on earth did that happen?? Well lets see. Lots of busy times with school and running around for various endeavours for the kids. My new Norwex business. Our application to become Foster Parents going forward. The kids being sick. The hubby getting betterbeing busya t work and goodness knows what else.

So yes there has been a lot going on in the Moffat household to say the least.

Where to start? Well I am happy to report that Brian, despite his best efforts at not doing what the doctors told him to do, has made what appears to be a full recovery from his illness in March. He was never really told exactly what it was besides an infection/illness of some sort involving his liver. That would explain why he turned yellow and got really, really sleepy. He was like a new born baby with jaundice... sleeping 18-20 hours a day... but now he's back to sleeping 6 hours a night or less so normal it is.

Talia is nearly finished her Junior Kindergarten year at school. She is doing incredibly well and only driving her father and I semi nutty asking us to quiz her on her multiplication tables - yes folks she is fascinated with multiplication. She is currently working on her 3 & 4 times tables. OK I know she's only 5 and still should be just having fun but she WANTS to do these things. Trouble is she does get bored sometimes at school. But what do I expect with Brian as her father?? The really good news?? Now Miranda is starting to show signs of heading in the same academic direction as Talia. I'm going to be 'out brained' by them all!

Talia also just had her first soccer game of the season. YAY! She's been bugging us all winter to play soccer but what does she say when we get home and I ask her if she had fun? "NO!" What the heck??? OK she clarified that later saying it was because she hadn't scored a goal.

The good news is that all the kids look like they're on the mend from various winter and spring illnesses. Talia still has a bad cough - but it not pneumonia. MJ still has a cold with cough and runny nose but compared to what they've been dealing with they're doing much better.

Norwex. What is Norwex?? Well its a home based business (much like a Tupperware type of business) where we sell household cleaning products and supplies. It may not sound very exciting but that's where you'd be wrong. So far I'm loving it! I get to meet people outside of my children's friends parents. I have nights out to myself with grown up conversations. I am selling a product that I truly believe in! Can't get much better than that. If you want to find out more let me know and I can answer any questions. You can also check out the company website (I don't have my own yet) at then if you want a product you can order it from me without having a party and I will ship it to you! So far I love everything I've tried. AND I'm saving so much time on cleaning its not even a real chore anymore!

Foster Parenting - yes that's right. We're looking to open our home to families in need of help with their children. No we're not crazy. A few years back I heard an ad on the radio for Family & Children's Services about kids not having homes for Christmas. I came home that night and told Brian that one day we were going to Foster a child so they would know where they were spending Christmas. So here we are nearly 4 years later and nearly finished the application process to become Foster Parents! Yeah us! Talia is excited and Miranda - well lets just say she doesn't quite get it yet. We're hoping to have a child by July or Septemeber at the latest. We've asked for children younger than our own and there are lots of other parents willing to help with that age group so it might be a while before we have a child placed with us - then again it might not be very long at all. I'll keep you posted on that one.

So yes things have been a little busy for us Moffats of Cambridge. But hey - that's how we like apparently because we keep adding to the busy-ness all of the time and we don't seem to know how to slow down. This summer should be interesting to say the least.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Update on Brian

Well we still don't know why my husband was so ill. We do know that his liver function was WAY out of the normal range and that it is still outside of normal functioning range but that he is no longer yellow and can now function like a mostly normal human being... being that he's never been a 'normal' human being that's about 90% healthy again.
I ended up taking him to see my Naturopath and Brian had 2 intravenous therapy treatments with high levels of vitamins and minerals as well as I.V. fluids pumped right into his veins. Each time he had that done I noticed a major difference within 24 hours. I think it really helped. Thank goodness for mt N.D.
After finding out that he didn't have Hepatitis A, B, or C his doctor tested him for various strains of Mono... all negative. So here we sit with him feeling mostly better and still no answers. Its frustrating to not know why he was sick but at least he's mostly mended. However, should his liver function levels not return to normal quickly we'll have to do some more investigating. There's no way I want him to be THAT sick again anytime soon. Which if his levels remain high is a possibility. Here's hoping his tests show normal liver function in 2 weeks time.
Just thought I'd post the update for those interested. Fingers crossed that the next tests will all be normal or as close to it as Brian can be, in 2 weeks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sickness sucks!

OK I've had enough.
The kids have been taking turns all cold and flu season being sick. I've had my fair share of stuffy noses and achy bones... now my hubby might have Hepatitis A! Which by all accounts could take him weeks if not months to get better from.
Between the kids being sick all winter and not sleeping at the best of times I'm beat. Now with Brian sick he can't even help out really. He usually is my anchor and the lifesaver at the end of a busy day with the girls. He takes over and I get what needs to be done done and supper cooked and clean up and he usually does most of the night routine with the kids too... (I know I have it pretty good most of the time). Now I'm too tired to do any stuff beyond cleaning up after supper. I'm looking at 2 baskets of laundry that need folding and I know there's more in the drier and washer downstairs. I just can't bring myself to do it though. I feel guilty for feeling like this but I'm already feeling overwhelmed! Its only been a week!! I don't know how single parents do it on their own.
We spent the day at the hospital yesterday and still have no confirmed diagnosis but all signs are pointing to Hepatitis A! (That's to food borne version that you can get from contaminated food sources - so we'll NEVER know just where it came from.) He also has a urinary tract infection ON TOP of that! So NO WONDER he's been feeling so crappy! He's lost 12 lbs in less than a week and can't even stand the smell of MOST food. Tonight he said that supper smelled good during the moments it wasn't making him want to hurl. I know he's feeling awful and feeling guilty about being sick because he can't help out. He somehow thinks he should be able to beat this quickly and get back to himself. We have to look into possible short term disability insurance coverage and god knows how that will affect us financially but we'll get by somehow. We always figure out a way to do what needs to be done.
I just don't know how long this is going to last and I think that's the most discouraging part of the whole matter. We don't have confirmation that this is Hep A and we won't until mid week at the earliest. We don't know how long it will take for him to get over it either. I've read anywhere from 2 weeks to 9 months! Everything says that if an infected person doesn't take the time to get better the first time that it will not go away completely and they'll keep having recurring illness until they really take the time to get well. Honestly I don't know how anyone feeling as bad as Brian is could go to work and carry on a 'normal' routine with all of the busy-ness that occurs day to day. He can hardly keep his head up half the time let alone his body.
Alright I'm done venting but man can we catch a break please! I'm just glad that all 3 of them aren't sick at the same time. Maybe I've just jinxed myself but hopefully not. If I have I'll be calling in the troops again (thanks gramma 'Raine for coming to help out yesterday) for goodness knows how long.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Getting ready for a 5th birthday

I can't believe my big girl is turning 5 on Sunday. I know we all say that the time flies but I never knew just how true that was until looking at my children's lives. My oldest is turning 5 on Valentine's Day and as we have for the past 5 years we're having a family get together to celebrate - only this year it is actually ON Valentines Day. We usually celebrate the Sunday after V-Day but since it falls on Sunday this year we get to 'spoil' every one's Valentines Day plans. Whoops.
The real bummer is that I usually go to our local grocery store and get free decorations for the party because we celebrate AFTER all the celebrations are over. They very freely give me dozens of helium balloons and other seasonal decor items. Sorry kiddo no helium heart shaped balloons this year - mamma's just too cheap to have to pay for them. But hey what can I say. We like to help the stores recycle instead of just throwing them away. Maybe I'll go in Monday and get her some anyway just to save face.
This year she is having her very first party with school friends. Last year we had a party with her playgroup friends but these are the girls that she is going to go through school with for several more years. It should be interesting too because this is our first drop off and go party. YIKES! We kept it small just for this reason. What on earth do 4 & 5 year old girls like to do to occupy 3.5 hours??? The birthday girl has put in a request for a movie but we'll see what really happens.
Alright well I'm baking muffins and trying to figure out how to decorate them so I guess I'd better get back to it. Wish me luck. I hope no one notices that our goodies are all Gluten Free... I'm trying my best to keep it 'normal' but it has to be safe for us all. I let you know what happens.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I love my Home

I don't know how many times I have been sitting beside Brian and thought how wonderful our home is here at the 'new' place. He always laughs at me because I let him know it. I'll look over at him and just say 'I love my home.' He almost always answers with some comment about how I'd better love it because its making us broke... Which is of course only a half truth.
We moved into our new place nearly a year ago. We took possession March 26th, 2009 and officially moved in April 9th. Gee can you tell that it was a significant moment in my life? Our old place was nice but unfortunately I never REALLY felt like it was mine. We also had some neighbours that left a lot to be desired and because of that the thousands of dollars we spent on landscaping a play area for the kids and garden area for me really just went to waste. Although they likely helped us sell the house faster. I wasn't very comfortable letting the kids play outside while the not so great neighbours were fighting and drinking and swearing a blue streak. Because of that we tended to stay inside.
Like I said in an my Year in Review post this house was meant to be ours. The speed of selling our old place was crazy. The fact that the owner accepted our offer here and everything else that fell into place so fast just reaffirmed that THIS is our HOME!
So why am I bringing this up? Well for a multitude of reasons. I just feel so blessed and thankful for the things in my life and my home. At the top of the list are of course my children. There is NOTHING like watching and listening to them running around our home. This place has SO much room for them to do just that. Not that we always encourage them running like maniacs through the house but it is fun to watch most of the time. We have a nifty loop that they can circle around and the laughter that comes with their running is infectious. Now that's the kind of infection I like!
The fact that I can be in the kitchen and the girls can be either in their playroom or bedroom and I can easily go see what they're doing without climbing up the stairs is a godsend. I know I should get the exercise of stairs but after falling down our old stairs at least once a year, except for in 2008, made me a lot wary of stair climbing to just check on the kids. Yes I'm a klutz! I fell down 6 months pregnant with Miranda to boot and that was a big one. Really quite scary considering I was already on bed rest and dilating at that point of the pregnancy. I love being able to run to any of our most regularly used rooms without 'doing' the stairs.
We have over 1600 square feet on each of the levels of this place, so its huge! Maybe some people won't think so but boy I think its more than enough space. Sure there are some storage issues but every house has those. Our rec room is fabulous now that we have renovated it and we're starting to actually use it too. The kids love having the big open space to play in and watch tv and they, like their momma, love the fireplace too. But now that Brian has his "Man Room" we're all set.
Every man deserves a little piece of heaven in his own home. Now that the pool table is in working order and Brian has his room finished (ok so its not 'finished but 90% is) he has a pace to go and do his own thing. I just hope that he loves having his own space as much as I love having mine (my sewing/crafting room). I can't wait for him the have the chance to have some friends over for a poker/pool night. I really hope that after having the pool table at the old house and not really using it he gets to make better use of it and have some people over to 'play with' once in a while.
Sorry I got side tracked there. I was vacuuming a little while ago and I just felt so blessed to have such a wonderful home. I was thinking about people who don't have what we have and I am glad that we have had the opportunities afforded to us by Brian having a secure job during the recent difficult economic times. By living in a country that doesn't have wars waging around every corner. By having health care that is accessible when we need it... by just about everything in my life. We don't often stop to just say 'thanks' but today I feel the need to do so. I'm not sure who will be listening or who will read this but thanks.
I'm going to take a few more minutes appreciating my life.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Worlds Best GF CF Banana Cake

I'm still learning about my new Gluten Free lifestyle and modifying recipes that were once loved, tried, tested and true for regular ingredients. I hadn't found an easy solution for certain favourites yet. But now I have for my banana cake/muffin/bread recipe. I couldn't believe just how easy it was too.
I have a new favourite all purpose flour mixture that I posted back in December. All I had to do was use that for the recipe, add some xanthan gum and let it sit for a while before popping it into the oven. This is one for the books if you love banana cake/muffins/bread. Especially if you like a nice moist cake that will be devoured by days end (if you're not careful).
I'd post a picture but my family ate it before I had the chance to get a photo. My husband (who can be quite skeptical about the taste and consistency of the GF CF recipes) said he couldn't tell that it was GF CF. I amazed him yet again.
Here's the recipe:
Wet Ingredients
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/2c CF ghee, CF shortening, margarine or regular butter if casein isn't an issue
1/2c Almond Breeze, or other milk substitute or milk again if milk isn't an issue
1tsp vinegar (add it to the milk now and let it sit at least 5 minutes)
1tsp vanilla
3 very ripe bananas
Dry Ingredients
1/2c white sugar
1/2c brown sugar (I use sucanat)
2c all purpose flour mixture (- if you're not GF just use regular baking flour and NO xanthan gum)
2tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt
2tsp xanthan gum
Mixing Instructions
In a large bowl -
1. Peel and mash the bananas
2. Add sugars and mix well
3. Add the eggs and mix well
In a separate bowl
4. Combine all dry ingredients and sift a couple of times to be sure they're well mixed
Then -
5. Mix dry ingredients into wet about 1/3 at a time and mix well
6. Add the milk and the vanilla and mix well
7. Let mixture sit covered with a moist cloth for at least 30 minutes and at most 1.5 hours this allows the xanthan gum and baking soda and powder to do their thing and make the cake fluffier.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F
Now for the tough part - decide which type of desert you are making and pour into 9x13 pan, muffin tins or bread pan.
For the 9x13 cake it takes about 30 minutes at 350F
The bread and muffins are around the same but make sure you test with a tooth pick before removing from the oven for good. You want to be sure the tooth pick comes out clean in several areas of the muffins, bread or cake as it could 'look' cooked in one spot but not be on the other side of the item. (I ran into this problem when I made a double batch in a larger cake pan - I think my oven cooks hotter on one side too).
If you want to ice the cake or muffins let them cool completely before making an icing of your choice. They freeze well too but I've never had the muffins in the freezer for longer than about a month. They're too tasty to leave sitting around.
There you have it. SOOOOO tasty. Let me know if you enjoy them. I'll see if I can get pictures next time we make them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Whirl Wind of Emotion

Well this past few days has been something. On Thursday Talia got really sick, really fast and we still have no idea why!! She started with a headache and low grade fever and within hours she had a high fever even with medication and she had stopped eating and drinking. So after a
call to her doctor's office off to the hospital we went.

We were seen very quickly because of her symptoms and the doctors started throwing around things like meningitis and sepsis along with treatments like spinal taps! AH!! Mommy went into hyper-vigilant mama mode. Needless to say she was admitted and put on and IV drip pretty quickly. The paediatrician who saw her quickly ruled out meningitis but had no idea why she had gotten SO sick. They had taken lots of blood and urine and all that jazz for testing but all of those tests take time - upward of 48 hrs.

On Friday morning her paediatrician came by and said that he didn't know anything yet but that she had been a pretty sick little girl and she'd be in the hospital for a couple of days. Ok I have to admit that when I took her into Emerg I seriously thought they'd give me a prescription and tell me I was over reacting. So being told that my child was going to be in hospital, on and IV drip with IV antibiotics was a bit disconcerting.

The good news was that Talia had bounced back VERY quickly once she was being re-hydrated and after her first dose of antibiotics. In fact she got so good that she was driving her father and I nuts by the end of the day Friday. She wanted to go home, then she wanted to play, then a story, then play, then eat, then pee, then play, then... well you get the point. Her doctor was pleased with that but we still had no idea why she had been sick.

Saturday morning we were told that she had something growing in her blood culture. Which could mean a serious bacterial infection. So the words sepsis and severe came back to the forefront. AHH! Well we tried not to panic (outwardly) but we really wanted to know what was going on. She was to stay another night and hopefully the tests would reveal what kind of bacteria was growing. Once that was done they'd know exactly what kind of medication she needed and what, if any, long term consequences would be for our girl.

Brian stepped up and took the hospital shift so I could spend time at home with Miranda and hopefully get some rest. Well I spent time with Miranda. Rest was far from enough. The poor guy didn't know what he'd gotten himself into though. Between Talia being super hyper and the nurse visits overnight, he didn't get much rest. And those cots at the hospital are enough to put most people in need of a serious massage or more.

Ok this morning Miranda and I got up and made our way up to the hospital so we could see the doctor when he did his rounds. We had little hope of Talia coming home but we needed some answers. Talia and Brian were at the hospital waiting for us (and the coffee I was bringing) and quite quickly Talia and Miranda were back to their usual bickering and fighting and riping toys away from each other. Finally the doctor on call came in and basically said the tests were negative and here's a prescription. So I looked at him and asked if that meant Talia could go home... Yes!

So here we are tonight, at home. All of us. But we still have no idea why Talia got SO sick. We have to see her doctor later in the week and I'm really hoping that he will have some kind of answer for us so we know why the hell she was as sick as she was. It was pretty scary for all of us. I hope we never have to go through that again.