Currently | I'm baking cookies, while it's raining during naptime. Also I am so happy that we have green grass is our backyard - it has been far too long since I could say that!
Thinking about | where blogging is going to fit into my schedule. As I gear up to head back to work/school, I have been thinking a lot about where to fit blogging in my schedule. I know I don't currently post often but I would like to continue with 1-2 post a week. I will for sure be continuing on the 52 project but as for if I will continue to post more frequently is yet to be determined. As I have stated before, I love this community, so I hope to still be able to connect with you guys but knowing less time will be available to spend with family as I study and write papers, I'm unsure how often it will be! Although, part of me thinks it will be a great outlet to write about things other than school which would be great!
Watching | American Blogger. I follow Casey's blog so I was very intrigued to see this movie as she covered so much of it as it unfolded. I have to say, I really enjoyed it! Especially as it focused on the "community" of blogging that so many of us talk about and cherish. It was also really cool to see some bloggers I follow and get introduced to new ones. Overall, I think it was a great project and so happy they embarked on the journey to tell the story. I know there has been a bit of controversy over who was filmed, and the fact it did not encompassing the whole blogging world. Maybe it wasn't the best title, maybe the trailer was a bit cheesy, but I got to say - the movie was good from my perspective. Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? Thankful for | Skype & Facetime. They are so important in our lives to stay connect to Matt's family but now as Greta and I head to my parents for a couple months they are so important for keeping us connected, more Greta to be able to "see" daddy say good night, blow him kisses and for him to see milestones that may be reached while we are away. These are the times I am happy that technology is a big part of our lives and allows us to connect from anywhere, I can't imagine doing this without it! Here are a few photos of Greta from over the weekend!
We lowered the crib mattress as someone is growing up fast!!
What do you do with rice leftovers? I can never find the perfect way to reheat it to eat it again just plain, so I always like to turn it into rice pudding. Now regular cinnamon raisin rice pudding is great, but I think this recipe with a mixture of coconut and chai spices really kicks this comfort food up a notch, into a real treat!
So next time you are looking for a way to turn that leftover rice (that has been cooked in water not broth) into something delish try out this recipe.
Coconut Chai Rice Pudding
1 - 15oz can of coconut milk
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 cardamom pods
1 star anise (or 1 tsp allspice)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of leftover rice (jasmine or basmati are great)
toasted coconut for garnish
Add milk, coconut milk, sugar and spices into a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, while stirring occasionally. Add rice and vanilla. Then reduce heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, and continue to stir. Cool until the mixture is creamy and rice is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove spices, top with toasted coconut.
It is great served warm or cold.
Could be serve with chopped pineapple, bananas, or mango for a tropical feel in the summer.
Note: I found it to be really sweet so feel free to cup back the sugar to 2 tbsp as I found the cocount milk had plenty of sweetness on it's own.
This morning was the third morning in a row of Greta waking at 4 am. Not fussy, hungry, or in too much pain from cutting teeth - just wide awake. Ready to explore it seems, crawling around our bed seems like it is cat's pajamas at this early hour. We bare it, laugh at her new found skills and I tell Matt he better put on a full pot of coffee so I can make it through the day. I walk to the kitchen red-eyed and groggy, pour a cup of coffee, then add my milk...only to have it curdle in the cup (gah! this mama cried over curdled milk), yes my friends this is my life lately, and that seems to be only the tip of the iceberg.
I get that I'm not the only mother dealing with sleep regression, probably thousands are right alongside me, and some mom's have yet to have a good sleep since babes arrival, but for me right now this is like the straw that breaks the camel's back. On top of the early morning wakings, she's cutting her first teeth, which really has not been too much of an issue, besides the biting and using my nipples like a teething ring. I don't know whether to attribute this wrath on my "girls" to the teething or to the sudden dip in milk supply. You see, a few months ago my period returned, and since then my milk supply has been low. Low but maintainable, whereas this last week, I swear my milk is nearly non-existent. The increase in solid food has decreased the amount of nursing sessions that Greta is demanding during the day and as I prepare to return to work/school in less than a week and a half we have been trying to supplement daytime feeding - with not much luck. As noted in previous posts, Greta does not take a bottle so we planned to transition her to formula in a sippy cup. Problem: she seems to detest formula. Problem 2: she's not a huge fan of the sippy cup either. Seriously I feel like I can't win. We have tried several cups, a few different formula, and still no success. Best form of getting fluid into her is water, from a regular cup. I bet all you mama's reading are thinking, if she hates formula, then pump mama pump! Well tried that - with only .5 oz per side to show for my efforts. A measly 1 oz of milk. I'm sure my body does not respond well to a pump, as even though I pumped consistently while she was in the NICU, the most I have every pumped in my pumping experience is 3 ozs a side. It seems my body wants the real thing to produce. Enter blessed thistle and fenugreek. These have been my friends in the past and I am hoping they will pull through for me again, but even with an slight increase in supply, I still am trying to figure how I'm going to supplement day time feedings while I'm at work.
Compound all of these worries and issues with my feelings of returning to work, and moving to my parents (which sleep at Grandma's house is a whole other can of worms! Easter weekend = a no sleep disaster), my days are full of tearful bathroom breaks, that are far worse than any crying seshes I've had in a while, chugging liquids, popping herbs, and chasing after our now quite mobile and inquisitive (why does every floor fluff or dog hair need to enter her mouth?!) little girl.
Sorry to this post a full on rant., but this mama needed to rant. Plus, I'm open to any suggestions and opinions any of you have, as I begin to crumble as each day closer to my return to work and days away from Greta approach.
I'm off to sip black (ugh!) coffee and plan out what to tackle today, or maybe I'll skip that and catch a few winks as she naps - which I have not done in a a long time.
Today, during Greta's unusually long afternoon nap, I decided to dye Easter eggs, but realized that I didn't have any food coloring. I didn't let that stop me! I hit Google and Pinterest where I found how to dye them naturally with items I had in my fridge and cupboard! I really love this idea, think it is a great project to do with kids than just food coloring as I'm sure they will be amazed at what else we can do with our food!
I also attempted to do lace-printed eggs. They didn't turn out with a crisp white lace print but still think they look ok.
So, here is what I did.
I used the color chart here to decide on what I needed for materials to create natural dyes.
1. I boiled my eggs, I use this method (perfect eggs every time, thanks Martha!). You can use white or brown but with brown you have to check what color the will turn with which dye as it's different, here you can find what color a few of the ones on the list will turn brown eggs.
2. As I wanted to try lace-printed eggs as well, I wrapped lace trim pieces around the center of the egg. You want it to be really tight, some places suggested using a rubber band, but I just tied it, with this method won't allow for a uniform circle around the egg, so if your need for perfection is deep, than a rubber band may be better!
3. Prepare your dyes. Most of the material require to be boiled so let it boil for 15 minutes, or longer if you don't find the color is strong enough, then stain the material and add to a jar or glass. You will want to add a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of water to help in the dyeing process. Below (left to right), I used boiled red cabbage (as I have it on had like any good German wife, lol) which turns eggs blue. To do yellow/orange I boiled a mixture of cumin & turmeric, and lastly to do green eggs I boiled spinach. I was going for pastel eggs so I let my eggs sit for 15-20 minutes to let the color develop, but if you are wanting dark vibrant eggs you will want to use jars and then store eggs in the fridge overnight to let the colors develop fully. (Note: after doing some reading, you can actually just boil the eggs in the water with the dyeing product you choose if you just a plain colored egg and not lace printed a few of mine were - saves time!)
4. Let eggs dry, if you want to add a sheen to them after they dry you can always rub them with grapeseed oil or vegetable oil, if you prefer glossy to matte eggs.
A few notes:
I found the spinach difficult to develop color, and I didn't add the vinegar as when I added it, the color green seemed to disappear, green eggs will definitely develop better with the overnight method
I had difficulty with the brown eggs, and actually found the dye rubbed off, although it lighted the brown and with the lace added a interesting look.
(lighting really does not show the green & yellow very well)
Have you dyed eggs naturally? You have any tips or tricks I could try the next time? I'm happy as I wanted pastel colors but would be interested in hearing on developing more vibrant colors for future reference!
Have a great Easter weekend, it is suppose to feel more like spring here so I am getting excited!
currently loving these tulips! I needed something to make it feel like spring since over the weekend it seems as though mother nature forget (yet again!) - they did the trick!
thinking about | friendships. The other day I read an article (without being interrupted...as I was at the hairdresser) about how the number of friends a woman has decreases as she gets older. It really got me thinking about my friendships. I have a variety of friend groups; from my core group of high school girls to friends I have met through out my career and education journey, and everyone of these friendships is different and I cherish and value them for different reasons. Then there are friendships that I wonder if I should give up on - I know we are all busy, especially when we become moms, but I really can't stand being ignored by someone I consider(ed) a friend. This has happened a bit lately and although I understand this person is a new mom, it would be nice to have some acknowledgement that my messages have been received - and if getting together or contact with me is something this individual does not currently find of interest, I would simply rather be told that than simply ignored! How about you, have you have friendships fizzle from just being ignored? Maybe it's intentional, maybe it's not - but what would you do? Also on this topic, I had a very close friendship end in my early twenties during a late night drunken fight with where cruel word were slung and I decided that I did not need that in my life. So, just like that ties were cut - even though her friendship with my sister continued. I chalked it up to we were at different points in our lives and as the article stated, lots of friendships are formed from shared experiences and circumstance and when that changes so does the friendship. But now, we are at similar points in our lives, as we both have daughters the same age, are married etc and I often wonder if with some work this friendship could heal, and then I wonder if it is even worth it. I no longer have hard feelings over the words slung that night - but I also know what I have other great friendships with people who understand me more, who have stood by me through life changes, so is it really something I need to pursue and wonder about? Have you ever healed a broken friendship from the past, or is the past best left in the past?
reading | occupational therapy notes/texts. Yep, the countdown to returning to school is down to weeks so I am preparing myself for getting back into it! It's a mix of emotions as I am reminded of the passion I have for this field, but also gives me anxiety about seeing my girl for 8 hour stretches when I rarely have left her for over 4. Cue the waterworks.
watching | nothing new. I really, really have this urge to go to the movies - I can't remember the last time we went to a movie and I really would just love that experience (you know the popcorn & not potential crying baby that requires a pause). Have you seen anything really good lately that requires the "big screen" experience?
thankful for | the blogging community. I am so thankful for the other mom blogs I have discovered and connected with through this community. The web/social media has brought me so much comfort and connection during nearly a year (!), as a new mom. Andrea allowed me to share real emotions on my birth experience and that has connected me with other moms how have similar experiences. I read posts on a daily basis that let me know other moms have the some thoughts, feeling, and struggles that I do and I am comforted by the fact that even though I don't know the individuals personally, I feel connected and inspired by them from my living room in central Canada. Even though at times social media may feel like it consumes me in a bad way - I am thankful that so many moms open their lives, share their experiences, and build friendships through this medium as we may have a connection with individuals miles and miles away we may have never discovered without it! So thank-you readers, for your comments, encouragement, and understanding as it is you I am thankful for!
As usual, I am linking up with a mama collective (a blog I am thankul for!)! I'd love to hear what your up to or what is on your mind, so go link up your currently post.
Currently. Manitoba is thawing out and spring is here! I'm so happy that this winter has come to an end and the trees and grass will so be green!
Thinking about | Greta's first birthday. She was 10 months this past weekend (yikes, gotta do my 10 month post!), meaning we are 2 months away from the 1 year. I'm not trying to rush it - but with starting my placement next month I figured I should use the last bit of free time to start some planning. I'm hoping that we will have some nice weather and can have an outdoor garden party, with a "grow" theme! I think it's fitting as I feel she was our tiny little seed we nurtured into a blossoming flower this past year and I want to celebrate how far she has come. Not going to go too "pinterest" crazy but I might tackle a few projects like this or this. I'm thinking blankets on the ground and some mason jars hanging in the trees. Then simple sandwiches or wraps with garden veggies and fruits.
Listening to | Serena Ryder. I've always loved her voice, but my girl crush was re-awakened after last weeks Juno Awards. If I could sing, I would wish to a range like her and that raspy-ness is a tone I'm always drawn too. Bonus points that she is a good Canadian girl. Haven't heard her go listen, this was my first fave! Watching | ACM's. Yes, I have a diverse music taste - love the country music awards. There was so many great performances last night, and I was so happy to see The King, George Strait, take home Entertainer of the Year.
Reading | I've been on a role with books lately, next I plan to pick up Atonement. I have seen the movie (multiple times) but never read the book so I think I'll see if it's as good -- or better.
Thankful for | this post! It was nice to read this post along with the comments to know that I am not the only mother who struggles with a social media obsession, and it also made me aware that I really need change some things - and put my phone away! If you follow me over on Instagram you know I post a few times a day and I check it even more, yesterday I put away the phone, posted nothing and plan to make sure I do more on a regular basis! I got one more month at home with my sweet girl so I want to savor the moments! Time to put down the phone, stop scrolling aimlessly, and be present. Don't worry I'll still post - just at naptime! Thank-you Jenna for this reminder and push to be present! What are up currently with you? Go link up at a mama collective, so I can hear all about it!
Your really starting to grow up now! Every day you seem more and more like your a little toddler than a little baby - I think if you were walking it would really feel like it! When you stand at your play table and bop your head to the music it make me think how quick you have grown! I cherish the moments I cuddle you in my arms and think back of the days you were soooo tiny- then I put you down and you keep me too busy to think!
Weight: 15lbs 6oz
Length: 26 inches
We went to the dietitian and she says we are feeding all the right things and you are definitely starting to gain weight. The other night when we were bathing you we were laughing about your little potbelly -- we are not worried about you getting enough food! You love your food, especially bread!
Your creeping! Not quite crawling yet but you get around by pulling yourself with your arms. You get up on all fours but drop to your tummy when you have somewhere you want/need to be. Standing is you most favourite thing. You will pull yourself up on anything to get to your feet, which at times can be a little scary. Like when I sat you in the laundry basket to change a load of clothes only to turn around and find you standing! Good thing your pretty sturdy because you were not on carpet if you were to fall. Your are constantly jabbering away, lots of dadada, bababa, ahhahah sounds are coming out - no mama yet although I encourage it daily ( or hourly!).
Bread! If you won't eat anything else we know you'll eat a slice of bread.
mommy making silly faces
This is my last month at home with you full time, and it makes me sad. I have loved every minute of the last 10 months spent with you and I wish that it could continues.