Thursday, March 31, 2011

2011 Goals Update

First of all, I can't believe that March has already come and gone!  This year seems to be moving very, very quickly.  It's time to come clean on my progress with my goals for 2011.

I'm happy to say that I've managed to keep up with the bloggymoms blog dare and post every day.  It's kept me disciplined and forced me to really think through what I want to post.  The thesis is coming along, although I feel like it's going at a snail's pace.  There have been too many interruptions, things that have popped up for me to progress as quickly as I would like.  On the plus side, I just finished a chapter today, so that provides some proof that I'm moving forward!

Last month I mentioned that we still hadn't put together any photo albums, so I'm thrilled to say that I managed to put together two albums of my son's first year.  I know, I'm a bit of a procrastinator, but it feels so good to have an organized record of the first year of my son's life.  And he loves flipping through them!

My husband and I also managed to have a date night for my birthday.  Shopping, dinner and a movie.  It was great to get out and just spend time as a couple.  Much needed.  Another important goal on my list was to sign up for an activity class with my son at the community centre, so I signed us up for the "Pied Piper" program of music and crafts.  He loves it, and I love spending the time with him, uninterrupted. 

There's still much to get to on the list, but I'm happy that I've managed to check a few more things off the list.  I'm a bit of a nerd, but it's immensely satisfying for me to check items off my to-do list.  Even when the list covers an entire year! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Birthday To My Hubby & A Recipe for Gluten & Dairy Free Icing

Just a quick note tonight as it's my hubby's birthday.  Seriously, the birthdays never end around here.  On Sunday my niece turns three.  More cake!  But today it's all about my husband, although he's stuck working late again and so isn't even home yet.  I'm so looking forward to our little two week visit to his family starting Monday.

Since I'm talking about cake, here's the 7 minute icing my mom made for the birthday cake last weekend.  It's not her original recipe, but she's been using it so long I have no idea who to credit it with.  If anyone knows, let me know and I'll credit the source.

SEVEN MINUTE WHITE ICING RECIPE (gluten and dairy free)

A)In a double boiler beat together:

2 unbeaten egg whites
1 1/2 cups of sugar
5 tablespoons of cold water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons of light corn syrup

B) Beat constantly with mixer for seven minutes
remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla
continue beating until the right consistency to be spread

Should be eaten within 1 to 2 days or will go sugary. The consistency is kind of sticky and reminds me of that marshmallow stuff you can get in a jar. A little sugary for some, but the little ones loved it!


 
Updated September 2013

Monday, March 28, 2011

All Canadian Blog Hop!

I'm a little late on this, considering it's already 9 pm, but I just discovered a weekly Canadian blog hop, and I'm in!  I love my International friends, but I have to admit, it's been kind of slow-going when it comes to finding other Canuck bloggers online, so this is a great chance for me to branch out and meet some great new people!

Looking forward to checking out some great new blogs! But, umm, seeing how I haven't even had a chance to say hello to my husband yet since he got home, I will be checking them out tomorrow.  Can't wait!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Menu Plan






Monday: Chickpea & Spinach Soup with Tuna Muffins











 Tuesday: Beef Bourgignon Over Pasta








Wednesday: Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry & Spring Rolls
                                                                                       
Thursday: Pork Chops in a Sweet and Sour Sauce, Corn Salad & Sweet Potato Wedges

Friday: Turkey Loaf with Stuffed Zucchini & Cabbage Salad

I'm still cooking the last two.  I'll try and update the post during the week.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review: Metro Irresistibles Cake Mix

It has been a whirlwind of birthdays in my house.  First my son, then my birthday last week, and my husband's birthday is on Tuesday.  We celebrated my and my husband's birthday today with family, and my mother baked a gluten free cake from a mix.  The grocery store METRO has a line of their very own gluten free products, and she picked up a box of their cake mix to try.  Until I checked this out online, I had no idea that Metro currently the only grocery store chain in Canada with their own private label of GF foods, and that they have more than 20 products to choose from.  I will be making a stop at my local Metro to check things out!  The product she used was the Metro Irresistibles Gluten Free White Cake Mix

The last time we made a gluten free cake from a mix it was ok, but a bit on the dense/dry side, and my son refused to eat it.  This time was much different.  The cake mix was for a basic white cake, and my mom iced it with her 7 minute icing, which is gluten and dairy free.  She used the bread hook when beating the mix, and the result was a lovely, soft, fluffy cake.

The look of anticipation on my son's face is priceless


Unlike our previous attempt at a homemade cake, this cake was light and airy inside.  Many cakes from gluten free mixes don't rise the same way a regular cake would, but this cake had the consistency of a regular, plain white cake.  The flavour was subtle and really let the icing shine.  And my son liked it so much that he eventually dropped the fork and just grabbed a chunk to shove in his mouth!



The verdict: This product looked and tasted like a real cake, and would fool anyone who didn't know that it was actually gluten free.  I'm thinking about using the mix to make cupcakes for Easter, and it will be my go-to mix when I need to whip up a quick cake for dessert.  I don't know if using the bread hook made a difference, but that's the way I'll be making it! 







Friday, March 25, 2011

Five Things on a Friday

Things have been hectic around here lately.  We're heading out of the country in just over a week to visit my husband's family and there's a mountain of things that need to get done before we go.  So today I've decided that if I can tackle just 5 before the day is over, I can go to bed tonight satisfied. 
Here's my Friday Five priority list for today:
1- Laundry (Goal: Washed, dried, folded, put away.  Items for trip separated and packed)
2- Print Photos: We've been a bit remiss about sending my husband's Grandparents photos.  They don't use computers and our son is the only great-grandchild, so we're putting together a small album.  We haven't seen them since October 2009, so the last time they saw my son he wasn't even walking on his own yet.
3- Menu Plan for next week.  Cooking happens on Sunday, but this way I can be sure I have everything.
4- Tax Preparation: Get tax receipts, etc. together so my husband can tackle the taxes tomorrow.
5- Clean Main Floor: I'm home today, and I would rather not have to do it tomorrow.

So there it is.  I'm not going to let the fact that it's already 3 p.m. deter me! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bedtime Battles Have Resurfaced

Just when you think you've got something under control.....

I don't know why, but for the past few weeks my son has decided that bedtime is going to be playtime instead.  For months he's been going down at bedtime without a fight, but all of a sudden it's taking us over an hour to get him down, whether it's bedtime or nap time.  I'm at a loss.  The techniques that have worked so well for us in the past are no longer working.  We moved his bedtime back a bit thinking perhaps that was the issue, but nope.  Still takes over an hour to get him down. 

Oh and did I mention that now he also wants to join us in bed at 1am?  Why not?  It's not like we have anything else to do.  This becomes another battle, because we don't want to make a habit of nighttime visits and he doesn't want to go back to his own bed.  In case anyone's wondering, we've never co-slept with him, so it's not something he's accustomed to.

So, to sum up...1 hour for bedtime, 1 hour for naps, and about 30 minutes in the middle of the night to get him down.  This is ridiculous. 

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


   Just for the record, it's snowing again today.  For some reason, this always makes my mind drift to warmer locales.  This photo was taken at a market in Nice, France of almond paste candies in the shapes of different fruits.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why I Menu Plan for the Week

I've had a few people ask me why I menu plan and if I cook for the week in advance. I never thought I would be the menu planning type, but now I can't imagine not having my meals planned and prepped ahead of time.

I started menu planning after I found out about my son's gluten and dairy intolerances.  Suddenly, many of the meals I had previously cooked as simple, go to dishes were off limits.  I also had to start bringing my son's lunches to the daycare because despite their best intentions, he was being cross-contaminated there more than once a week.  I found myself making the same few dishes over and over again.  It didn't take long for me to get tired of eating the same meals all the time.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Kimberly's Celiac Bakery

On Saturday, my mom brought over a boxful of baked goods for me from Kimberly's Celiac Bakery.  It's not an actual bakery as the title would suggest, but rather a product line of vegan and gluten free baked goods.  The small factory is located close to where we live, and the owner is more than happy to sell products to the public straight from the factory.  Good thing too, because his prices are much cheaper than retail!  A $5 box of cookies at the factory was listed for $6.99 at a local store.  Quite the mark-up.

My husband and I discovered (as we seem to discover most GF places) it accidentally, driving to my parents' house one day.  We took a back street to avoid traffic, and a small sign with black lettering said Celiac Bakery.  We drove past it that day, but I kept it in mind and about a week later my mom and I went to check it out.  The owner Terry welcomed us with a free chocolate chip cookie and a tour of the facilities.  He states that "Kimberly’s Bakery is a Gluten free & vegan bakery, which does not use eggs, yeast, sesame, dairy products, rice, or nuts."  Instead, they use flax and bake with Romano beans for moistness.

The chocolate chip cookie was soft but not crumby, and absolutely delicious!

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Needless to say we each bought a box!  We also tried a slice of sandwich bread, which tasted like a multigrain sliced bread.  It was much better than any other GF bread I've tried, so after watching my son scarf down a slice, I realized that we had something special in this bakery.   We bought a selection of items to try, and aside from the pizza crust which wasn't anyone's favourite, everything else passed the taste test (meaning that not only do I like it, but my 2 year old will eat it too!).

Cinnamon Bun:  A little drier than a traditional cinnamon bun around the outside, but the inside is sweet, moist and full of cinnamon-y deliciousness!  We currently have one in our freezer that I am trying not to eat.

Double Chocolate Loaf/Muffins:  This is a dense, chocolate-lovers delight.  Really great texture, great flavour, perfect as a dessert.
Double Chocolate Muffins


Berry Squares:  My husband enjoyed these more than the rest of us.  He doesn't particularly like sweets, and these mixed berry, flax-topped squares were just the perfect thing for him.  My son didn't hate them, but he didn't love them either.

Pizza Crust:  Probably the only item we won't buy again.  It's a pre-baked crust that actually tastes pretty good, but it doesn't remind me of PIZZA when I eat it.  I like the Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust, so we'll stick with that.

Flax Bread and Raisin Bread:  Both of these taste good and keep well in the refrigerator.  Perhaps one of the things that I love best about these products is that they don't dry out in a day like many gluten free items.  The sandwich bread lasts about 5 days in the fridge.  Regular bread texture, good taste.  All around a great find.

Photos of the products can be found on their facebook page.  Their website is still under construction.  They also have a product list and prices on the page.  Some items have the ingredients listed as well.  Currently the products can only be found locally in a few stores.

I love finding hidden treasures that are close to home and supporting local businesses.  Hopefully this new company will succeed and grow.  Perhaps their products will be found at a grocery store near you someday soon!  If you live in the GTA, the factory/store can be found at:

Kimberly's Celiac Bakery
415 Oakdale Rd. Unit 361-D
Toronto, On
416 271- 0742

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Menu Plan

Here's my dinner menu for the week!  

Monday: BBQ Ribs with Baked Potatoes & Coleslaw
Tuesday: Avocado Soup, Black Beans and Rice & Mango Salsa
Wednesday: Herb Chicken, Lemon Quinoa & Greek Style Eggplant Salad
Thursday: Beef Stew, Gluten Free Bread & Carrot Sticks with Hummus
Friday: Pasta Salad with Grilled Peppers, Onions & Zucchini and Leftover Stew

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Posting will resume properly tomorrow

Today my parents have generously offered to babysit so that my husband and I can go out for my birthday.  My mom is coming over in a few minutes so that we can have the whole day and my dad will arrive after work.  This means that all of my responsibilities for today have been thrown out the window!  Tomorrow I'll be back on track. 

Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Another day, another year older!  Actually, I've never minded my birthdays.  In my family getting older has never been seen as something to dread.  In fact, on both sides of my family there are numerous examples of relatives enjoying every stage of their lives for different reasons, and some who have lived to extremely ripe old ages!  I look back at my past with fondness, but I wouldn't want to go back-there's so much I'm looking forward to that it doesn't make sense to spend all my time wistfully looking backwards!

This morning I woke up to a bouquet of flowers and a very confused two year old who couldn't understand why it wasn't still his birthday!  So we sang a round of Happy Birthday for all three of us, and it was the best way I can think of to start a birthday!  Tomorrow night there's a much deserved night out with my husband thanks to my wonderful, babysitting parents.

As far as birthdays go, so far so good!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I've loved St. Patrick's Day since I was a kid.  The whole holiday was just so much fun!  Everything was green and minty leading up to it (I remember my Aunt taking my cousin and I to a certain fast food restaurant for their famous green milkshakes).  It's also the day before my birthday, so the excitement was heightened because it felt like celebrating my birthday over two days instead of just one. 

Image from http://hubpages.com/hub/st-patricks-day-clip-art
                                                    

As I've gotten older, St. Patrick's Day has become a small reminder of part of my heritage- I'm descended from the Irish on my mother's side, and a few years ago had the opportunity to travel to Ireland and see where my ancestors came from.  If you've never been, it's a vacation destination that I highly recommend.  The people are lovely, the scenery is breathtaking and there's something for everyone- historic castles, trendy shopping, tons of nature, a great literary tradition, pubs- and the food is also delicious!

Image courtesy of www.pdphoto.org

Image courtesy of www.pdphoto.org



Here are some ideas for tasty, gluten free Irish dishes!

Irish Stew
Oat Cakes (with GF oats, of course!)
Shepherd's Pie
Champ (a mashed potato dish)
Cabbage Rolls
Dublin Coddle (a sausage, potato and onion soup)
Fish and Chips (made with a gluten free batter)
Parsnip and Apple Soup

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Spring is almost here!!!!  Then I can take more photos like this one!

Or more videos like this one of my son giggling while my husband dug part of our garden lat year.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I couldn't resist!

We're going on vacation to visit my husband's family in El Salvador at the beginning of April.  Today I went looking for a bathing suit for my son, and found these instead...


 
They have a strap around the back of his heel so they don't fall off....I just....I have no words for how cute they are!  His little pudgy feet were almost to chubby, but they finally made it in.  I thought he would hate them, so I was just hoping to be able to keep them for the beach because the sand gets really hot.  Turns out he likes them so much he didn't want to take them off!  They matched nicely with his "beach day" outfit at daycare today. 

     LOOKOUT BEACH.....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Milestone: 50 Followers on GFC!

WOOOOHOOOO!!!!

To those of you with thousands of followers, this may be small potatoes, but I have officially reached the 50 followers mark on Google Friend Connect.  This is great news!

I started this blog in December as a way to share the adventure of adjusting to a new gluten and dairy free lifestyle with our son.  I wanted to connect with others experiencing something similar.  I also wanted to network with anyone who could identify with the daily roller coaster that is being a parent while trying to maintain an identity as an individual! 

Although I've only been at this a few months, I've made some great connections and enjoy being a part of the lives of so many people scattered across the globe.  I love reading your posts and I'm thankful that you take the time to read what I have to say!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Menu Plan

I was sick this weekend, so my husband put together the menu plan and cooked for most of the week.  Here's what he put together:

Dinner Menu

Monday: Stir fried rice noodles with chicken, carrot, and bean sprouts
Tuesday: Homemade pizza with mushrooms
Wednesday: Curry turkey breast with dal makhani (lentils with ginger, cream and spice) and rice **ours will be with a cream substitute
Thursday: Quinoa vegetable soup and salad with hard boiled eggs
Friday: Baked chicken on a bed of pasta and rapini

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thoughts and Prayers for Japan

I'm a little late on this one because I've been sick in bed all day, but as I've been watching the events unfolding in Japan since yesterday I felt I had to send a small message of support to those affected and to their loved ones.  Now that the earthquake is over and the tsunami has run its course, I'm horrified to watch the ongoing damage at nuclear power plants in the affected area. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan and to all those affected by the earthquake and the tsunami.  I hope that the threat at the power plants can be resolved and that efforts can be focused on the clean-up and rebuilding process that lies ahead.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My son's new favourite snack: SunRype Fun Bites and Squiggles

While searching the aisles for my regular go-to fruit based snack for my son today, I stumbled upon a brand I've never tried: SunRype.  I think it's a Canadian brand, but their products are available in the United States.  I noticed this brand in particular because the front of the box boasts "100% fruit and vegetable snack".  I'm not naming names, but I know that my regular brand can't boast that, so I picked up a box and checked out the claim.

Turning it to the side with the nutritional info, the first thing that caught my eye was a sentence, in capital letters, saying "DOES NOT CONTAIN NUT OR GLUTEN INGREDIENTS".  Perfect for home and daycare too!  Reading through the ingredient list, the claim stands up- no artificial colours or flavours, no preservatives, no gelatin, no chemicals that I can't pronounce.

So, I decided to pick up a box and see how it went over.  I picked up the "squiggles" kind, which is kind of like a stick of dried fruit in a zigzag pattern.  My son of course was begging me for one, and since I had already committed to buying the box, I opened one up and let him try it.  His response?  "Mmmm....lurlypok!"  Translated into regular English, that means that he thought it tasted like a lollipop.  Success!  I turned around and grabbed a second box, this time of Fun Bites.  These are small fruit snack packs in shapes such as snails, spiders, dragonflies and caterpillars.  Just icky enough for a boy to like! 

The company sponsors a website called "What's in your fruit snack?" at www.findoutnow.ca that has an interactive point and click function of some of the more common ingredients found in some products.  A definite marketing tool for sure, but I did find it interesting and I learned something about some of those ingredients that I can't pronounce!  The company's nutrition FAQ are different on the American and Canadian sites, including two products on the American site that are produced in a facility that also produces products containing certain allergens.  Please click on the links above to see which products meet your specific nutritional restrictions and to check out their claims for yourself. 

I'm always on the look-out for products that both taste good and are good for my son.  This product works for me for a number of reasons.  It's half the calories of my previous option, has no added sugar or artificial ingredients and it's not a "specialty" product that costs three times what it's worth.  Most importantly, my son likes it enough that he equates it with candy.  All in all a good buy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Recipe Tab Up and Running!

Hi everyone,

Looks like whatever my son had has found me.  Cough, stuffy nose, aches and pains.....just blah all around! 

On a brighter note, I have begun posting the recipes from the blog under the Recipes tab at the top of the page.  There aren't too many yet, but I'll keep adding as I post and the list will grow.  I've arranged them under headings according to meal type (Breakfast, Appetizers, Mains, etc.) 

I'm open to recipe suggestions.  Looking for a gluten or dairy free version of a recipe you love?  Send me a request and I'll get it up for you.  I'll also gladly post any gluten or dairy free recipes (with attribution, of course) that are sent my way, after I've tried them out and can post a glowing review!  Happy cooking!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A friend of ours took some family pictures in January.  They aren't all ready yet, but she sent us a teaser!





Can't wait to see them all!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Recipe: Simple Vegetable Soup

Ingredients  (Serves 4)

1 litre box gluten free vegetable or chicken broth + additional water as needed
2-3 yellow potatoes (or any thin skinned variety), cubed
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
3 celery stalks, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 onion, quartered and then each quarter halved
salt and pepper
1 tsp. Proven├žal seasoning blend (a simple blend of parsley, thyme and marjoram also works nicely)
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil 
1 lemon, quartered to accompany soup when serving
grated Parmesan cheese, optional


Directions

1- In a large soup pot, coat the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil.  Put chopped vegetables and seasoning blend in pot.  Stir to coat and let cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to soften and allow flavours to blend.
2- Add broth.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer.  Taste soup and adjust seasonings, adding additional water if desired.  Cover and let simmer until vegetables are softened, approx. 15-20 min.
3- Serve in warm bowls with a lemon quarter to squeeze for added flavour.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

This soup is my favourite kind to make: SIMPLE.  The potatoes add some heartiness.  Some peas or spinach would add a nice touch of colour as well.  Eat as a meal accompanied by some crackers and salad, or as a first course.


Updated September 2013

Monday, March 7, 2011

Menu Plan

Dinner Menu

Monday: Skillet Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Risotto
Tuesday: Simple Vegetable Soup with Spanish Tortilla and Mixed Green Salad
Wednesday: Pot Roast with Root Vegetables and Gravy
Thursday: Elbow pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs
Friday: Turkey breast, potatoes in tomato sauce and garlicky French beans

Sunday, March 6, 2011

More of the same

The little one is still sick, the cooking is only half done and the thesis is no further along......but on the plus side, the kitchen is clean, the munchkin is in bed, and the water is on for tea. 

Tomorrow is a new day.  The menu plan goes up, and hopefully the snow (that surprised us after the rain) will begin to melt.  Talk to you tomorrow! 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A rainy Saturday

Today was supposed to be the day that my husband took our son out, leaving me to catch up on work for my thesis.  A whole day, just to work, read, organize my next steps.....but of course that was too good to be true.  My husband ended up having to go into work all day, and ultimately had to decline a request to work again tomorrow.  He regularly works general office hours, not shift work, and weekends are not part of the package.  He's been required to pull a lot of overtime lately, cutting into the time I'm supposed to have to work on my thesis.  It's also limited the amount of time he's been able to spend with our son in the evenings since Etienne goes to bed early.  It's been tough on everyone.

My son is also sick, with a runny nose and a cough that won't quit, on top of drool that flows like a faucet from his mouth.  And a low-grade fever.  Lovely, I know.  He had enough energy today that he wanted to play, but felt sick enough that he didn't want to be left alone.  We spent a good portion of the day just lounging on the couch, "reading" his books and playing silly games.  He's finally off to bed now, and hopefully he'll sleep through the night.  Last night he came trotting into our room three times after his cough woke him up.

But tomorrow is another day.  I'm aiming to get the menu plan put together, the cooking done and also have some time to catch up on the work I didn't get done today.  I wanted to get some of the tabs on my blog updated a well, but I'll have to wait until I have more time. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Gluten issues are everywhere

Before learning of my son's issues with gluten, I'd never really given much thought to the issue of gluten free living or how many people suffered from dietary issues related to it.  Since October, I've become aware of just how prevalent gluten intolerance and/or celiac disease really are.  Every time the topic comes up in conversation in relation to my son, the person I'm talking to either has an issue with gluten or knows someone who does.

This is both encouraging and disappointing. 

I'm encouraged because it shows me that there are others out there navigating the same dietary obstacles that my son faces.  When I hear celebrities discuss going gluten free, even when it is simply a lifestyle choice and not a medical one I hope that the trend will help spur more companies to produce gluten free options and that more restaurants will follow suit.  When I meet someone with the same issues it also gives me reason to believe that more awareness will mean that my son will not be the only one in his class who can't share the communal birthday cake or who can't eat the majority of the Valentine's Day or Halloween candy that he'll receive.  That getting gluten free alternatives will be mainstream.  I hope that I won't always have to provide all of his food on every play date or sleep over that he ever attends.

On the other hand, I can't help but be disappointed every time I hear that someone else is affected with digestive issues because of gluten.  I wonder if the number is on the rise, and if the increasing amount of products that unnecessarily contain gluten are contributing to an overload that our bodies struggle to handle.  It also makes me upset because I know that in North America it generally takes years before someone with celiac is finally diagnosed.  We were lucky to realize what was causing our son's digestive problems so early.  I feel frustrated that so many others suffer for so long before getting relief. 

I've approached gluten free (and dairy free) living in a positive way, grateful that I'm able to positively impact our son's health in a relatively simple manner.  But I am also aware that I'm an adult, approaching this from an adult's perspective, where dietary restrictions or preferences won't make me an object of teasing, or make me feel different or left out.  I'd be lying if I said I'm not concerned about how my son is going to handle it in a few years when the pressure of fitting in and being like everyone else is strong.  So although I'm not encouraged by the seeming increase in gluten issues in the general population, I am excited about the attention the issue seems to be receiving lately.  It's up to everyone affected to ensure that the issue remains in the public eye.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One step forward (a potty training saga)

I mentioned a short time ago that I'm beginning toilet training with my son now that he's turned two.  He understands the concept, loves flushing the toilet and has bladder control, so it's time.  He's still not keen on actually using the toilet, although he loves lounging around on it, singing songs or flipping through books.  Then he panics when the urge to go actually hits!  We've had a few successes, but they were more of the accidental variety than the intentional kind.

The step forward today came when I went to put him in a diaper to go out this afternoon, and he refused.  He ran to his room and grabbed a pull up (which we refer to as underwear because he can pull them up and down himself) and insisted on wearing underwear like a big boy.  Progress! 

Let's see where we go from here...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Right around this time of March in 2008, myself and another teacher took a group of students to Europe.  Here are a few photos from our time in Rome...




And a couple from Assisi too.   Can you tell I love to travel?




Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why I love the month of March

I always get excited when March rolls around.  Even though I know that the snow is probably not over yet for the season, March is the month that officially ushers in Spring. I took off the evergreen wreath from my front door today, and I'll be taking down the two red-bow wrapped evergreen boughs from either side of my garage door tomorrow morning. 

March is when I begin thinking about how long it will take for the crocus bulbs to begin to bloom.  A little premature perhaps, but I can't help it!

I love that the time changes and the days get longer this month.  There's St. Patrick's Day, my birthday and my husband's birthday.  Many days make it above 0 Celsius. 

Today the sun was shining, the wind was calm and I met my thesis supervisor at a coffee shop overlooking a sunny sidewalk.  I arrived early and window-shopped at leisure, my jacket open and the sun warm on my face.  February was so cold with twice the average snowfall, so I wasn't about to let the opportunity to walk on a dry, snow-free sidewalk pass me by!  Even though it was only -1C. 

More importantly, I'm going to pretend that I didn't hear environment Canada's prediction of a colder and wetter than usual Spring and hold on to the memory of today.  Warm weather is just around the corner!

Welcome March!